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Beyond Paris: Finding the Courage to Face the Climate Emergency


Beyond Paris: Finding the Courage to Face the Climate Emergency

Russell Greene

Last weekend in Orlando the platform committee of the Democratic Party added language into their platform acknowledging the official position of the Democratic Party to be that we are in a global climate emergency. Further, the platform acknowledges the scale of the threat to be so large that it will require a leadership response from our country on the scale of our national mobilization to confront the threat of fascism during WWII.


We must we are told. We have to is what we hear. We should. We ought to. We just gotta! Okay we agree but how do we seems the problem.

It no longer is about convincing climate deniers. Think about convincing someone used to taking bribes to suddenly be honest! Forget the corrupt who already know but pretend that they don't. Everybody knows about climate change by now. Those who express doubts do so because it profits them to do so.

We all know about the need for action on the climate so telling us that we should isn't useful anymore. Tell us how we do! Tell us what to do!

Tell us the How To about acting on climate change. We already know that we need to. We are past that stage.


Although I'm on board with the necessity of acting immediately on climate change, I'm also concerned that this crisis will be used to crush what's left of our democracy and our freedoms. The article harkens back to the mobilization during WWII. Not that I remember, but I understand that individuals pitched in with victory gardens, unions pitched in withholding demands for wage and benefit increases, ... and the capitalists made out like bandits...and the US went from having a small military to the biggest, baddest military the world had ever seen... and the national security state was born.

The amendment has emergency language, but it doesn't have anything to ensure that what's done is done fairly, democratically, and with a minimum of coercion. It doesn't ensure that the wealthy won't force the rest of us in the US, and those in the 3rd world, to tighten our belts while they continue to live as pigs.


First the ought to part. There's a serious forest fire 20 miles upwind. You just watch. The fire gets bigger. Tomorrow it wipes out 1/2 of your town or maybe 100% of your town. You personally aren't able to fight the forest fire with a garden hose, neither is your small community able to do much, but the fire can still be fought.

The Arctic Ocean's ice pack is disappearing. The sun is cooking the ocean. About one teraton of methane is unfreezing now. The methane bomb should be several times the effect of cutting our carbon footprints. We'd better get to work on that bomb.

Practical solar research and product development is job one. We need buildings in the Frost Belt to all heat themselves on winter nights. That's a significant chunk of the job. We need midwinter solar greenhouses too. We need a new transit system that saves 90% of current energy use over its lifetime. We need nighttime solar-sourced electricity. These things can all be solved. I have one set of these inventions now but they need to be developed. Maybe somebody else has competing inventions.

Next, we need ecologically benign ways to shut down the Arctic methane bomb. Tool one is a passive (possibly an active loop is better) thermal loop that transfers heat from the Arctic Ocean under the ice into the Arctic winter (40 below). Tool two is a wind-powered snowmaking machine which coats the melted tundra and also dirty ice sheets with new snow, changing the tundra's albedo.

Next, we need to test various sequestration options.

Then we need to save millions of species from extinction.

That's the "what". The "how" part probably doesn't include the Republican congress. We need to do all this now, on a shoestring and with private philanthropy, possibly through gofundme.com.



We've known that the climate is in trouble because of our addiction to fossil fuel for over 20 years, but have refused to do anything other than offer lip service or pretend that it's, somehow, going to go away.

Eleven years ago Al Gore presented the world with An Inconvenient Truth, which showed definitively the predicament we are in, yet little has been down.

Let's face it, we are fracked in every way imaginable as long as $$$$ rule our planet. The elections are all about money, as are our lifestyles. How many people can honestly say that they have "enough" or even know what that means when "more" determines our culture?

I am 66 this year, and embarrassed to be a human. We are a despicable species and do not deserve to continue, if we cannot evolve to a collaborative society. Competition is the root cause of our demise. Evolve or perish!


The Global Emergency is Here!.... If you think that your party or your government will take action, they will not.
If you think Corporate, Military, or Religious Leaders will take charge, they will not.

