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2015 in Review: The Year Environmental and Climate Issues Left Their Silos


2015 in Review: The Year Environmental and Climate Issues Left Their Silos

Douglas Fischer

Call it the grand convergence: Coverage of environmental issues, especially climate change, jumped traditional boundaries to pick up broader—and slightly ominous—geopolitical and health angles.

At the successful Paris climate talks in December, President Obama and other world leaders tied terrorism to human-induced bouts of erratic and severe weather. Drought and water crises, they said, exacerbated civil distress in Syria and the Middle East.


In the US the connecting of the dots may not matter. On the right denial is very strong and perhaps led by Trump and Cruz even growing. On the left, things are split, There are those who believe that government is leading in the fight against climate change and those who believe the government is controlled by the corporate elite and is trying to obstruct action to fight climate change. It seems to me that a common effort in the US is needed to fight climate change but the politics on both the right and left make that impossible.


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Finally Environmental groups which traditionally were afraid to touch the issues of the endless Wars or Auto Addiction in fostering Climate Change have finally started to open up on this.
the exclusion of the Pentagon from US Greenhouse emissions when it is the biggest institutional greenhouse emitter on the planet has finally come to the attention of alleged Environmentalists.
Of course it should be obvious that bombing, destruction and death along with the US wasting $1 Trillion per year on endless Wars is bad for the Environment. But like many alleged liberals who attacked Martin Luther King Jr for criticizing the Vietnam War and the US war machine as "not part of the Civil Rights agenda", so many Environmentalists have been afraid to attack the endless Wars.
Even further from their sights is Auto Addiction which accounts for 70% of US oil usage and directly contributes 35% of US greenhouse emissions. Naomi Klein has repeatedly pointed out that Green public transit is absolutely critical to combat Climate Change in a just manner. This is due to the huge expense in terms of 10x the land, $9300 per year costs, 30,000 deaths per year from the private automobile monopoly which shuts out the poor and indeed 30% of the US population which cannot drive. Unfortunately in reality due to temporarily cheap gasoline and relentless pressure on Green Transit Americans driving is back up after years of decline.
Americans are enjoying a last slog from the punchbowl of fossil fuel inebria which will only make our hangover worse as we are doing precious little to invest in Green Transit. Europe is in much better shape for Green Transit than our Auto Addicted US still wasting $70 Billion on our Federal taxes on endless highway construction and expansion in the last aptly named
"Highway Bill" as if that constitutes "Transportation".