Year 4, Month 2, Day 1: Another Country Heard From

Perhaps as atonement for publishing thousands and thousands of words from George Will, the Washington Post runs an op-ed from Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank.

The weather in Washington has been like a roller coaster this January. Yes, there has been a deep freeze this week, but it was the sudden warmth earlier in the month that was truly alarming. Flocks of birds — robins, wrens, cardinals and even blue jays – swarmed bushes with berries, eating as much as they could. Runners and bikers wore shorts and T-shirts. People worked in their gardens as if it were spring.

The signs of global warming are becoming more obvious and more frequent. A glut of extreme weather conditions is appearing globally. And the average temperature in the United States last year was the highest ever recorded.

As economic leaders gathered in Davos this week for the World Economic Forum, much of the conversation was about finances. But climate change should also be at the top of our agendas, because global warming imperils all of the development gains we have made.

If there is no action soon, the future will become bleak. The World Bank Group released a reportin November that concluded that the world could warm by 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius) by the end of this century if concerted action is not taken now.

Just another hippie, ya know. Slackers. Sent January 25:

As reports, assessments, and analyses on the clear and present danger presented by a runaway greenhouse effect appear in the national spotlight, Republicans (and a few Democrats) have to work harder than ever to stay ignorant. Interestingly, once lawmakers no longer face electoral battles for their conservative constituencies, they’re sometimes willing to admit the grim realities, as witness retiring California Republican David Dreier’s statement to his erstwhile colleagues that “climate change is a fact of life.”

The arguments for robust and immediate action on climate change are overwhelming, but the sad truth of the matter is that massive amounts of corporate cash control our political system, ensuring that it will continue to respond poorly (at best) to genuine dangers. If Jim Yong Kim and the World Bank really want to fight climate change, perhaps they should simply purchase the Republican Party, lock, stock, and barrel. After all, it’s for sale.

Warren Senders

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