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We hear about this daily in the media. But the media is running behind the times, too often responding instead of anticipating, or suggesting reasonable solutions. Playing emotional or nationalistic cards instead of using even-headed thinking is only making a bad situation worse. The present administration with its America First policies is so divisive we are now mired in Middle East wars over access to foreign reserves of carbon fuels instead of solving the basic problems.

If we analyze the situation closely, we find the following:

  • Pollution poses the most immediate threat. Pockets of various kinds of cancer already reflect poorly on present policies.
  • Climate patterns are already flooding low-lying areas of the globe, Bangladesh, New Orleans, Mexico. If all the polar ice caps melt, sea level would rise aome 77 meters. That won't happen for any time soon. If present accelerating trends continue, areas like the lowest-lying areas of Bangladesh could be flooded in a century or two. Global warming at high latitudes and elevations will ultimately be a mixed blessing. Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner argues that earth has already entered a new geologic era, the Anthropocene. Meaning the era of man with unparalleled destructiveness and dislocations. Species extinctions are happening wholesale relative to geologic time.
    • Places at most risk are those that are too poor to deal effectively with dramatic change.
    • Places at high elevations or latitudes will benefit by enabling agriculture not now possible, by uncovering new mineral wealth, and by enabling shorter sea lanes.
    • Migration pressures from low-lying regions to high latitudes will become even more highly charged issues than is presently the case.
  • Technology is up to balancing energy supply with demand, but no political system in sight has any inherent ability or wisdom to allow that to happen, much less encourage such an event. Politics is all about wars over resources and boundaries. We await what happens in Bali, for the scientists are so much better primed than they were in Kyoto.
  • The two largest energy consuming nations presently show only half-hearted interest in cooling off an over-heating world. They must change in partnership.

Since politics-as-usual is self defeating in the end, can we afford to leave politics to the politicians?


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