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While representatives in Washington debate the “fiscal cliff” of their own invention, we are edging ever closer to a real, physical cliff: extreme weather due to carbon emissions. After almost entirely avoiding the issue of climate change and the need for pursuing alternatives to fossil fuels during the presidential debates, Hurricane Sandy hit with a vengeance to drive the point home how critical the situation is and I credit it with playing a role in defeating Republicans this November, particularly Romney.
Despite Sandy and the increasing urgency for action, the naysayers and dimwitted demagogues in Washington pretend that their made-up budget deadline is more important than attending the Climate Summit in Doha, Qatar. Sen. Inhofe, true to form, is reportedly questioning why anyone should attend the conference as the White House and Congress are embroiled in budget so-called “negotiations” (going nowhere as usual) and are conspicuously absent. Though the developing nations of India and China now are producing huge amounts of CO2, the U. S. remains the most flagrantly unrelenting in its refusal to ratify carbon reduction agreements, even though it has had the worst historical record of carbon emissions, and its inattendance severely thwarts worldwide efforts to change course.
I wonder if the moronic Inhofe is still declaring climate change a “hoax” in the wake of Sandy. His state of Oklahoma has been experiencing record drought, like the rest of the Great Plains states: North and South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico, and Colorado, but this hasn’t previously phased him. It is curious to note that all these same states, with the exception of New Mexico and Colorado, voted for Romney, a climate denier, in the last election. Perhaps the residents of these states, along with the disinformation-pushing Koch Bros., need to take a tour of the eastern seaboard, and witness the destruction firsthand so that they might be shaken awake, as every coastal state, from Maine to Florida, was affected, along with other northeastern states like Michigan and Wisconsin, as the storm traveled clear across the Appalachians.
Corporate agriculture, enabled by global-warming scoffing Republicans like Inhofe, will increasingly be attempting to profiteer off tragic disasters like megastorm Sandy, as Naomi Klein outlines in her book, “Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” You can bet that they will be pushing more and more GMO crops, hormones, and pesticides in order to try to circumvent nature rather than correcting the problem of burning fossil fuels. This is equivalent to what the pharmaceutical industry does in pushing drugs that fool your body into thinking its ok rather than going after the cause of the illness and curing it.
We cannot look to our plutocratic government to lead nor can we hope for any solutions from the greed-driven corporate world. As always, we the people are the ones who will effect real change by direct action and demanding that our government do what is needed, e. g. institute serious emissions reduction, pursue clean alternatives to dirty energy, and preserve tropical rainforests. We must also end corporate “personhood” and money as speech, and stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership as they figure into this largely: corporate “personhood” is the root problem behind all the others and the TPP would institute global corporate government and permanently hamper efforts to slow global warming or protect the environment.
Bill McKibben, who heads up 350.org, has been doing a “Do the Math” tour to help raise awareness regarding heating of the planet because of CO2 emissions and resulting climate change. He has been encouraging students to pressure their college boards to divest themselves of big polluters, which has expanded into an effort at schools across the country. This is how we get things done! For more information on these issues, check out these links:
We need to end the determination of our energy policies by Big Oil who would undermine any attempt we make to free ourselves from our dependence on petroleum.
Government needs to impose a cap on carbon pollution, which will facilitate the transition to clean energy and end our dependence on dirty fossil fuels. By placing a cap on carbon pollution, we can stimulate the economy by creating thousands of jobs that can’t be shipped overseas and we can put our country on the path towards economic recovery. It would also mean lower electricity bills. The climate crisis cannot wait and we cannot allow the big polluters to continue to hold us hostage to an outdated technology because of their short-sighted greed when there are much better, cleaner alternatives that can be utilized and developed.
Corruption in government by industry, aided by corporate-owned media, however, subverts any sensible solutions to the energy crisis. Rather than pass laws favoring alternative energy, rein in the oil industry through regulation, and cut off corporate welfare, our elected officials continue to disregard the negative impact on the environment and to our health, instead favoring big polluters. In not pursuing alternative clean energy sources, continuing to grant subsidies and drilling permits to the oil industry, accepting payoffs, and doing their bidding, government continues to cede its authority to determine our energy policy over to Big Oil. This is like letting the wolf tend the sheep. Their greed for profits will always win out over climate considerations.