climate commenting

When I was on the online rapid response team for commenting on fracking issues in New York,  I learned over time not to revisit comments on articles, even though I knew I was getting inaccurate (and occasionally nasty) replies.

Due to changing circumstances, I haven’t been commenting on much of anything lately, but I did make a comment on a recent column by Thomas Reese, SJ, on a carbon tax. This has turned into a long stream of comments from a man who does not believe in mainstream climate science with my replies and a few others weighing in.

I have decided to stop replying at this point, but I’ve spent so much time on it that I thought I would share it here:

The US and climate

I did not want to have to write this post.

I listened with dismay to DT’s Rose Garden address yesterday, astonished at the level of misunderstanding of climate science, domestic and international economics, and the Paris climate agreement in evidence.

While the president made it seem that the United States is immediately leaving the Paris accord, that is not the case. There is a three year period starting in November, 2016 during which no signatory may exit the agreement. The one-year period in which the separation would occur can’t start until then, so the earliest date that the United States could officially leave would be Nov. 4, 2020, the day after our next presidential election. A lot can happen in three and a half years and my hope is that the United States will never officially withdraw from the Paris agreement.

Even without the federal government’s leadership, many of the states, cities, companies, and individuals in the US will be continuing reductions in carbon emissions and promotion of renewable energy and energy efficiency. Over sixty mayors of large cities declared their intention to follow the climate agreement. The governors of New York, California, and Washington have started an initiative for states to continue working on their clean energy goals. Many companies, large and small, are committed to renewable energy sources for their operations. Many families, like mine, are weatherizing their homes, using energy efficient appliances and lighting, buying solar panels, and driving hybrid or all-electric vehicles like our Chevy Bolt.

The majority of the people of the United States believe in the Paris accord and will continue to work alongside the nations of the world to combat climate change. I hope we will soon return to official federal-level participation. It would not be the first time that the administration has had to backpedal after an unwise decision.

SoCS: really now, peat?

Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “-eat.” She says, “Use the word ‘eat’ or add letters to it to make a different word.”  So, in true stream of consciousness fashion, I am starting off with the word “peat.”

Which probably seems like an odd word for my brain to settle upon, but I was listening to the radio the other day and they were talking about peat and permafrost and how they are such massive carbon sinks for the world and how, if the permafrost melts and all that carbon gets released into the atmosphere, the planet will heat so much that, well, it will be really bad for humanity.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that this was where my mind went. After all, writing/thinking/reading/discussing carbon emissions and climate change has been part of my daily life (or almost daily life) for several years now.

It started with joining the fight to keep high-volume hydraulic fracturing of shale formations out of New York State and inevitably led to educating about the broader problems with carbon emissions and global warming and increases in severe weather, droughts, fires, etc., sea level rise, melting land and sea ice, and the increasingly urgent need to end reliance on fossil fuels and convert to renewable energy sources, especially those that are no/low carbon emitting.

I could – and have – gone on and on about this, but I will spare you today!

I will, though, send my thanks out to Pope Francis, currently 200+ miles to my south in Philadelphia, PA, for spreading the message around the world about the urgency of fighting climate change and the effects it has on the planet and the human community, particularly the most vulnerable people. His solution is to develop an “integral ecology” that serves to both protect the environment and ensure the dignity and needs of all people are met.

We are all in this together. Let’s clasp hands and forge ahead with the work needed to save the planet and ourselves.
This post is part of Linda’s Stream of Consciousness Saturdays.  Join us! Find out how here:

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