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'Words Are Not Enough': Biden Pushed to Take Bold Climate Action as US Returns to Paris Agreement

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/02/19/words-are-not-enough-biden-pushed-take-bold-climate-action-us-returns-paris


There was no mention of concentrating on the number one polluter;

The US government is the top polluter, and within it, the pentagon is number one polluter.

Did I miss that part?


My thought while reading this piece was that Biden could ground Air Force One. That personal 747 and the flight of aviation-fuel-guzzling fighter planes that accompanies it. That could be a noticeable step towards fighting global boiling. Take the train, Joe. That seems to be about as important as “charging stations in national parks.” Not a bad idea, but it won’t change my life.

But yes, that was just a wisecrack in my brain pointing to the far larger problem that the US military is a huge emitter of greenhouse gasses. Just simply slowing down the pace of operations would help. Having fewer of the Poke-The-Bear-With-A-Stick operations or Poke-The-Dragon-With-A-Stick operations that seem designed to raise tensions with Russia and China. That would not only help avoid nuclear war, but also just leaving those ships and planes at home would help avoid boiling the planet with the emissions.

And we both only consider the peacetime military. Should a war with Russia and China break out, then even a non-nuclear war would be an ecological disaster that I’m not sure that the Earth could handle right now. And if its a nuclear war, well, that’s the old joke, its time to put your head between your knees and kiss your ass good-bye. Come back in a few hundred thousand years and see what’s growing on a recovering planet, but not before then.


“Climate change is a security threat, humanity is at risk, world leaders agree at Munich Conference. Words are not enough. Now is the time to take action to dismantle fossil fuels for good!?”
For good, some fossil fuel in hybrid 200+mpg bio-fuel hybrid drivetrains are considered
“indispensable” technology. ElonMusk’s Tesla ‘S’ the most over-rated EV on the road?


The time to take action was 30 years ago. 60 years if we were wise and had some foresight. Now, we are at the point where its only a question of how hard do we hit the tree. Are we the drunk driver who locks on the brakes way too late, and prays that in doing so that we can at least have a survivable impact? Or do we do what the QOP wants and press the accelerator even harder and yell “Yeeee-hawww!” Either way, we will soon arrive at the scene of the accident.

BTW, I’m in the much better late than never camp, but I’m not really convinced its going to make much difference at this point. I’d definitely say that since its this late, then jamming on the brakes in an emergency action is about the only thing that could save us.


I’m replaying O’Jays over andover, “Love Train, people all over the world, join in,
get on this Love Train. Don’t miss this train at the station, I’ll feel sorry for you.”


Cool. That song isn’t in my usual circle of music, so I appreciate the hint. A song from my youth when I was just at the age where I was getting into radio. Thanks!


I can’t imagine we’ll see any changes to Air Force one - definitely it will never be grounded as it is part of security protocols. On the other hand, I recall Carter took several symbolic steps I think - I certainly remember the solar panels on the white house, and I would encourage Biden to do as many of these painless symbolic things as he can.

I did not know the military CO2 emissions before, so I looked at ~https://grist.org/article/u-s-military-emits-more-co2-than-most-countries/ and see:

The U.S. military emitted a whopping 1.2 billion metric tons of CO2 between 2001 (when it invaded Afghanistan) and 2017, according to the report’s estimates.

I don’t know the month of start and stop there, but let’s say it is 16 years or 75 million metric tons/yr. The US puts out 6,667 million metric tons per yr (~https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions) making the military about 1.1% of the US (assuming all military use outside the US is booked for the US as it should - but even if not, that doesn’t change the result much).

So let’s not overdo the potential to cut 1.1% to 0.5% or even more - it isn’t going to help that much - the dominant use of fossil fuels is us, not the military. But by all means, I want a smaller military with more alternatively fueled vehicles (and watch people complain about greenwashing when the military makes any of those moves anyway)


Thing is the Paris agreement is just words, and empty ones at that.
Even if every signee actually met their stated goals, which they are under no legal obligation to do, we would still fall suicidally short of what is required to actually save anyone.


To place a photo on the article banner that says climate change is mass murder, while not mentioning the actual leading cause of both clearly defines the lack of ethics of CD publishers, and hence the obvious censorship of articles, by the publisher or by self censorship of authors who are allowed to publish here.
CD is mostly funded by wealthy donors, not readers. That is why CD almost never publishes authors who are anti war. Our perma war machine is indeed the single largest polluter, and killer of people and species on our planet. I call bs on this right wing nut defending, pseudo left publication. Shame on CD for selling ethics for money.


Ocean temps at the poles have already increased by well over 4 degress F. This will simply continue. The Paris agreement is just one more charade, designed to distract us while our planet burns.


The 2019 DoD report listed all kinds of impacts, but nothing about any changes except new programs to maintain their empire. The US is more interested in the Mediterranean in that report than any local defense mission. Whose military is it, anyway? But they do want to support peaceful opening of the articseaways. I guess because they’re so proud of their part in bringing that about.

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They may not publish a lot, but this forum allows way more anti-war commentary than most other sites I’ve found. But I agree that nothing gets much better until we rein-in our out of control Security State. But they’ve been driving the bus since the coup of '63.


You’re disgusting stuff:
“Let’s say 16 years or 75 million metric tons/yr, the US puts out 6,667 million metric tons making the military 1.1% of the US (assuming all military use outside the US booked that doesn’t much change results. Let’s not overdo the potential to cut 1% to .5% and more that won’t help much alter our dominant use of fossil fuels, that is us, not the military. By all means, we want a smaller military. We want alternative EV vehicles as backup power supplies to keep household appliances on line during grid failure.”

BEV vs PHEV vs HFCEV – Which of the 3 basic EV drivetrains offers the most benefits, advantages, applications and potential to reduce fuel/energy consumption, emissions AND insane traffic? The correct answer is: wait for it - PHEV plug-in hybrid. You just ain’t figured it out yet.
What’s good for GM, ain’t good for us.

Do you mean “your” or are deliberately being even more obnoxious?

Maybe take the next one if you want, but after that, let’s refrain from replying to each other’s posts.

I find myself working over the past 20 or so years to combat a series of embedded practices since the greasy slime of Freud and Bernays propaganda for profit and TEACH THE DIFFERENCES AND CAUSAL RELATIONSHIP TO THE PLANETARY PROBLEMS:

  1. Planned obsolescence- eliminate the incentives to make things that will have to be replaced at a rate that feeds greed rather than focusing on simple, sustainable, systemic remodeling. Hey, everyone enjoys remodeling

  2. The dominance of the military model in major industries such as agribusiness, chemicals, mining

  3. Respect for manual labor and local integration of services

  4. Agriculture rather agribusiness / local rather than CAFO

  5. Resurgent interlocking local and regional planning

  6. Micro-industries and recycling of prime resource materials

  7. Make the current monopolistic model irrelevant

  8. Rebuild infrastructure according to sustainable transport and supply lines

  9. Halt all industrial incursions into remaining biomes and lands of indigenous peoples

add your input …


Why we need to walk away from this suicidal modern technological “civilization”. We refuse to cooperate with it and come together to brainstorm on what these new societies will look like so we can work to vitalize the vision and “put foundation” under it. I am for small, human sized communities where we work in tandem with local organic farmers exchanging our skills, etc. for sustaining food.


Another thought: I recommend two books to help fertilize the collective imagination–Magister Ludi (The Glass Bead Game), Herman Hesse, and Small Is Beautiful, E.F. Schumacher.


I would be interested to see specific proposals, rather than these broad, overly simplistic lists. Things like:

  1. Ban all air travel
  2. Ban all air conditioning
    3.Ban any motor vehicle over 2000 lbs

These are the things that absolutely would make a difference, but obviously have some very bad consequences. Please say what you mean and quit just sugar-costing it.

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This is interesting in the course of evolution in landscapes impacted by humans.

The hybridization of wolves and coyotes, the result being a larger smarter more adaptable species.

The Shapeshifter - Nature Documentary ~https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIHsfbmS7BA

With the higher mortality rate, comes a higher rate of adaptive behavior, and as this points out it is humans that are learning to adapt.

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