Many people seem to think that the climate issue is just another add-on issue to the really important issues (economics, immigration, etc.) that keep getting our attention.
The climate crisis is a truly existential crisis — like nuclear weapons — that must be solved immediately if civilization is to survive.
The climate crisis is both a symptom and a driver of other crucial issues. The climate crisis is tied up intimately with other crucial issues such as the environment, immigration, governmental corruption, wars for oil, and other factors and consequences.
The Pentagon has long recognized the climate crisis as a major threat to global security. Climate damage (horrible storms, floods, droughts, wildfires, etc.) make some areas uninhabitable. Millions of people living in areas devastated by the climate crisis are forced to move elsewhere and settle in new areas where they compete with the existing local population for scarce land, food, etc. Such forced migrations have already caused local violence. As the climate crisis worsens, more and more areas will suffer, so more wars will occur. The climate crisis threatens global security. The Pentagon knows that and has been expressing concern about that for a number of years. But now Trump’s denialism has removed such factual realities from the Pentagon’s reports. Ignorance will not save us!
The war in Syria resulted from a horrible drought — the worst in nearly 1,000 years. A million farmers were forced off their land into Syria’s cities, which were already unstable. This influx of 1 million climate refugees made Syria’s urban distress even worse. But instead of dealing with that, the U.S. and our allies have reacted by launching a war against Islam. Adding U.S. military violence to Syria’s civil war is only making problems worse — and masking the drought and the climate crisis as sources of the problem. The U.S. refuses to learn from reality, so we are likely to make the same mistake in other countries that we are making in Syria.
Renewable energy is becoming increasingly practical and affordable. Renewable energy is a great source of jobs. Other countries know this, so they are converting rapidly from coal, oil and natural gas to solar and wind. Instead of these positive solutions, Trump is forcing the U.S. government (taxpayers) to subsidize fossil fuels — and the horribly dangerous and expensive nuclear power, which is so wasteful that it can continue only by making taxpayers subsidize it. While other countries are rapidly moving into safe and prosperous futures with green energy, Trump and the Republicans are hitching America’s future to the dying coal and oil and nuclear industries.
We need strong laws and policies at federal, state and local levels to replace nuclear and fossil fuels with renewable sources. For example, California recently declared that all new homes there must include solar panels. This will save the average homebuyer $40 a month, because sunlight arrives for free. But in some “red” states, the Republicans are actually passing laws PROHIBITING or SEVERELY RESTRICTING renewable energy. This is economic suicide.
The problem is not limited to Republicans. Many Democrats who pay lip service to concern for the climate have horribly failed to “walk the talk.” Obama prevented the Copenhagen climate talks from succeeding and blamed China. Obama also signed legislation that allows crude oil from the U.S. to be exported — for the first time in 40 years. Also, people had to push very hard on Obama for seven years before he finally started to oppose the Keystone XL pipeline. Even our own Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has sometimes failed to take actions necessary to protect the climate.
Let’s do everything we can to make the climate crisis more visible — and the solutions more politically necessary — rather than let the public and the politicians think that solving the climate crisis would be merely a nice thing to do. It is not merely “nice.” It is absolutely necessary!