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A call to action on climate change, before it is too late

An extremely wealthy and powerful fossil fuel industry is behind this political failure to act. Just like the tobacco industry before them, the fossil energy industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars on misinformation about climate change and lobbyists to fight against any action to reduce fossil fuel use.

climate-changeTime is short. There are just 24 months to 2015 when emissions need to begin to decline. There are no other options left but to march in the streets. The environmental organisation 350.org is organising one such march Feb. 17 in Washington D.C.Dozens more marches are absolutely essential. It is time to act. It is time to march.

Climate Inaction Is a Clear Failure of Democracy, By Stephen Leahy UXBRIDGE, Canada, Jan 4 2013 (IPS) – Around the world, 2012 was the year of extreme weather, when we unequivocally learned that the fossil fuel energy that powers our societies is destroying them. Accepting this reality is the biggest challenge of the brand new year.

Re-engineering our societies and lifestyles to prosper on green alternatives is the penultimate challenge of this decade.

There is no more important task for all of us to engage in because climate change affects everything from food to water availability.

A number of scientific analyses have demonstrated we already have the technology to re-engineer our society to thrive on green alternative energy. The newest of these was published Wednesday in the prestigious journal Nature. It plainly states that politics is the real barrier, not technology nor cost. (It is far cheaper to act than not.)

Keeping global warming to less than two degrees C is mainly dependent on “when countries will begin to take serious action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”, according to the study “Probabilistic cost estimates for climate change mitigation”. Climate change has already pushed global temperatures up 0.8 degrees C, with significant consequences. No climate scientist thinks two degrees C will be “safe”. Many countries, especially least-developed countries and small island states, want the global target to be less than 1.5C of heating. Even then large portions of the Arctic and Antarctic will continue to melt raising sea levels, albeit at a slower rate.
Delay in making the shift to non-fossil fuel energy sources will be very costly. Waiting until 2020 to curb global emissions will cost twice as much compared with peaking emissions by 2015, the Nature analysis shows…..

An extremely wealthy and powerful fossil fuel industry is behind this political failure to act. Just like the tobacco industry before them, the fossil energy industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars on misinformation about climate change and lobbyists to fight against any action to reduce fossil fuel use.

Their only interest is increasing their profits through increased sales of coal, oil and gas.

The fossil fuel industry could transform itself into good corporate citizens through the provision of green energy services that our societies need. But they have refused to do so over the past 20 years despite making promises to do so.

Survey after survey show the public wants action on climate. And since no one wants their children to live in a catastrophic four-degree C superheated world, the failure to take serious action on climate is a clear and absolute failure of democracy.

The only way this will change, and the only way to get action, is if people take responsibility for the future and march on their capitals demanding action, refusing to leave until there is. To get action we all must act.

Time is short. There are just 24 months to 2015 when emissions need to begin to decline. There are no other options left but to march in the streets. The environmental organisation 350.org is organising one such march Feb. 17 in Washington D.C.Dozens more marches are absolutely essential. It is time to act. It is time to march. http://www.ipsnews.net/2013/01/op-ed-climate-inaction-is-a-clear-failure-of-democracy/

January 7, 2013 - Posted by | general

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