Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

“We’re dooming ourselves and our children”

The full quote from Frances Beinecke, president of the US Natural Resources Defense Council, following their latest National Climate Assessment was:

“Our leading scientists send a stark message: Climate change is already seriously disrupting our lives, hurting our health and damaging our economy.”

“If we don’t slam the brakes on the carbon pollution driving climate change, we’re dooming ourselves and our children to more intense heat waves, destructive floods and storms, and surging sea levels.”

It appears that our attachment to consuming, to getting and spending, will be the cause of our end – and of course the majority of other species on planet Earth.

An alien visitor might conclude that humankind is collectively insane to risk changing the climate of their only home to a point where they or their children can no longer survive.

However, like most casual observations – this would not be true, for it is not the vast majority of humankind that is preventing the slamming on of the brakes, but a select few – those who benefit enormously from the continuation of the burning of vast quantities of fossil fuel to support our established life style and who block most attempts to replace fossil fuel with clean forms of energy.

These select few are those who control the US Congress and it this body that needs, at least, to pass new laws on carbon emissions from power plants – President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. However, as lead author to the National Climate Assessment, Professor Gary Yohe pointed out:

“One of the few places in the US where it looks like climate change is a 50-50 proposition is in the Congressional record. That is problematic.”

As a result, there is a general pessimism amongst the authors of the assessment that Congress will enact the necessary legislation – because of the power of the petroleum and other industries lobby. Such is the cost of a successful campaign to become elected to the US Congress that the giant multinationals are amongst the few who can afford this process – so it is the candidates supported by these that become elected in significant numbers.

It does appear that this lobby, those that claim that there is still insufficient evidence that climate change is being caused by the activities of mankind, will not be convinced that this is the case until it is so obviously true that any proposed action will be no longer of use.

There are more details from the BBC and in the Independent.