Monday, November 21, 2011

Where do the US presidential candidates stand on the Durban Climate Change Conference?


I’ll admit I haven’t been paying close attention to the GOP presidential race much at all. What’s the point really? Mainstream media has framed the alleged democratic process of electing our presidents around the candidate’s ability to win, and almost nothing on substance. Certainly, not on Climate Change.

If we were a rational people in a responsible country, the candidates would have a debate solely on Climate Change. Think of it, our planet’s atmosphere is warming up and we are rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, the candidates are squabbling about how to screw the American people out of more of their money and health benefits so the 1% can sit pretty.

That’s even when more and more stories are leaking out, even in mainstream media, about how Climate Change is going to affect our country. Check out California, for example:

Climate changes in California come into focus | A spate of recent research offers new insight into how global warming is changing or could change California, from the mountains to the seashore, in both predictable and unusual ways. The studies show that common trees are fading from their current ranges, premium wine grape varieties are under siege, marine creatures are shifting locales, the hub of the state’s water system faces increasing risks and — surprisingly — birds in the state are getting bigger as the weather warms. (November 20, 2011) San Diego News

So, I’ll ask. What do the presidential candidates think of the next in the global attempts to curb greenhouse gas so we might have a chance of addressing Climate Change? The major developed countries have managed to squash the concerns of the developing nations for quite some time now and they probably will continue to do that at each of the Climate Change conferences. Probably, this one too: Durban climate change conference 2011 | Environment | The Guardian.

That’s too bad because the nature of Climate Change demands that massive changes in our behavior occur sooner rather than later are required. Villages, towns, counties, states, and countries doing a little bit here, changing a few light bulbs there, will not address something so incredible large as Climate Change. Only our ability to work together as a planet can make the kind of changes that will work.

Here’s what is trying to be done in Durban on Climate Change coming up:

Durban Climate Change Conference - November 2011 “The United Nations Climate Change Conference, Durban 2011, will bring together representatives of the world's governments, international organizations and civil society. The discussions will seek to advance, in a balanced fashion, the implementation of the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, as well as the Bali Action Plan, agreed at COP 13 in 2007, and the Cancun Agreements, reached at COP 16 last December.”

But here in the US, you probably won’t hear much about the most important issue of this century and you certainly aren’t going to hear the presidential candidates grilled on it. What do they know; what will they do; how will their administration shape the existing Climate Change studies in this country and all the states in the union?

Pretty soon we’ll be like China, but not in a good way. We’ll develop some crazy technology to Band-Aid the country’s energy supply (take hydrofracking, or Fracking) and when it ruins our fresh water and continues to warm the planet, we’ll just be able to deny it because the media and the government will be one. Take China’s position on the state of the largest dam in the world. They say it went great, ripping up a few mountain valleys and flooding them and displacing thousand of folks, and none of this had any measurable affect all at all according to the government: it didn’t harm the environment. That’s just amazing!

Other’s not drinking the Kool-Aid, say differently. So, it becomes one group’s word against the others.

Yangtze River Pollution Imperils Hundreds of Millions | Society | China | Epoch Times The banks of China’s Yangtze River are crowded with chemical factories, which dump massive amounts of toxic waste water into the river, affecting hundreds of millions of people who rely on the river for drinking water. Nevertheless, a Chinese official recently stated that the Yangtze’s water quality “overall is good and can be used safely.” (November 20, 2011) Epoch Times | National, World, China, Sports, Entertainment News| united-states

If the media kept asking the presidential candidates how they were going to address Climate Change, this issue might get some focus. The next Climate Change talks are coming up in December and there’s nary a peep in the US press about this attempt to save our planet and all the folks in it.

BTW: Whatever you think about Climate Change and whether we can weather it, Climate Change is about tipping points. Tipping points are when we reach a concentration of GHG in our atmosphere when things warm up out of our ability to right it. When that happens, it’s game over. Squabbling about whether Climate Change is happening at all or whether we are even near those tipping points is a human dysfunctional thing. Adhering to the laws of physics is a warming up thing.

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