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People's Climate: On Changing Directions Before It’s Too Late


#1

People's Climate: On Changing Directions Before It’s Too Late

Bhikkhu Bodhi

Suppose I was a bus driver driving a busload of people along an unfamiliar route and at a certain point my GPS device showed me that I was heading toward a precipice. I would not assume that the device is mistaken or argue that the accuracy of such devices is a matter of debate. As I got close to the edge of the abyss, I would not jiggle the steering wheel, much less step on the gas pedal. Rather, I would turn away and head in a different direction.


#2

Tanha in the Kalpas. The Fire Sermon Continues to burn.

Sometimes I do not know how to respond to an article like this, for I was agitating
27 years ago for mass transit running on solar power. And what came instead?
SUVs and unnecessary pickup trucks and increased pollution and congestion.

A clear minority of people voted in the SuperCreep in Chief. "We" didn't "let" them do it, they just did it. But, yes, craving for power, status, wealth, military action are the drivers.


#3

The problem of climate change of course cannot be attributed to Donald Trump and his fossil fuel loving colleagues but they now present a formidable obstacle. Even if Hillary Clinton had won the situation would be very dire and the situation would be the same if Bernie Sanders or anyone else is president. Out of 17 Republican candidates for president only two were clearly not climate change deniers and neither of these candidates ever rose above 1% in the polls. So politically the problem in the US is the Republican Party. I don't see any quick political solution to this. Millions of Americans over the several decades have been convinced that scientists are part of an elite class who will do almost anything for their self-interest and do not care at all about the "people." In the US it is now mainly up to the states to fight climate change. There are a number of states have taken leadership roles but too many states are controlled by the Republican Party although in some of those red state wind power has taken off which is a bit of good news. Therefore it will be impossible to carry out anything like a WWII effort on a nationwide basis. The best we will be able to do at this time is get a number of states who are the leaders to even increase their efforts.


#4

Republicans just plain suck when it comes to doing anything that would hamper a business from cashing in, even at the risk of environmental calamity.

Problem is, the D-Party bows before the same business interests.

And while I understand that all of us bow to some extent before economic interests, it breaks my heart to understand that nothing short of that calamity will force our leadership--and all of us as individuals--to face the harsh reality of limits.

I saw that once again, first hand at my state capital yesterday in visits with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The inertia and power of fossil fuel interests is incredible...the ignorance and entrenchment of politicians is lamentable...the greed is sad.


#5

"We" didn't "let" them do it, they just did it."
Nope.
Low Democratic voter turnout did it and that was because the Democrats decided who would be the nominee long before the vote.


#6

Not so sure the politicians are ignorant at all. Merely serving their puppetmaster. The most important thing to a politician is getting re-elected and once you factor that in you know they will be performing for whomever has the money.


#7

I'll respectfully disagree here.

Yesterday I spoke with my own very liberal state rep who I knew to be in total support of the legislation I came to shill for. His misunderstanding of the facts surrounding the issue were breathtaking.

On the other hand, the service to taskmasters is undeniable. Nor is my desire to form a coaltion big enough to call a few shots!


#8

We've known about the dangers of climate change for 30 years now. Up until recently, our global and national CO2 emissions have been steadily increasing. This has happened through Democratic and Republican presidents, and Democratic- and Republican-controlled Congresses.

So the "problem" is not Trump per se, and it is not Republicans.

The "problem" is that we have an economic system and a political system that is dominated by small group of extremely wealthy people who profit immensely from fossil fuel production. They care more about continuing to profit from coal, oil and natural gas than they care what will happen to most human beings and other species on the planet at some unspecified time in the future. And most of our elected officials of both parties serve that wealthy few, which is why Clinton and the Democrats refused to give up on fracking.

The "problem" is not even average Americans driving around in their cars. People are willing to sacrifice if they are aware of the threat, and if they feel that the burdens are equally shared by industry. But we have a political leadership that would rather kick the can down the road than admit that we are on the brink of global disaster. Many industrialized countries are ahead of the US in planning and developing renewable energy, in part because their political systems are less corrupt than ours.

Even though global CO2 emissions have leveled out in the past few years, we have reached a point where positive feedback loops like natural methane releases and a largely ice-free Arctic cap will continue to accelerate the warming of the planet. Climate change is not happening in a linear fashion - it is constantly increasing in rate. The time for incrementalism and ignorance is long past. We need radical economic and political change if we have any chance of avoiding the calamity that is coming.


#9

No. I voted and supported B Sanders. So, I am not "we" and many others are not we either. I blame Hillary, and yes, her minions did undermine Sanders. Don't blame the voters.


