A Brief One from Doug Draper, environment writer, publisher, Niagara At Large
Posted July 8th, 2017 on Niagara At Large
“There’s been no pause,” Kimberley Nemrava, vice-president for the British Columbia and Yukon division of the Canadian Red Cross was quoted saying of the wildfires destroying homes, communities and vast tracts of wilderness around them in the heart of B.C. this July. “We’ve moved right from floods into fires.”
No pause, indeed!
As the late, great writer and civil rights activist James Baldwin put it in one of his most searing essays on the follies of humankind – “God gave Noah the rainbow sign. No more water, the fire next time.”
For those who are taking the trouble to pay attention to what is going down in the world around us, it’s as clear as the hell we are collectively creating for ourselves that the floods and the wildfires, and droughts and wind storms are becoming ever more frequent and severe, costing lives and costing our economies escalating billions and trillions of dollars in property destructing, insurance and health costs, and on and on.
Of course, leading edge scientists predicted this whole scenario of calamities some 50 or 60 years ago. Despite what those who’ve souled their souls to the coal and petro-chemical industry say, the science around what happens to the earth’s temperatures when you overload the atmosphere with carbon pollution is pretty fundamental. As the saying goes, you don’t need a university degree in science to understand it, if you’re willing to take a few moments away from Fox News or Pat Robertson’s 700 Club to do so.
It’s gotten to a point where you would have to be an imbecile like Donald Trump or one of his die-hard supporters not to finally catch on to what is going down here on, what up to now at least, is the only planet we have in the universe to live on. But even if you continue being a deniar, or what Katherine Hayhoe, a political scientist from Canada and current director of the Climate Science Centre at Texas Tech University, more rightfully calls a dismisser, there is no escaping the potentially catastrophic consequences.
As Hayhoe said this spring, during an interview on Michael Enright’s CBC Radio program Sunday Edition, and I paraphrase here; “Gravity doesn’t care if you believe in it. If you step off a cliff, you are going down anyway.”
Here, for your interest, is a link you can click on to lisen to that very informative interview Enright did this April with Katherine Hayoe – http://www.cbc.ca/radio/thesundayedition/july-16-2017-the-sunday-edition-1.4201674/canadian-scientist-builds-bridges-to-reach-climate-change-skeptics-like-trump-1.4201702 .
While I am at it The New York Times published a great editorial this past Saturday, July 15th that carried the headline; “Mr. Trump, the climate change loner,” and read, in part, like this –
“President Emmanuel Macron of France tried this (past) week during President Trump’s visit to Paris to get him to reverse his decision to take America out of the landmark global agreement on climate change, struck in December 2015 and since ratified by 153 nations. It was a futile exercise, as he must have known it would be.”
“At one point,” the editorial cntinued, “Mr. Trump seemed to leave the door open for some unspecified compromise. But nobody knows what that would be. And in any case it is likely to be meaningless, because there is zero chance that he would reaffirm President Barack Obama’s commitment to make meaningful reductions in America’s greenhouse gas emissions, or seek to re-establish the leadership role that Mr. Obama occupied and that Mr. Trump has now abdicated. …”
“A more promising scenario,” the editorial concludes, “is that someday Mr. Trump will awaken to the fact that the leaders of the world, who again and again have demonstratively turned their backs on him, regard him with astonishment and dismay. That on environmental issues he has turned the United States into a pariah. That he is as alone in the world as he seems to be in the White House.”
“But we can’t bet on that either. We can hope, though, that the rest of the world will keep pulling, and that market forces and the march of technology will achieve the cleaner energy future that Mr. Trump seems unable to embrace.”
You can read the entire New York Times editorial by clicking on – https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/14/opinion/mr-trump-the-climate-change-loner.html?emc=edit_th_20170715&nl=todaysheadlines&nlid=58968427 .
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