environment Politics: corporate irresponsibility denialism media irresponsibility
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The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel thinks there is No Denying Climate Change:
Earth is growing warmer; the records prove that. Some still doubt human activity has anything to do with it, but it’s past time for the rest of us to face reality.
We need, first, good leadership. The United States should provide it, as it has repeatedly promised but failed to do. And Florida should be a leader among the states, because it is among those most threatened with ecological problems and rising sea levels.
Tallahassee should take its cues from South Florida, where local governments have long recognized the dangers associated with climate change. Raising seawall heights, moving drinking-water wellfields farther inland and imposing tougher development regulations for particularly vulnerable areas — ideas once unthinkable — are now part of a regional climate-change plan designed to help local communities address a changing environment.
While the flooding and saltwater intrusion now seen in South Florida occur regularly, far more devastating effects are happening in other parts of the world. According to the Climate Vulnerable Forum, a 20-nation consortium of developing countries, failure to act will result in about 100 million deaths worldwide by 2030 from mega-droughts, floods, disease, crop failure and major water shortages. The forum puts the economic costs of climate change at $1.2 trillion a year now, and says it will double by 2030. Some nations could lose 11 percent of GDP. Oxfam, an anti-poverty group, puts potential agricultural and fishery losses alone at $500 billion a year by 2030.
Skeptics may pooh-pooh the climate forum’s report as commissioned by those nations most at risk, which makes them most in need of help. But its findings are consistent with those from the world’s most important climate-change organization, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
A generic let’s-get-our-shit-together-soon letter, sent December 29:
There would be no significant climate change denial in America were it not for the egregious irresponsibility of our news media and their financial co-conspirators. Over the past several decades, conservative “think tanks” heavily funded by the oil and coal industries have created a denialist cottage industry, supplying our broadcast and print media with authoritative pundits whose voices have stridently rejected the findings of climate scientists in favor of the convenience of continued consumption (which, by an odd coincidence, result in the highest corporate profit margins in history).
While geographical serendipity has kept the US off the “front lines” of our rapidly transforming climate for years, 2012’s massive storms and devastating droughts make it clear that we can no longer avoid the impacts of our century-long fossil-fuel binge. A drastically warming Earth is inevitable, but acknowledging climatic reality now may make a profound difference to the lives of our descendants.