Year 3, Month 5, Day 15: The Biggest Bankruptcy…

The Barre/Montpelier Times-Argus (VT) writes about “Connecting The Dots”:

Thus, volunteers in Waitsfield will be cleaning up debris along the Mad River left by Tropical Storm Irene. It is part of what is calling Climate Impacts Day. At the same time, villagers in Pakistan have participated in demonstrations showing their understanding that cataclysmic floods that destroyed vast regions in Pakistan over the past two years are also a manifestation of the changing climate.

The climate change movement is focusing broadly on fossil fuel industries and new projects for expanded exploitation of fossil fuels. It is the burning of fossil fuels, after all, that has heated up the atmosphere to a degree that extreme weather events are spreading devastation across the globe. Drought in Texas and Mexico, floods in Vermont and Pakistan, hurricanes, tornadoes, rising ocean levels, destruction of habitats — Climate Impacts Day has much to consider.

The climate crisis cannot be addressed without confronting the fossil fuel industry, which has billions of dollars at stake in the coal they hope to mine and the oil they hope to extract. Many current controversies grow out of industry’s determination to make use of new sources of hydrocarbons, including oil from tar sands in Alberta, coal from the American West and natural gas from shale formations underground in Pennsylvania, New York, Wyoming and elsewhere.

This is a fairly generic better-get-our-shit-together-soon type of letter. Sent May 5:

Industrialized civilization’s gleeful consumption of fossil fuels over the past century or so is turning out to be more expensive than any of us anticipated. Like teenagers turned loose with our parents’ credit cards, we’ve racked up enormous bills with no thought of paying them.

While we’ve long been aware of the health and environmental impacts of coal and oil extraction (factors never included in price calculations), the long-term costs of carbon-based fuel are only now becoming apparent. As human-caused global climate change emerges as an imminent threat to agriculture, infrastructure, and regional environments everywhere on the planet, we are faced with the necessity of transforming our energy economy, mitigating the damage we cannot prevent, and finding ways to restore equilibrium to the planetary climate system. It’s going to be expensive and inconvenient — but we have no choice if we are to bequeath a livable Earth to our posterity.

Warren Senders

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