BY GARY EDMONDSON
With the U.S. government led by greed-ridden despoilers of the only Earth we have – who are determined to wreak as much damage as they can in the name of short-term profits – individuals, organizations, educators and even some governmental groups have stepped into the leadership void to provide direction for a sustainable Earth.
Mid-month, Common Dreams noted, “More than 700 scientists – and counting – have signed a declaration of support for the people around the world engaging in non-violent civil disobedience to pressure political leaders to act on the climate crisis.
“‘As scientists, we have an obligation that extends beyond merely describing and understanding the natural world to taking an active part in helping to protect it,’ the document says.”
And individuals, many under the umbrella of Extinction Rebellion, have protested in many nations to bring attention to the problems.
What are the problems?
Last week, Walter Einenkel of Daily Kos reported, “An analysis of Environmental Protection Agency data done by two economists at Carnegie Mellon University reveals that, while the U.S. saw an improvement in air quality between 2009 and 2016, that positive movement has reversed since 2016. CBS News reports that the researchers, Karen Clay and Nicholas Muller, ‘found that particulate matter air pollution fell 24% in the U.S. from 2009 to 2016, but it increased 5.5% the following two years.’”
Furthermore, “Clay says that around 9,700 premature deaths in 2018 were associated with deteriorating air conditions.”
And some of these calls for action are being heard.
One Republican – stop the presses! – senator, Mike Braun of Indiana, returned to DC last week after Town Hall meetings back home [again in Indiana] to join with Delaware Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat, to introduce “the first-ever bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus,” according to NBC News.
“Through this caucus,” Braun said, “we can have real conversations about protecting our environment, securing American’s energy future and protecting American manufacturing jobs.”
Also in mid-October, the mayors of Paris, Los Angeles and Barcelona presented a Clean Air Cities” plan at a summit of global cities in Copenhagen “to discuss local strategies to combat climate change,” according to Catalan News.
Another story from Catalan News indicates why Barcelonans might be concerned: “The Mediterranean Sea has warmed up 20% faster than the world average since pre-industrial times.” And this means?
“The study forecasts significant damage to the human population and biodiversity in the area, due to the increase in frequency and severity of droughts, heat waves, and wildfires, with the level of the sea to increase by a meter by the year 2100.”
That certainly sounds like the climate-change enhanced wildfires that have become the norm in California and the situation facing U.S. coastal cities such as Miami. Yes, folks the ill effects of climate neglect are with us now.
Reporting for Gray Television in September, Alana Austin reported “on the large-scale efforts underway in South Florida to tackle climate change and sea level rise. Through millions of dollars in investments and coalitions across local governments and businesses, leaders hope to tackle these long-term public safety challenges.”
As she points out, one of the immediate dangers along coasts is that rising sea levels make hurricanes and tropical storms even more dangerous. [And we’ve seen that, too.] Worse is that, “By the year 2100, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projects global sea levels could rise by more than six feet.”
So, with the American government’s Greed First agenda threatening us all, some folks are working right along to try to keep Earth habitable. Good on them.