Monday, August 10, 2015

States fighting EPA’s Clean Power Plan highlight humanity’s broadening distance from reality

Somewhere along humanity’s brush with existence, we’ve become increasingly estranged from the a priori imperative of existence: Mother Nature rules. She really does. Despite our impatience with the physical/chemical/biological connections that led (somehow) to our existence, the basic laws of physics have not been supplanted by our desires, our beliefs, our technology, or our political or economic systems. I point out the obvious because many folks just don’t believe in the science behind Climate Change and continually battle those attempting to solve this issue.

No matter how much those whose ideology does not include a planet quickly warming because of our putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it is nevertheless true. If you quickly increase the percentage of heat-trapping gases in a planet’s atmosphere, the ground and water will warm up too. This process (the runaway greenhouse gas effect) occurred on Venus (albeit, not human caused) so that nowadays our space ships would melt before they hit the ground.  

Because the foundation of our life support system is based on these physical/chemical/biological connections, if you only take baby-steps to address enormous environmental issues that require adult measures, you are not likely to solve the problems affecting our existence—no matter how much these milquetoast efforts assuage our desires, our beliefs, or our political or economic systems. We made up the latter systems, the former system made us.   

Here’s where I’m going with all this: If your environmental actions don’t match the problem, you’re in trouble. If you’re trying to address Climate Change with actions that don’t upset ‘business as usual’ you’re not going to have much of an effect. Nature, being nature, doesn’t care what we think about the laws of physics; it just ensures that we obey them. 

Keeping all this in mind, one has to wonder why 16 states have no intention of adhering to the EPA’s recently released Clean Power Plan.

16 States Think The EPA’s Emissions Rule Isn’t Legal And They Shouldn’t Have To Comply The Clean Power Plan hasn’t been out a week yet, and 16 states have already formally requestedthat the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delay the rule. The states, led by West Virginia, filed a letter with the department Wednesday asking for an “administrative stay” of the rule that requires all states to cut carbon emissions from stationary power plants. The finalized EPA rule calls for state-submitted plans by September 2018 (with an extension) and reductions beginning by 2022. The rule gave states two extra years to submit their plans and to begin cutting emissions, over initially proposed timelines. If implemented on schedule, the rule will result in a 30 percent decrease in carbon emissions from the electricity sector, which currently accounts for roughly a third of emissions in the United States. (August 6, 2015) Think Progress/Climate Progress

The response by these sixteen states (West Virginia Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) might make sense if they had an alternative plan to decrease the greenhouse gas emissions that are quickly warming our planet. But they don’t have any plans to address Climate Change. They are only annoyed that their state rights might be challenged by a pugnacious EPA.

I know, the reaction by these sixteen states makes a lot of sense if you still believe Climate Change is a hoax, where the Pope and most of the nations of the world have nothing better to do than piss you off.  If you’ve only focused on satisfying your desires, making a lot of money, fulfilling your political prospects, and have ignored all the climate studies and news coming from most of the scientists around the world on the climate crisis for the last thirty years, I could understand your going to the courts to fight against regulations to protect you from something you don’t believe in. But I don’t have to respect this purposeful myopia that condemns billions to the ravages of Climate Change.

The United States--the greatest and the most powerful nation in the world and one of the most responsible for Climate Change--has a real chance to make the COP21 Paris Treaty a success. We could lead by example.

What impact will Obama climate plan have on Paris summit?  Targets set by the US for cutting CO2 emissions send a signal to the rest of the world and raise hopes for Paris accord  President Obama’s determination to reduce US power plant emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030 sends a message to world leaders that the UN climate talks in Paris could – just – succeed. Past talks have foundered on a range of political excuses, but now that the world’s two largest polluters, China and the US, have committed to far-reaching changes in their energy production to keep the world below the dangerous threshold of a 2C temperature increase, the door is open for all the rest to follow. The stumbling block to US action so far has been the refusal of die-hard members of the Republican Party to accept that climate change is happening, and the well-funded fossil fuel lobby’s legal and political campaign to block any legislation. (August 7, 2015)Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)

But we have a major political problem here that will profoundly affect everyone on this planet. The forces aligned against addressing Climate Change are more than a ‘stumbling block to US action.’ They are challenging humanity’s efforts for a sustainable existence.

f the public doesn’t make it clear to their representative that addressing Climate Change is at the top of their priority list, eventually Mother Nature will give us a life support system that isn’t fit for any one of us.  

COP21 Paris Talks must not fail: Check out National and Global Climate Actions leading up to Paris Talks – and take part in one of these events.  

Time passes. 

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