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'A Year Ago I Wouldn't Have Believed It': Not Enough, But 2020 Climate Forum Hailed as Progress

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/09/05/year-ago-i-wouldnt-have-believed-it-not-enough-2020-climate-forum-hailed-progress

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Almost nobody is talking about doing the R&D engineering needed. That’s the “get it in writing” part of the climate crisis. The fossil fuel industry is fiercely opposed to things that will actually close them down, as opposed to goals without any immediate motion which is cheap.

The result could be that most of humanity dies of starvation or of secondary effects of starvation.


What R&D engineering are you talking about? What specifically?

No, nobody is willing to talk about the truly underlying root cause of climate change and just about all of our environmental problems, and that is human overpopulation.


Without a Doubt Bernie Dominated the Debate.

He was the only candidate that had intelligent ideas to combat Climate Change, a plan to increase employment in the Green Market and a realistic plan to Pay for his Monumental approach to help save the Planet.



Yes, good to see a whole evening dedicated to the issue of the Climate Crisis (in red).

Julian Castro - admit that I did not see most of his time on the air, but I liked what I heard. He exhibits the most humanity of any of the candidates.

Andrew Yang - seems to grasp the need to address climate change aggressively. However, he places too much faith in technological solutions, emphasizing a reliance on things like (untried and never brought to scale) geo-engineering. Embraces fossil fuel exporting while saying developing nations need to focus on renewable energy solutions, a contradiction.

Kamala Harris - did not want to be there. Weakest performance of all the candidates.

Amy Klobuchar - her plans are not nearly enough, but she seemed comfortable talking about them. She has some solutions for transforming agricultural practices right (e.g., use of cover crops, soil protections).

Joe Biden - spoke a lot of platitudes and generalities (‘some experts call my plan a game changer’) but never gave any specifics about his plan. I wondered if he even knew what is in it (was it something that his people created for him).

Bernie Sanders - solid though not overly impressive performance. Aside from that, his plans go the farthest in transforming the system, which is what really needs to a happen to give us a fighting change to address climate change.

Elizabeth Warren - combines an ability to capture people’s attention emotionally while detailing actual plans of action. I thought she commanded the issues on the stage the best of any of the 10. Need to check out her plan released just before the town hall for details.

Pete Buttigieg - impressive rhetoric, which is what he does best. Breaks issues down into digestible sentences and phrases. Grasps the problem, but too much reliance on a “market-based” approach. Sure, put a price on carbon…an aggressive one, but don’t leave this problem up to the market to solve.

Beto O’Rourke - cap and trade plan just won’t cut it.

Cory Booker - had to go to bed, so missed him.


What about Neo-Liberalism? The ravaging and carnage on the lifelines of the planet by an untethered free market and their true believers, who are internalizing massive profits for the few and externalizing the extremely heavy costs, even systemic extermination, onto the very many? An ecological slow-rolling genocide, of sorts.
Reducing over-population doesn’t change the equation and the ideology of the winner-take-all enterprises the few impose on the many. It is the " convert or die " demand of kings and religions of the past, brought into our economic models and practices of today. To protect profit only.


To think that overpopulation isn’t really part of the equation is ridiculous. How can it not change the equation when our finite resources are routinely exploited by Neo-liberals? The population of the earth has quadrupled just in my lifetime. It is a HUGE problem.


Missed by all was the direct savings from not buying fossil fuels.


The best solutions to curb population growth is Family Planning (#7 solution according to Project Drawdown) and Educating Girls (#6 Drawdown solution)

Project Drawdown - drawdown,org.

Population growth has generally stabilized in the global north (US, EU, etc.) and in some places (e.g., Russia) is it declining. Projections indicate that the place where the largest population growth will take place is the continent of Africa.

Pew Research - https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/06/17/worlds-population-is-projected-to-nearly-stop-growing-by-the-end-of-the-century/

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My goodness! Such a (nearly) professional summation, for those of us who can only take so much. I only say “nearly” because a real professional would have pharmaceutical means at hand if necessary to stay awake for… who was it? Or else lied about it. Real professionals have been known to lie.

