By Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Black Agenda Report
This is the only environment that we have, but the Obama administration is proving itself to be bad steward. “As part of Obama’s ongoing betrayal of campaign promises, he recently struck down new measures that would have seen the U.S. partially reduce emissions.” Occupy EPA attempts to put “protection” back into the agency’s mandate. “While state, local and even the federal government seem committed to destroying the Occupy Movement they are simultaneously oblivious to the crimes committed everyday on Wall Street in the name of the free enterprise system.”
“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change foresees temperatures rising as much as 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, swelling the seas with melted glacial water and disrupting climates.”
This week I laughed as a broadcaster castigated a foreign guest for his government’s repressive actions against protestors. Yet across the country Occupy encampments were being shut down, often violently.
What hypocrites we are: we pontificate on global platforms and put the boot in at home. The United States has lost the moral courage to be a global leader, today we’re all hype and no substance.
Next weekend in Oslo, three women will be honored with the Nobel Peace Prize. This will be for work they actually did, unlike Barack Obama who did nothing for his award and has done nothing since. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee, and Tawakkol Karman of Liberia, a place many of us were kidnapped from, are being honored “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work.”
And peace-building work, the Nobel peace prize committee has already made clear in their award to the late Wangari Maathai, includes environmental activism. This week, as we erected a tent on the lawns of the Environmental Protection Agency as part of our Wednesday, Occupy EPA actions to pressure that agency to live up to the “protection” part of its mandate, I thought of the global climate change conference in Durban, South Africa from November 28 to December 9. It ends the day before the Nobel Peace Prize will be awarded, a day that also commemorates International Human Rights Day, a date forgotten at home.
There will be no cause to celebrate after the climate change conference. The 53-nation African Group summed it up when they declared that they were, “Deeply concerned that the inadequate mitigation pledges, notably by developed countries under the Cancun outcomes, risk an increase in global average temperature of greater than 2°C – and possibly as much as 5°C. Such temperature increases will have catastrophic impacts worldwide … The mitigation pledges by developed countries amount to less than the voluntary mitigation pledges by developing countries.”
The world’s top three carbon emitters are China, India and the United States, and as part of Obama’s ongoing betrayal of campaign promises, he recently struck down new measures that would have seen the U.S. partially reduce emissions.
“If emissions are not dealt with now, the frequency of hot days will increase by a factor of ten.”
The Africa Group – nearly all of which have laws to enforce unleaded gas in vehicles, we don’t – want developed countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 40 percent by 2017 and by at least 95 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels.
Instead, the World Meteorological Organization this year reported that greenhouse gas concentrations have reached record levels. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that hot days have become hotter and occur more often, and that if emissions are not dealt with now, the frequency of hot days will increase by a factor of ten.
In Iowa, farmers are seeing longer growing seasons. In China, Heilongjiang Province, which used to have essentially no rice production, now accounts for 15 percent of China’s rice production.
But that is not good news, and I’ll tell you why. There’s been a one degree Celsius rise over the past 100 years. But the forecast is for a two degree Celsius increase by 2050. Gerald Nelson a senior fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute says, “The corn plant, for example, can do ok as long as the temperature is in the range of 30 to 31 degrees Celsius. But as the temperature increases get above 30 or 31 to 32 or 33, recent research has shown substantial drop-off in yields.
“For insects, as the temperatures rise then they reproduce more rapidly. So, instead of having three cycles of a pest per season you might end up with four or five. And that means more damage to the plants as they grow.” Regions may lose killing frosts, which help limit insect populations. And weeds are thriving in the richer carbon dioxide environment.
None of the news is good.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change foresees temperatures rising as much as 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, swelling the seas with melted glacial water and disrupting climates. Releasing millions of tons of sulfur dioxide in the upper atmosphere would mimic the cooling effects of a volcanic eruption, lowering global temperature about 0.9 Fahrenheit, which can last for a year or two when it occurs naturally.
And so we hope that the Occupy EPA demonstrations each Wednesday at noon continue to grow to not only pressurize government to put the “protection” back in the EPA, but also to back off from harming whistleblowers – Penn State, Syracuse and elsewhere have shown why we need them.
“Instead of having three cycles of a pest per season you might end up with four or five.”
While state, local and even the federal government seem committed to destroying the Occupy Movement they are simultaneously oblivious to the crimes committed everyday on Wall Street in the name of the free enterprise system. The Occupy Movements anti-greed and anti-consumerism message is not lost on the captains of industry or their progeny. Kevin Zeese, an organizer at the Occupy DC site wrote, “On Black Friday,” [we] “traveled to a local mall to remind [shoppers] that holidays are really about family, friends and community. We continued to pressure the Congress for its lousy economic policies, protesting at both the Senate and House when the “supercommittee” failed. This builds on our efforts to put forward real solutions to the economic crisis the country faces with The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending… “
Occupy Movements around the country are building solidarity and hope at the grassroots level. This kind of grassroots, independent organizing is clearly a concern to both Democratic and Republican campaigns.
Zeese continued: “On December 6, we will light our 25 foot tall 100% post-consumer recycled plastic Christmas tree. We will light our tree at the same time that Congress lights theirs…
We are building towards the National Occupation ofWashington, DC (NOW DC) starting on March 30th. It will consist of 2 weeks of actions, teach-ins and workshops.”
Join us in shaming politicians by showing that we the people have ethics, morality and a commitment to changing the world.
Dr. Marsha Coleman-Adebayo is the author of No FEAR: A Whistleblowers Triumph over Corruption and Retaliation at the EPA is available through amazon.com and the National Whistleblower Center. Dr. Coleman-Adebayo worked at the EPA for 18 years and blew the whistle on a US multinational corporation that endangered vanadium mine workers. Marsha’s successful lawsuit lead to the introduction and passage of the first civil rights and whistleblower law of the 21st century: the Notification of Federal Employees Anti-discrimination and Retaliation Act of 2002 ( No FEAR.)
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