It is up to you as an individual to prepare for the Climate Disaster that is upon us.
To prepare yourselves, your families, and your communities--it is up to you....for no one else will come to your rescue.
It is up to you and your community to prepare and to take care of your own.

If This Resonates within you, go to "global emergency new message.com" on the web.


Uh thanks. I believe the gist of my comment was to point out to the author that we all know (even the deniers know but they don't care) the 'what'.
It is the how to that we need to discuss and develop.
Climate deniers have successfully slowed change by claiming the science isn't clear and that more research needs being done etc. enough with trying to convince people that we need to - that we should - that we ought to and so forth. Everybody knows only the dishonest deny it.

Time to talk about the how to and how to get it done.


While I agree completely with your article, I do disagree with how you began your eighth paragraph, "Our representational government ...", because I do not believe that to be the case. So many issues would be far different if it were.

The only things our government officials serve are special interests that are completely at odds with not only the will of the people, but, in this particular instance, the interests of all humans and other life forms on this planet.

While I realize your intent, and applaud your optimistic perspective and efforts, I do not share the confidence of it being so.

And any belief that the Democratic Party will take those necessary steps that will lead us to the actions required to implement true, sustainable change to address the climate crisis is, I respectfully submit, misplaced.


"We are a despicable species..."

This dismissive misanthropic comment asserts that each individual--including those who are very conscientious about "going lightly" on this planet is equivalent to the boards of directors at Exxon, Mobil, BP and other energy corps.

None of you has checked out the links I've been posting on Dr. Steven Greer's "Disclosure" initiative.

FREE energy exists and has been fully operational for 5-6 decades. It's being kept under wraps to preserve the existing economy, energy moguls granted primacy, and the infrastructure in place for many decades.

Pressure should be directed at the RIGHT target.


Siouxrose11: No, it does not assert that. It is a generalization, which you chose to interpret as a condemnation of the small percentage who do care and live in accordance with the biosphere. Sadly, they/we are in the minority. May I suggest that you consider the whole cloth statement rather than attacking one aspect.


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Individuals cannot decide to change the way we live as individuals choosing to change one at a time. Major survival systems have to be engineered anew. Transportation, with population densities concentrated in large city urban centers, there is presently no way to move food in the quantities needed to avoid mass starvation and the panic driven violent disruptions this would cause. There is right now no feasible way to have people in large enough numbers switch away from gas driven motor vehicles to electric vehicles -- where would the replacement vehicles come from and what would become of all the now useless old gas fueled vehicles? Recycle every supplanted car from every Los Angeles style megalopolis?

Electricity has to be generated somehow -- coal burning is producing a large percentage of it now. There are other cleaner ways to produce electricity, but to replace the systems currently in use with newer cleaner ones would be a design and engineering project of enormous complexity. The old energy producing plants would need to remain operational until the new clean ones were built and ready to go on line. Only then could the switch be thrown to take the old ones off line and start up the new clean ones. What if they didn't work right off the bat?

Electricity is especially tricky because it can't yet be stored until it is needed. What sort of resources and how much time would be needed to design and build something that could do that? A storage battery how big? The electricity produced by solar, wind, tidal, and geothermal would be needed to power the computers that would be needed to produce, coordinate, and test all the systems leaving very little left to provide entertainment and social media hookups.

Growing food would have to be completely reimagined. The current way of producing food in the quantities needed depends on big powered machinery and refrigeration, needing energy, for transport and storage. The advice that everyone should start growing their own food underestimates the specialized knowledge and planning needed to have foods be grown in such a way as to have edible food be there the whole year around.

So when the question is asked why people aren't taking the problems seriously, are attracted to the pronouncements of the deniers, and aren't getting started on the social and electromechanical transformations that are needed right now and should have begun decades ago -- well, it's complicated.


Have you never heard of TransitionUS.org?

Have you never heard of Resilience.org?

Have you never heard of Environmental Working Group?

