Climate Change: The only news that matters

Climate Change: The only news that matters

opinion1by Joseph Lampert

We should be stone cold angry with Global Warming. We should be worried sick about the future of our children. We should cry over every animal on the planet headed for extinction.

Why? Because the most knowledgeable people on Earth believe global climate change could destroy our civilization. That means no malls! No cars! No television to watch our demise! No more advertisements for ìclean coal!î No more high-tech, low-mileage pollution machines! No more lies about anything!

Are we doomed by our pollution? Donít worry. Bangladesh will go first! Then Florida. People are already dying from the lack of water and food, but only in poor, undeveloped countries with black and brown addresses. Soon greenhouse gasses, and the rest of the man-made pollution, will kick in big-time. In just decades!

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When it starts, it could ramp up on a mammoth scale. Think about Hurricane Katrina as a luxury spa. That could never happen to us again. You think? On July 17, 2008, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency warned of global climate change threatening humans. The Washington Post reported the next day; ìClimate change will pose ësubstantialí threats to human health in the coming decades,î while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued warnings about heat waves, hurricanes and pathogens.

ìI argue that a path yielding energy independence and a healthier environment is, barely, still possible. It requires a transformative change of direction in Washington in the next year.î Dr. James E. Hansen

In a new report, the EPA said ìit is very likely more people will die during extremely hot periods in future years – and the elderly, the poor and those in inner cities will be most at risk. Other possible dangers include more powerful hurricanes, shrinking supplies of fresh water in the West, and the increased spread of diseases contracted through food and water.î

Well, that sounds great. Especially for those us living in the Washington, D.C. area where there are only three seasons because winter only lasts for three hours. The three seasons are fall, spring, and Code Orange. When Code Orange hits in D.C. people start dying. I donít know the official designation for Code Orange but to me itís: 90 degrees Fahrenheit, 90 percent humidity, and high air pollution, and ozone. You can cut the air with a weed whacker.

Meanwhile, I havenít told you about the real nasty stuff. On June 23, 2008, Dr. James E. Hansen, director the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, a laboratory of the Goddard Space Flight Center and a unit of the Columbia University Earth Institute, spoke to the National Press Club and the House Select Committee on Energy Independence & Global Warming. He said regarding tipping points, ìPeople do not understand what the scientific community is trying to say. The policymakers and the public do not understand. The difference is that now we have used up all slack in the schedule for actions needed to defuse the global warming time bomb. The next president and congress must define a course next year in which the United States exerts leadership commensurate with our responsibility for the present dangerous situation. Otherwise it will become impractical to constrain atmospheric carbon dioxide, the green house gas produced in burning fossil fuels, to a level that prevents the climate system from passing tipping points that lead to disastrous climate changes that spiral dynamically out of humanityís control. Changes needed to preserve creation, the planet on which civilization developed, are clear. But the changes have been blocked by special interests, focused on short-term profits, which hold sway in Washington and other capitals. I argue that a path yielding energy independence and a healthier environment is, barely, still possible. It requires a transformative change of direction in Washington in the next year.î

It is the age of television. We can choose action or television. We can make a stand like a summer blockbuster superhero … or play videogames. Do we even know the difference? That doesnít sound good to me. We do not have time to debate lies and innuendoes. If our children are to have a future, they do not have time for cheap nihilism. The truth is as clear as acid rain.

One thought on “Climate Change: The only news that matters

  1. Given the history of the early Greens in leading the campaign to ban atmospheric atom bomb testing and the failure of the UN Durban conference to ameliorate greenhouse gas emissions the Napa County Green Party suggests a similar international Green campaign. We have reason to believe it has the potential to unite the world in a common goal which will promote a world sense of community and unity. See below.
    John Stephens, johnithin@aol.com

    The US Department of Energy has just released a study that found a dramatic unexpected rise in levels of CO2 atmospheric gas in 2010. 350.org says CO2 is now at 379.8 ppm, well above the anticipated 350 point of no return and the initializing level in which feedback loops will become manifest. It will become the major issue that will have to be addressed if our children are to survive past this century.

    We can not wait for our government to take effective action any longer. The time has come the United Nations to convene a special session of the General Assembly to pass the following:

    Green House Gas State of Emergency Resolution

    “The United Nations declares a Worldwide Green House Gas State of Emergency because of the dramatic and potentially devastating rise in atmospheric CO2 gas. We urge all entities to take immediate and concrete action to avert world wide catastrophe.”

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