Almost as if he was taking orders from someone, the current president took the occasion of a polar vortex and record cold temps in the midwest to once more display his stupidity on climate change:
In the beautiful Midwest, windchill temperatures are reaching minus 60 degrees, the coldest ever recorded. In coming days, expected to get even colder. People can’t last outside even for minutes. What the hell is going on with Global Waming? Please come back fast, we need you!
Today is a perfect day to think and talk about climate change. We have just come through another bout of extreme weather. This was kind of a mild event compared to some of the other extreme weather events across the country over the past few years.
Wild fires in California were directly related to changes in weather patterns due to climate change. Record catastrophic hurricanes in the northeast, Houston and the Carolinas in the past few years. Historic flooding in the interior of the country.
Guess what? The US is not the only place that gets weather. Australia is starting their year out with record hot temperatures breaking records that have only been set in the past couple of years. How does 121 degrees Fahrenheit sound?
My own daughter looked at me one day a couple of years ago and asked me a question that I was afraid she would ask one day? “What the hell were you guys thinking? Why did you ruin the climate? Why wasn’t anyone paying attention?”
Well it is a not an answer, but our attention was diverted to questions like war and peace and homelessness and inequality. We couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Now we are all paying for it. Our youngest generation will be paying most dearly. With that in mind, give a listen to young Greta Thurnberg of Sweden as she lets the wealthy gathered in Davos earlier this month have a piece of her mind: (6 minutes)
“I don’t want you to hope. I want you to panic as if your house is on fire, because it is!”
The young are becoming aware and they are mad. But they haven’t given up. Giving up is the very wrong thing to do. Fighting back against the causes of climate change with the ferocity that we waged World War 2. We have but a few years left to fight. One of the most promising ideas to come along is the Green New Deal as espoused by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: (2 minutes)
But what can you and I do? One of the very best things that every person can do is change their diet. The Guardian reports on warnings issued by the British medical journal the Lancet on how typical western diets are a big contributor to climate problems as well as health problems:
The distinguished medical journal The Lancet has issued not one but two apocalyptic warnings about our food in under a month. One of its special commissions reported earlier this month that civilisation itself was at risk from the effects of the current food system on both human health and the Earth’s ecosystems. This week comes the next instalment from another special Lancet commission which finds that pandemics of obesity and malnutrition are interacting with climate change in a feedback loop and represent an existential threat to humans and the planet. The modern western diet has become a highly damaging thing that needs a complete overhaul if we are to avoid potential ecological catastrophe. It concluded that we need to halve global meat consumption, and more than double the volume of whole grains, pulses, nuts, fruit and vegetables we eat.
Cue howls of indignation from big food and its cheerleaders, the libertarian right. Those nanny statists have gone nuts eating their own double dose of nuts! Cue cries of distress from champions of local, low-impact agriculture who include grass-fed animals, and their meat and manure, in their sustainable mix. These self-appointed experts don’t understand farming! Cue grim food wheels with only a quarter of a rasher of bacon or a fifth of an egg a day. Those miserabilist medics want us all to go vegan!
Yet the evidence that our diets are the largest cause of climate change and biodiversity loss is now overwhelming. The global food system is responsible for up to 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions, the livestock sector on its own accounting for about half of that total or 14.5%. The modern western way of eating is also making very large numbers of people fat and sick as other parts of the world adopt it. Diet-related diseases now cause roughly 11 million deaths a year as preventable cancers, heart disease and strokes, obesity and diabetes have spread along with our way of eating. More than 800 million people are estimated to be chronically undernourished, and 2 billion suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, yet at the same time 2 billion are overweight or obese. In poorer counties you can even find obesity and stunting within the same family as calorie-heavy but nutrient-light processed industrialised foods are adopted.
Much more at the link.
Here is a longer interview with Greta Thurnberg conducted by Amy Goodman on DemocracyNow. This video is 18 minutes.: