environment Politics: consumerism economics Storms sustainability
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The Cumberland County Daily Journal (NJ) notes that victims of Sandy are agitating for the President to address climate change in the SOTU (which will be long past, by the time this page appears on the site):
WASHINGTON — Congressional lawmakers from New Jersey want President Barack Obama to address a variety of issues, including the deficit, the sluggish economy, immigration reform, climate change and gun violence, in his State of the Union address Tuesday night.
“Without a doubt the No. 1 issue confronting the nation is the state of the economy, and it’s not nearly as strong as any of us would like,” said GOP Rep. Leonard Lance. “I’d like to hear him focus on that.”
Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone named the economy as the top issue, but said he also wants the president to address immigration reform, gun violence and climate change.
Action on climate change is “important for the shore” and is a job-creator, he said.
Alyssa Durnien of Keansburg couldn’t agree more. She joined a group of Hurricane Sandy victims at a news conference in front of the White House on Monday to call on Obama to address climate change in his address before Congress.
“My message to Obama is, instead of flying over my community, put on a pair of boots and come see what it’s like,” she said. “I want him to see the devastation that is still there 98 days after the storm.”
We badly need to change how we think about economics, don’t we? Sent February 12:
Perhaps the single most pervasive misconception in our politics today is the notion that the interests of the environment and the economy are opposed. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Yes, the consumer economy is predicated on the desirability of infinite expansion, but an obvious impossibility on a finite planet. The true measure of economic health is not continuous growth, but long-term sustainability — which is obviously aligned with the policy initiatives necessary to respond to the threat of climate change.
Those who lost their homes to Superstorm Sandy can testify that global warming is not an abstraction. The ramifications of the accelerating greenhouse effect are destroying agriculture, infrastructure, and ecosystems all over the world — and without these resources intact, our economic longevity can be measured in months. Earth needs people to preserve environmental “capital” for our descendants, not simply turning a quick profit, heedless of the consequences.