Monday, April 20, 2015

Global Warming



     Let’s recognize Earth Day by going all out  to eliminate the use of coal, oil and natural gas, and substitute renewable energy.  A University of Hawaii study in Nature (Nov.) says that unless there’s rapid action, the planet could be uninhabitable in the next 30 to 45 years.
  Recent polling shows that more than 70% of Americans believe the government isn’t doing enough to combat climate change. This concern is borne out by Obama’s November announcement that the U.S. would reduce its emissions 26-28% by 2025.  
     How does this correspond to the fact that the U.S.--with China--is responsible for  at least 45% of  the world’s dangerous gas emissions?   
     Yet Obama proclaimed at the UN that the U.S. is leading the fight against global warming. He didn’t mention the U.S. refusal--in all international summits since 1997--- to have its military emissions counted in negotiations about cuts the U.S. should make. Why?  
     The Pentagon  produces more CO2 than any other institution on earth (Professor H. Patricia Hynes, “Military Assault on Global Climate,” Truthout, 9/2011). Yet the EPA has no restrictions on military emissions.      
     Obama is also silent about fact that the government is continuing to allow U.S.  oil, coal and natural gas corporations to do their dirty work.   40% of U.S. coal extractions occur on our public lands (NY Times, 3/24/15).
     In Chicago a minimum demand is for the city to require every new commercial   and public building to be powered by  solar or wind power. 
     But politicians here don’t think there’s any hurry--since coal, oil and natural gas profiteers oppose even modest changes.  For example, The Public Building Commission just refused to put solar panels on the brand new Albany Park library--even though more than $348,000 was left over from the $15 million allocated for it!  
     Americans will not tolerate corporations deciding our future.   400,000 marched in NY City last September--with 600,00 more protesting across the globe. 
     At the UN,  powerful governments were shamelessly maneuvering to cut the least CO2 they could get away with.   
     I hope everyone of good conscience will organize now as they would in an emergency. If  a fire starts in one house, everyone has to make sure it’s put out before it spreads to the whole block. We gladly fund fire departments--and expect them to call on others as needed.  Right now we can’t stand by while more lives and habitats are destroyed throughout the planet.

Betty Resnikoff

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