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UN Chief Warns World 'Way Off Track' on Tackling Climate Crisis as New Report Underscores Need for Bold Global Action

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2020/03/11/un-chief-warns-world-way-track-tackling-climate-crisis-new-report-underscores-need

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It took an attack on Pearl Harbor to get us riled up enough to join the war. It may take the Yellow Stone caldera to pop before we are all in on climate crisis attention.

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Anyone who thinks the wealthy (and I’m talking about the top 25% of the socio-economic scale) are in the least interested in climate change are fools.

I’ve been staying with a wealthy friend in a drought stricken area. Though she would not claim wealth, she is in her 50s, has already retired, owns - debt free - a 1.5 million home, a big SUV, has more than 600K in a retirement account, and is heiress to the sale of 250,000 acres of U.S. farmland. She spends winters in warmer climes and rents out her other house so still brings in income from her 1.5 million home. This puts her among the top 25% (at least). Her friends in this town have even more wealth.

As I said, it is a drought situation here. Neither she nor her friends are fazed. I have been here two months and not one single conversation about climate change. When I speak of it, they just grin, shake their heads, shrug their shoulders, and change the conversation to the latest and greatest water sport toy that they are going to buy.

They all have water tanks that can hold 50 to 100 thousand gallons of water and they have more than enough money to keep them filled up at all times. They don’t conserve - they don’t need to. They have money.

It is the bottom 75% of people who will suffer. As the cost of water goes up, the bottom 75% will do everything to conserve because they will be forced to. But the top 25% will just buy up what the rest of us have conserved.

These two months here have been very enlightening. The wealthy will survive. The rest of us won’t.

The animals and insects won’t survive either. But the wealthy have more than enough money to pay for gardeners to hand pollinate their vegetables and fruits and with their big boats, they can pay fishermen to catch whatever fish remain.

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See my other post. The wealthy got behind war after Pearl Harbour only because there was ever more wealth to be made.

The wealthy will survive climate change. They don’t need to address it. As a matter of fact, they will actively not address it because they want fewer people to use up the remaining resources. Climate change will kill the riff raff and leave more to them. It’s their dream come true.

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That’s in the back of all our minds. But supporting the Bernie revolution makes us feel more whole. Preserves some sanity.

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But they will end up starving once there’s no habitat left from an overheated planet. They think they’re immune from the chaos to come, but they are not.

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Reminds me of the movie where Bill Murry is the community leader of a people living underground. They have little decent food. Yet Murray sneaks off to his huge hidden larder and slurps down his canned peaches.

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The top 25% are not immune to old age, sickness, and death. No living being is outside this cycle.

But the top 25% and their progeny ARE insulated from chaos. Their money can buy protection from famine and drought and plague and yes, even war or revolution. If it gets too bad in one place, they will just move on to the next place. They will die in the “natural” way, not because of climate chaos.

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Keep in mind the Great Depression and how easily huge fortunes can be lost during economic upheavals. For example say a wealthy person with a spectacular home on a Florida beachfront. Maybe worth 3 mil? The Thwaite’s Glacier in Antarctica outer ice shelf breaks off and the glacier begins sliding into the sea at an unprecedented rate. It could result in a rapid sea rise (several years) which instantly crashes the monetary value of the beachfront property. You might say that they will just sell it but who buys 3million dollar homes? Another rich person so the same equation applies. In reality the music stops and the last one to own the property can’t sell it at all. Insurance companies are already refusing to insure some oceanfront homes and jacking up rates sky high for those they do.

Someone else has a big ranch greatgrazing until the drought became permanent. Another invested in farming with similar results given a permanent drought. With catastrophic climate change comes economic disruptions that won’t end. People’s buying power will be in a depression. Factories then close. Look at how the Corona virus has trashed the tourist industry and airline traffic.

Being rich only helps as long as money is worth something. Then again in Weimar Germany in the depression they had to use wheel barrels to carry bank notes because the value of the money became near useless. Like a hundred dollar bill buying a penny’s worth of food.

Catastrophic climate change will be the great equalizer. Of note in the Great Depression people who were once so poor that they would rely on food from their gardens found themselves eating better than people who had little choice but to stand in soup lines.

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Not to be too much of a negative Nelly, but show is over. The fat lady has not only sung, she has left the stage, removed her makeup, walked outside, got in a cab, went to the post production party, got hammered, and woke up the next morning with a horrible headache and an ugly stagehand.
I am 57 years old. My peer group will witness the worst of global warming come to fruition before we die. And no. There is no stopping it now. Just mitigating it. And we are off to a piss poor start at that task.
A trump or Biden in the White House will exacerbate the issue. But hey, what more damage could they do now?

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Actually Trump really could do much more damage simply by stalling efforts to mitigate climate change and by his encouraging continued use of fossil fuels. Biden is only marginally better in some aspects but even he would be better than Trump. We need Bernie and I hope for your sake and all the other kids that he wins.

