Debate Magazine

Why I Went Green (and Sort of Silent on Guns)

Posted on the 09 October 2019 by Doggone

“There was once a big atomic bomb
That wanted to be a bullet.
His friends all asked why, when he was such a big atomic bomb, he would want to be a tiny bullet.
"I miss", he sighed, "the personal touch.”
-- Tuli Kupferberg

I've kind of gone silent on the topic of guns since, like the above passage, climate change is something which affects us all. Sure, guns are bad, but the coming crisis makes the gun debate in the US look tame.
Climate change is happening. It's undeniable (if you are not totally out of touch with reality). And it will require cultural as well as political changes.
It's also long overdue that people start addressing it. We shouldn't have needed Greta Thurnberg.
The United Nations has estimated that we need to reduce carbon emissions by half within a decade to have a 50% chance of avoiding global catastrophe. Of course, this is likely to be an underestimation as recent science shows permafrost melting 90 years earlier than forecast and Himalayan glaciers melting twice as fast as expected. Feedbacks and locked in heating will take us over 2C even before we factor in additional temperature rises from human caused emissions over the next ten years.
In short, we're fucked
George Monbiot says:
A paper published in Nature shows that we have little chance of preventing more than 1.5C of global heating unless existing fossil fuel infrastructure is retired. Instead the industry intends to accelerate production, spending nearly $5tn in the next 10 years on developing new reserves. It is committed to ecocide.
But the biggest and most successful lie it tells is this: that the first great extermination is a matter of consumer choice. In response to the Guardian’s questions, some of the oil companies argued that they are not responsible for our decisions to use their products. But we are embedded in a system of their creation – a political, economic and physical infrastructure that creates an illusion of choice while, in reality, closing it down.
Sure, people can try to say that this is "liberal nonsense", but climate change has been on the radars since physicist Edward Teller told the American Petroleum Institute (API) back in 1959 that a 10% increase in CO2 will be sufficient to melt the icecap and submerge New York. “I think that this chemical contamination is more serious than most people tend to believe.”
Lyndon Johnson’s President’s Science Advisory Committee states that “pollutants have altered on a global scale the carbon dioxide content of the air”, with effects that “could be deleterious from the point of view of human beings”. Summarising the findings, the head of the API warned the industry: “Time is running out.”
A confidential report prepared for Shell’s environmental conservation committee in 1988 found that CO2 could raise temperatures by 1C to 2C over the next 40 years with changes that may be “the greatest in recorded history”. It urged rapid action by the energy industry, “By the time the global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even stabilise the situation.” 
Instead of addressing the issue in the past sixty years, people have been heading full tilt on the road to disaster. It would have been far easier to have addressed this issue early on than to wait until the house has almost burned down.
Anyway, I am more interested in addressing climate change than in wasting time on trying to impeach Trump. This issue requires cultural and political change. I've made as many of those changes as I can, but others need to catch on.
The ecological and climate crisis is not be owned by any political ideology, culture, age or gender.  We ALL need to take action on this pressing issue.

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