#10

The irony of this reluctance and fight against green tech is that depending upon what you consider a job in the fossil fuel industry and a job in the green tech industry is that green tech jobs equal or are doubled the jobs of all the fossil fuel jobs. With far less subsidies green tech is the faster job growth industry and we spend anywhere from 10-20 times in subsidies on fossil fuels. Money that could be switched to green tech and create more jobs than what we have in the fossil fuel industry.
Now the problem is of course, are coal miners, oil drillers, etc be able to switch jobs to solar panel installers, wind turbine builders, etc? That is always the problem with switching from one culture to another. We had that problem when industrialization changed us from a rural culture to an urban culture and we are still fighting over that shift to this day. Such changes are resisted.
And another consideration is one you mentioned, the greed. One doesn't mine the sun or the wind for the energy. It is there for literally anyone to take. Not so with the fossil fuels. All are controlled by a few people in power who dole out to others the money from what they make.
Then throw this in. The known reserve of oil is worth 20 trillion dollars. There is suspected to be another 20 trillion of yet to be discovered oil out there. Then throw in natural gas which is worth about the same. And coal, well coal is worth far more than the other two combined, maybe a couple of hundred trillion of known deposits. So if you wanted to make hundreds of billions of dollars, which would you support, fossil or the one you can't controlled and make so much money from? That is why they throw many hundreds of millions of dollars around to politicians, think tanks, propaganda, etc. They could spend many billions and still make a huge profit for themselves.


#11

No- I will stand with ignorant!
After all, is this not A perfect word that describes Trump? And anyone that would follow him must be ignorant also....


#12

Politicians may be much more aware of the real cause of climate change. Burning fossil fuels does not help and destruction of tropical forest certainly reduces oxygen production and increases concentrations of CO2. However, historically, this planet has seen surges of earthquake, volcanic activity and general increases and decreases in temperature, but these changes have happened over many tens of thousands of years. Some changes have almost certainly happened suddenly as a result of asteroid strike and pole shift (see the current and predicted accelerating movement of the position of the North Pole at the NOAA web site and have been accelerated by the affects of excessive plate movements causing extensive earthquakes See USGS web site earthquake link (then click the cog top right hand corner, select Magnitude 2.5 + worldwide to see how many earthquakes have occurred in the past month then hit search earthquake archives and hit the – button on the map to see the worldwide locations(1439 at 17.00 GMT 06.02.16 up from a few hundred 11 years ago!) and volcanic eruptions see volcano discovery erupting_volcanoes.activity now up to 43 from 3 ten years ago. See also theeconomiccollapseblog. archives/40-volcanoes-are-erupting-right-now-and-34-of-them-are-along-the-ring-of-fireCurrently, as a result of the pole shift, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions (211 active volcanoes!) are on the increase and there are over 3,500,000 fissures in deep ocean releasing much more greenhouse gases than man produces and pole shift will increase this volume. Hence the huge spike in CO2 recorded by the IPCC! (It is not us driving 100 times more for the past few years!) So prepare for more earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and more severe climate change in the future! Our next pole shift is well overdue....the last one caused mass extinctions worldwide. See also magneticreversal web site and Florida sea level rise on you tube where sea level rise is not to do with global sea rise but to do with pole shift as North America moves south towards the bulge of ocean at the Equator. Areas approaching the Equator are sinking, areas moving away from the Equator are rising.

In previous pole shifts, there is now strong evidence to show that leading up to such events, oxygen levels decrease as more 'poisonous and inflammable greenhouse gas' is released from the increased number of volcanic eruptions, deep ocean fissures and earthquakes. In addition, following massive volcanic eruptions, without sun to allow plants to grow converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, carbon dioxide levels increase and oxygen levels fall exponentially. See earth-pages.co.uk 2014/04/17/oxygen-magnetic-reversals-and-mass-extinctions Wild weather is on the increase monthly. Please see SOTT Earth changes on you tube.


#13

If all of this volcanic activity has been going on, why has the global temperature not gone down? Volcanos emit tremendous amounts of Sulfur Dioxide, which in turn blocks the sun's heat and cools the planet....Yellowstone, with all of it's massive calderas, could probably put the earth into A mini Ice Age, while burying everything downwind, in hot ash, for hundreds of miles-
Although you may be sincere in what you say here, to me, off the cuff, this sounds like A study that an Oil Company would use as fake news to get everyone off of the Global Warming bandwagon- I for one choose to believe in Mr. Hanson and all of the top scientists that are warning us of the peril we are in because of man's use of fossil fuels!


#14

This might possibly be the most ignorant, uninformed, and unhelpful post ever on this website...and that's saying a lot.