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  1. We need R&D. We need nationally driven R&D. We need state-driven R&D, We need coalitions of states to pool their risks and do the freakin research and development right now. We need coalitions of small nations to show the world that they’re not afraid to take a small risk or two that can probably save the planet. We need universities to set aside teeny tiny portions of their endowment and do the stupid R&D. We need philantropists to put down the ballet, the opera, the symphony, the theatre for a minute and do the R&D work for the planet.

  2. The work is not getting done. No, not by any state, no, not by any university, no, no, no, no, no!

  3. I am abhorred of most politicians. Usually when you have two faces, one of them is amazingly ugly. I am equally abhorred of university presidents that sign a greenhouse compact promising in writing to work with inventors to develop critical climate change innovations. Philanthropists get to hide behind their anonymity.

You might be right. No one can predict what will happen in the future. But from where I sit in my friend’s nice house with a sea view it’s really difficult to see that anything will equalize. Hells bells, forget equalize, I’d settle for simply lessening the inequality a little.

I’m a worker in what Gerald Celente calls Slavelandia. I’m a slave to wages along with 75% of others in the world. I see all these people here who aren’t a fellow slave and have no cares except what toy to buy next. Some of them worked really hard for their fortunes. Some came into it via divorce (my friend, though she worked really hard in building her ex-husband’s business so deserved everything that she got). Others came into it via less scrupulous means (insurance scams, etc). Even though it is really wrong to feel this way, I do hope that in the coming depression (which some say will dwarf The Great Depression) they endure some level of hardship. But at least they own their land and they can grow food and have chickens. I’m a slave to rent and without a job, I’ll be homeless AND foodless.

I admit to feeling a huge amount of jealousy of them and fear for myself. I wish I didn’t feel this way, but I do.

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You can wish for better to come for yourself but if you wish for harm to come to others the first one the harm comes to is always yourself. I just think that our lives are our own and that there was always someone worse off than I was. There always someone you know and just maybe that person is jealous of what you have and they don’t?

Forget those who have more because what is the point? Focus your energies on yourself. Don’t waste your energy on them. ‘If you try sometime you just might find that you get what you need.’ There is some truth that a generous person gets more from others than someone who isn’t. It isn’t so much karma as it is common sense. Know anyone without a computer or internet? To them they wish they had what you have.

There but for the grace of God…? I was paralyzed from the neck down once. I worked my way back but I will always be grateful for being that lucky to have been able to do that. Others I knew first hand never will. Don’t be jealous of anyone. You just need to see where you have been lucky.

And good luck to you fellow wage slave.

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“Super-rich jet off to disaster bunkers amid coronavirus outbreak”

ttps://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/11/disease-dodging-worried-wealthy-jet-off-to-disaster-bunkers

No they will not survive. I agree they have a huge cushion so they may be last. Or maybe not because they have difficulty with reality. They have no idea what mother nature has planned for them and us. They are shortsighted, and selfish but mark my words they will be sorry one day. Nature is no respecter of wealth.

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Agree. I am glad I decided in the past to not have children because of the over population of the planet. It would be difficult to look them in the eyes right now with the planet coming to a crisis, and the inaction of the government. So now I have a second reason I am glad I did not have children.

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Hi David ,
I don’t think we can save the planet ,it’s not going anywhere and the big self just adapts . I think what you are saying is we have to serve the planet . We do this by pre-serving Life . This preserving Life will save ourselves .
I think we are going through some kind of birthing event in human evolution. It’s a difficult time for us. We have amazing technology but little wisdom to use it wisely for the highest good of all .
The mistake’s we make is thinking us ( the little self ) is bigger than the Speciesystem ( big self ) .
We forget that we are apart , inseparable from Life . Fully integrated everything connected as One .

Our Indigenous brothers and sisters have been yelling at us for a long time now. We ignore this Wisdom at our peril. The big self is adapting . We might not like how this pans out .

Your spot on that humans must make the adaptions necessary and become good care takers of what we have been given stewardship over , each other and our ONLY HOME …if we continue as normal and don’t make the adaptions necessary we could create Hell on Earth.

namaste

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I don’t know.
Do we really care about this? I am sure you do, but we have to work in reality, if you do care about the reality!
If you indeed do, you would not be saying 'get rid of ’ population, for it is unreal, unrealistic! The Corona virus is doing its bit for that; but we cannot do that in the next few years!!
And not everyone is going to go vegan, nor is it necessary for sustainable farming!! -which is what many want! I am essentially vegan, but this is not necessary or even realistic!

But you are right on most counts… But I do not think it is human-stupidity, but rather deliberate confusion ad fudge by the media and Governments… And we all know why and who from.
But it needs now to be fought and brought-out into the open!

We need to get the people of all countries around he world - and this is possible and practicable, aware of the dire nature if our climate vis-a-vis us and other species; but that we can STILL DO SOMETHING! We can still ward-off the extinction of ourselves and other species, and perhaps stay together as civilisations’

Extinction Rebellion seem to get it, absolutely; very few others do, and it ain’t rocket-science (but basic science!)