Have you never heard of GreenPeace?

Etc., etc., etc., etc., etc.

Have you spent your whole life looking for a mommy replacement?

It is never too late to grow up and seek out your own questions.

It is never too late to grow up and be a citizen who learns with others through deliberation.

It is never too late to grow up and listen to those who agree we have the very greatest monumental challenge humans have ever faced, and no one can settle for being a mere follower.


PS, Don't worry. HRC will tell you what to do, where to go, and how to go there and how to do it.

Good luck.


Yours is a simplistic perception dependent on emotive drama online. Needless to say you are impressed with yourself. Please continue to tell people what they should do. I mean nobody has ever thought to do that before I guess? Maybe you could try convincing a polar bear that the ice cap is melting? I assume you would also think that is still necessary to do.


I am getting the sense that she will not have a easy term as was first thought by the Dems. I think her Obama type 'promises made not to keep' style will backfire on her and we will all regret the loss of sincerity that we could have had in Sanders. She may find it a tumultuous term and difficult to lead because her credibility has become a casualty and people may not simply accept her cynicism like she is expecting they will.

She comes in as an unpopular choice who has been thrust upon the electorate with dirty tricks and a double standard for the permanent ruling elite. It just may be that America needed its democracy to lend credibility in a rapidly changing landscape. Too many people don't want her even on her own side.


In my small conservative community, we're building a food collective, which I hope will grow into a larger "survival" collective by the time I'm done. Area gardeners plan their gardens together to increase yields and variety. We share among the collective and donate to area food banks and senior centers. Several local chicken owners have joined to trade eggs. We're negotiating with a local rancher to raise organic meat for the collective as well. Among all these people, besides growers, we have builders and tradespeople, teachers, a nurse, and an engineer. These skills can be drawn upon in an emergency situation and can be traded for food or other services. My hope of course is to see the collective grow to encompass the whole community. Surviving the climate crisis will require new processes, as will surviving capitalism.


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Of course you and your community's efforts are to be applauded and hopefully be emulated by others through your example. I suggest starting a blog to which others of like mind might extend and share community with yours.

However I was addressing the problem from the macro level and not from a local level. If we are to succeed in regaining a sustainable climate while maintaining the technological civilization we now enjoy, then government will need to be representative (on the macro level) to the needs of the public and not continue to represent only the micro level community of the fossil fuel industry.

Everything people do like your community helps and will maintain sustainability eventually but to fix the climate problem then only governmental action is capable of effecting sufficient change with the necessary speed and scope. In other words your community won't help if we continue to depend on fossil fuels as a civilization.

My point was only to point out that the right wing is comfortable sitting on the manufactured doubt they promote. It is a con because everybody knows about the climate whether they say so or otherwise. A disappearing ice cap is hard to dismiss. I happen to think the need to convince people about climate change is over and instead we need to discuss the how to of fixing climate change. Time grows short.


The US should lead by example, not by trying to force other countries to act. Actually other countries are ahead of the US in acting.

China, for example, with its command and control government, can make changes relatively quickly and is.

As the article indicates, the way the US government is set up, it moves slowly. We have a major political party that is in total denial. We have two major political parties that are completely owned by corporate giants including the fossil fuel industry. The way our legal-regulatory system is set up, actions are always after the fact. So we should not depend on the US government to act. Though policies addressing climate change at the federal level would obviously be a huge help, maybe for the time being the best we can hope for is that the US government stays out of the way of regions (e.g., the Pacific Coast), states,municipalities, and members of local communities to act. Maybe the federal government can help with some smaller scale policy changes. But we have to resist governments from passing legislation, laws and policies that actually prevent people from acting,.

Rather than wait for top-down solutions, we have to employ solutions from the bottom up. One of the many benefits of acting at the local level is that people have the opportunity to implement, practice, and perfect solutions. Also, when people learn to transform themselves and their communities, the economic and social changes can lead to a larger political shift. These are the solutions that are going to transform the system.