Home | About | Donate

Youth Climate Strikers Have Accused World Leaders Like Me of Failure. They Are Right

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/03/youth-climate-strikers-have-accused-world-leaders-me-failure-they-are-right

If our world is to avoid the climate cliff, far more is needed to heed the call of science and cut greenhouse emissions by 45 percent by 2030; reach carbon neutrality by 2050; and limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by the end of the century. That’s how we can secure the future of our world…

And I will make sure that the commitments that countries, the private sector and local authorities have made are accounted for—starting in December at the UN Climate conference in Santiago, Chile. The UN is united in support of realizing these initiatives.

  • António Guterres, of the United Nations


The treatment of science by the Trump administration has hit a “crisis point” where research findings are manipulated for political gain, special interests are given improper influence and scientists are targeted for ideological reasons, a nonpartisan taskforce of former government officials has warned.

The taskforce, which also includes the former secretary of defense Chuck Hagel, makes clear that the mistreatment of science didn’t start under Trump. The report recalls how government reports were edited to downplay the link between carbon emissions and climate change under the George W Bush administration, as well as improper changes to a study on the impact of fracking on drinking water during Barack Obama’s presidency.

  • The working class is struggling to survive, and have been largely neglected except by Bernie.

  • The middle class is obsessed with what is politically correct - causes.

  • The upper class is mesmerized by their perceived success.

But all are joined at the hip by the ‘moral injury’ of massive inequality and a ‘volunteer’ military.

1 Like

An organic farmer buddy of mine and I chatted last week.
He said that whatever timeline that scientists predict for climate chaos events, he cuts in half.
He has a 9-year-old daughter. He’s distraught.

Guterres is right. Our leaders failed us.
But we were too busy watching TV and chasing paychecks to notice we were failing ourselves.

There is a fourth group ,tiny minuscule in fact .This group has detached itself from the need for material things .It is concerned with spiritual truth ,spiritual reality ,and spiritual experience.
Their struggle is the search for divinity ,the fulfilment of self ,the expression of truth.As they evolve ,this struggle becomes not a struggle at all, but a process .A process of Self definition ,not self discovery, of growth not learning ,of being not doing .
Concerns have moved from concerns of the body to largely the concerns of the soul…
The incentive for greatness has shifted ,and the need for acquiring ,hoarding ,protecting, and increasing worldly possessions has disappeared .

This group is growing …

I’ve read the Mayan Popul Vuh, small pieces of the Rig Veda, Ignatius of Loyola’s autobiography, the Bible, the Bhagavad Gita. I am familiar with some parts of Mormon thinking, have met their elders in Salt Lake City. I am aware of the many beliefs and practices of various indigenous peoples.

But always I return to ‘contemplatio in actiones’ - contemplation thu action.

I think there is tremendous variety in the human being and our psyches, and practitioners of religion or spirituality, especially those who dwell mostly there, are part and parcel of the fabric of humanity.

But there are always the day to day needs in a violent world, which is truly red in tooth and claw.

In the end, as Merlin says, ‘our feelings will guide us to our fate.’

Right now we seem to be suffering from a type of detachment - from the natural world - from each other.

Have you any ideas on how to rectify this ?

We three just watched Good Will Hunting together last nite.

Maybe we shouldn’t be too hard on ourselves. The spin machine is very active and very very sophisticated, and we all grew up in a society and culture not of our choosing, which exerts enormous power over us.

Science seems a common ground, a lingua franca of the natural world, which is very angry right now - Wallace Broecker’s ‘beast’ which we have been prodding and poking.

I agree with your organic farmer. So many have told me that they personally will escape the worst. I view this the same way as mountaineering acquaintances who say ‘Oh, it’s just a small or easy mountain’.

Pride before the fall.

It’s not that I KNOW how quickly things will develop, or in what direction. But I do know that it is foolhardy in the EXTREME to act as if this is not a full blown emergency.

1 Like

“3 degrees”. most if not all human life will be dead by the time we reach 3 degrees. We are already 1.8 above baseline. So far the arctic has yet to start making new ice and what ice there is there is less than 5 years old and very thin. Ya well, I could go on and on, why bother?

It’s high time that our capitalists find ways to make money and support investments in the climate crisis model. They have always found ways to exploit a good thing. Why not alternative energy. Do we have to sabotage the worlds oil wells to bring sanity to bare?

1 Like

“We are unstoppable, another world is possible.” Yes, it is, but people have to get off their arses and change. Push governments at all levels (local to national/internationa) to change, but we people have to change too. We have to force the hand and in the process transform ourselves.

1 Like

You just hit the nail right on the head .
Detachment .
The illusion of Disunity.
It’s the Story that we need to change …the old myths we have about Life are writing themselves in our experience.
They are fallacies ,but we live them as our felt reality .
A New Cultural Story would start by seeing the unity of life .After all the fit are not fit until the all are fit.

As long as one has a body, there will be some material needs. We are animals. But this culture has blindly positioned that as the chief objective, and taken it much too far.
As my long-departed mother used to remind me, “God helps those who help themselves”.

Live simply so others may simply live …is the best advice I have read .
Need nothing .What I mean by this is have preferences but not needs .
Not needing the stuff of your culture is very freeing .Dependence is Humanity’s Achilles Heel.
The culture from which we emerge is causing the demise of the culture .
I guess that means taking greater responsibility for yourself and your choices.

I believe that in the near future we will move to a decentralised model in favour of localism .Moving the power away from the select few to the many.

What a load of rubbish. The Secretary of the U.N. KNOWS very well, climate change has happened before. When it has happened previously, there were less people on the planet than there are today, less pollution and less degradation of the environment then, then there is today. Yet, strangely enough, under those conditions, climate change STILL OCCURRED. Given what we are told today, how can these fanciful allegations be accepted as the truth, when we compare previous climate change periods ??? IMHO, something smells like a rat in these claims. Sure, the World IMHO, is OVER POPULATED, as a direct result, the degradation being inflicted upon the environment is massive, but that does not effect the climate change in progress. We could stop doing everything right now, the effect on climate change would be NILL.
The U.N. has tried ever since it’s establishment, to FORCE upon World citizens, one World Government, despite those citizens never ever being considered or consulted, this attack is just another chapter in that struggle, to achieve the power they have so desperately fought for since their inception

It’s a conspiracy man…
The only conspiracy is the conspiracy of silence .

Some humans claim they are having no negative effect on the planet whatsoever.They cannot see the connection between their individual decisions and choices and the world at large .This separation consciousness is the great illusion of Disunity.
To change the beliefs of those folks it is up to us who truly understand Cause and Effect .


Clearly the adults in the room are the problem, not the solution.