Climate Change (see below)
It is well known that at least 97% of climate scientists agree that climate warming is driven by carbon and methane emissions that are man-made. 97% of 12,000 peer-reviewed climate science papers agreed that we are in fact causing climate change. This is mainly caused by our consumer-driven economy which is fueled by burning fossil fuels: coal, natural gas, and oil which spew CO2 into the atmosphere, as well as our irresponsible consumer, agricultural, and food animal practices. The worldwide temperature of the planet has already increased more than 0.5°C with the last 16 of 17 years being the hottest years on record for the planet, and we've seen extremely hot temperatures recently for example in Iran with a heat index of 165 °F, and severe droughts hitting regions such as Syria and Africa causing widespread famine and civil unrest. In addition, this bit of heating is melting the permafrost in the Arctic which will cause a chain reaction which will make this planet unlivable.
Climate change changes weather and that threatens our food source. It threatens our food source because when it is too hot or there is too much or too little rain, crops will not be able to grow and we will not be able to survive. Global warming also threatens species because species will not be able to exist in the changed climate. The Earth is not at our disposal; we need these species to survive. We are in an interdependent eco-system. We may not like spiders or wolves but all of these species are necessary to maintain the balance and order of the world.
Scientists have long said that global warming to 4°C simply must not be allowed to occur. But island nations such as the Marshall Islands have tried to set the target much lower, to only 1.5°C, because these islands will literally be underwater. Places like New York, Florida, and California as well will also be under water.
Scientists have shown that in order for life to be maintained on the planet long-term, we need to keep the CO2 levels in the atmosphere to 350 PPM or lower. We are already above 400 PPM now. We need to reduce the level of CO2 in the atmosphere to return to the 350 PPM level. However, in our current consumer driven economy, we have not put on the brakes. The politicians and media need to enact policy and message changes but so far they have not done anything substantial to change this, although the Paris climate talks were a start.
Because of the problem of Global Warming, scientists say we must literally leave much of the coal, oil, and natural gas in the ground if we are going to achieve not raising our global temperature more than 2° C, which is necessary to prevent major catastrophe or even annihilation of the human race (the World bank says there is also no certainty that adaptation to a 4°C world is possible), and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change AR4 synopsis says unmitigated climate change would, in the long term, be likely to exceed the capacity of natural, managed and human systems to adapt. When the politicians say that it is not widely accepted that Global Warming is a real phenomenon, what they are really saying is that they are unwilling to challenge conventional wisdom even though without such leadership humanity could be doomed within 5−10 years or even sooner.
It is critical to let our politicians and media people know to be made accountable for the climate crisis that we're dealing with and enact policy and media changes that affect energy use and consumerism. Please call your senators, elected officials, and media workers and let them know it is critical to make changes and get involved in the necessary protests, demonstrations, and legislative processes to show the politicians that we are serious. There aren't enough people doing this yet, we really need you to help!
When the politicians say that it is not “widely accepted” that climate change is a real phenomenon, what they are really saying is that they are unwilling to challenge conventional wisdom and have no consideration for the future of the human race or the planet. It is clear to see that all they care about is maintaining the status quo and deriving profit from the extractive processes that are already in place, with a minimal amount of effort. When the politicians say that it is not “widely accepted” that climate change is real, they are really demonstrating their timidity to challenge those in power, their lack of understanding of science, and lack of faith in the scientific community. They should really give back their high school and/or college diplomas because they did not really pass their science classes.
Many scientists also claim that we even have no carbon budget left and must stop all new fossil fuel projects at once and that we must ramp down fossil fuel usage immediately. Many even say that we absolutely need to have carbon capture solutions as well. Many feel that the leaders, media, and market mechanisms have failed us and that we need to mobilize because the leaders, politicians, and the media don't seem to get the message.
A government study also shows that climate change is already costing tax payers billions of dollars, and this price tag will just keep increasing.
Still wondering whether our climate is changing? Check out this link.
There are various plans for getting to 100% renewable energy necessary to meet the Paris Climate Accord goals of keeping global temperature rise below 2°C necessary to prevent trillions of dollars of damages, global catastrophe, and possibly the collapse of civilization.
The IPCC typically shows graphs of having us reach 0 carbon emissions in the 2040-2070 range. Many have interpreted that as having us at 100% renewable energy by 2050. Groups that are claiming this include Sierra Club and Oil Change International (including the famous “sky's limit report” which says we must immediately stop all new fossil fuel projects and leave all further fossil fuels in the ground immediately). Many so-called progressive politicians, including Raja Krishnamoorthi of the 8th District, are also of the opinion that we are "on track" to reach 100% renewable energy by 2050 with normal marketing mechanisms (falling prices of wind and solar, etc.). This type of thinking short-circuits any type of progressive action. Be warned when talking to so-called progressive politicians that they may be of this mindset and we should try to get them to think about the fact that we must start NOW with government intervention to achieve the goal of the Paris Climate Accord or any reasonable, sane goal that allows human civilization to continue for seven or more generations.
Food and Water Watch has a better plan which is encapsulated in Tulsi Gabbard's bill the Off Fossil Fuels Act, which has us reaching 100% renewable energy by 2035, including a transition plan where workers are re-trained in the renewable energy field. Food and Water Watch did their own calculations and have determined that the end goal for 100% renewable energy should by 2035, not 2050.
In doing this, Food and Water Watch has decisively taken the lead in the climate movement and is doing the necessary work to push forward progressive legislation that is not steeped in fantasy or deadly concession.
I have heard that still other groups such as Climate Mobilization have stated that we really need to reach 100% renewable energy by 2025. Whereas this might in fact be true, this will be next to impossible with the current political climate, but we can still try to advocate for that as well, but that might require extraterrestrial intervention or spiritual epiphany.
Please contact your congressman or woman and tell them to co-sponsor Tulsi Gabbarad's bill the Off Fossil Fuels Act, which would bring us to 100% renewable energy by 2035 with a just transition where workers are supported and re-trained in the renewable energy industry.
See also the Renewable Energy section to see the easiest way that you can help individually.
This page last updated on 2/5/18