Paris and 1.5°C
A Failing Response to the Paris Goals
We had already abused the earth as if it were our prisoner rather than our home.
Just 175 years ago, we began to burn the fuel of the earth, the trees that grew and the oil in the ground in order to provide energy for new ways of living. We ignored the enormous plumes of smoke that blocked our view, darkened the sky, soiled our surroundings and made it more difficult to breathe.
The most catastrophic of all, we polluted the air with an invisible gas that changed the relationship between our atmosphere and the sun. For the first time all the air on the planet was the victim. Scientists told us that there was a penalty to be paid for the carbon dioxide gas we added to the air, and that penalty was to warm the earth, that the carbon dioxide was a blanket to the heat from the sun just as was the glass in a greenhouse. (This was as early as 1829 by Joseph Fourier.) And the earth warmed as well as the atmosphere and the oceans. But there was, and still is, a disconnect. We cannot relate to or realize the harm we have done and the worse harm we are about to do.
The disconnect is such that the oil barons are putting all their efforts to burn more, despite that they are ravaging their home planet. The graph at the left shows the enormous disparty between what we are doing (raising emissions) and the dramatic drop we need.
It may be too late to turn this around but possibly not, if the people and leaders of the world began to see clearly what is at stake and what needs to be done. The difficulty of the task is compounded infinitely by an utterly incompetant and evil president of the United States. It is inconcievable that two of the greatest disastors in history should strike the earth at the same time.
The mental picture for me is people that do not look out the window although there may be something wonderful to look at. They are preoccupied with jobs, personal work, relationships, emotional issues, and poor education (no matter the institutions they attented) that does not try to bridge, or does not even recognize this divide.
Donald Trump adds enormous complexity by capturing with absurd thinking a significant part of the American public. He does not know what climate change is. He is impossible, cruel, dim-witted, ruthless and a congenital liar.
In any interview, discussion or speech he is impossible to pin down. It's like the Obama birth: "I've been hearing things." He has introduced an idea and those who want to believe him will and then forget that he was wrong.
I focus on this because if anyone were to be a leader in the fight against climate change it would the president of the United States. Instead we have elected a man less qualified to serve than we could have imagined. It is now 2020 or bust.
Ironically the base of voters the president relies on are evangelicals who have been in the Bible charged with stewardship of the earth. Yet they have elevated a potential Hitler to king-like status. It baffles my mind like nothing else in my entire life.
As if this were not enough, there is another fundamental problem, the failure of the media to educate.