You have done me a solid this morning by undergoing the ordeal and sharing crisp notes about it for the benefit of the marginally interested. Thanks much. A little bit, anyhow…

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Go ahead and spend your limited time on this fragile planet screaming at people about what they can’t do. The Emperor who has no clothes given American habits, practices, etc., issuing more orders and fiats.
I’d rather move on and tell them what we must, and should do, to protect the children and grand children they now have. Without the proselytizing and demagoguery.
Good luck. You’re going to need it.

How many of the ten in that picture REALLY give a shit and how many are doing what they are SUPPOSED TO to garner votes?


It is important to keep in mind that the whole DNC guided democratic primary process is set up and being guided to end up with a neo liberal candidate who is acceptable to the power elite: the military, the intelligence/surveilance/security, wall street, corporate behemoths and their media lackies. The climate issue is one that requires a pretty sophisticated “marketing” operation to allow an acceptable candidate to get support from the masses while still sold to the power elite. Bottom line: you can’t do both. It comes down to the old question from the song “Which side are you on?”
Tulsi has been effectively neutralized from the DNC rigged sham (although she continues her campaign) and Bernie is the only one left that they will not accept under any cercumstances. The climate forum was allowed because the DNC could not figure out how to get around not having it but the many words assuring voters of candidates’ sincerity are subservient to back room promises that big oil and big finance and big guns and big surveilance/police state will take priority.
What will we do when Sanders is eliminated? We need to start planning and acting now: support and independent candidate? Boycott the sham election? Join the People’s party? or vote for the totally sold out Dem because they appear better than Trump?


Hi mrsannhitts,

I struggle mightily with the population issue down at the specific question: How do young folks feel about having kids these days? I study Arctic fragility, which both symbolizes and actuates destabilization so accellerated, a whole archipelago was just scrubbed clean in two days. It gets terrible, then it just keeps getting more terrible. (There’s no scientifically credible means of climate stabilization at this point. The train is already off the rails.)

My spouse and I opted long ago to do without (human) progeny. With what we know today about how quickly the global ecosystem is headed right over the cliff, we have reason to doubt we’ll live to the ripe age of our parents. Most of all, I thank my stars I don’t have children for whose future I’m obligated to grieve. My emotional system has withstood much in my life, but I don’t think I could stand the anxiety over my own children’s future. I’d just snap like a dry twig.

I’m no kind of exemplary standard to point to, far from it. I’m a survivor of abuse, still experiencing vivid episodes of liberation from that hell, which also bears on my having become myself, for better and worse. It’s not my style to order people (or even dogs) around. It’s just a profound emotional shock to me when I see another oblivious young couple with a beautiful baby. (I’d never presume to mention this to them, of course – but I’m lousy at covering up empathic anguish.) God help them.


I didn’t go into detail with my view, because I’m tired of being called an evil person for telling the truth - that we have to drastically reduce world human population, or most life on Earth is doomed, and we can’t do it by respecting the reproductive rights of everybody, or even most people. This is not a problem that has a democratic solution - other than that the pain has to be shared equally; regardless of race, religion, creed or station in life.

  1. I want the Arctic meltdown inhibited. The consequence of ignoring the Arctic meltdown is the release of an estimated 1.7 trillion tons of greenhouse gases. My two most promising avenues would be wind-powered ice creation machines (see a first effort by Arizona State University students, for example) and wind-powered snow making machinery for the Arctic tundra.

  2. Displacement of fossil fuels, any place where we’re putting gigatons of greenhouse gases into the air. Three obvious targets are displacing fossil fuel-generated electricity after sunset, displacing fuel to heat and cool buildings and reducing the fuel used per passenger-mile of transportation.

I recommend solar thermal storage coupled with heat pumps for optimum building performance. I recommend a zip-line transit system to replace freeways. I have three recommendations for after-dark electricity: I have solar power towers with zero bird kill problems, I have a solar chimney that rises diagonally up the side of a tall mountain and I have a system that moves concrete blocks higher and lower.

  1. We need better firefighting capabilities.

dream on…

Seems to me that the US Capitalist Empire already has it’s ongoing population control program - it’s called Never Ending War (including drug wars)… How many millions has the US killed, starved to death, denied medicines and food, or literally driven to suicide and death in the last 20-30 years? Mostly people of color or of non Christian faiths of course…


Nicely done but in my view, Biden, the weasel, gave the weakest performance; but Kamala Harris was a close second.