Year 4, Month 7, Day 23: Paging Celine Dion!

The Detroit News talks about the Obama proposals:

Climate change is potentially the biggest environmental challenge facing this country and the world, and President Barack Obama has now acted forcefully in releasing on June 25 a Climate Action Plan that will help America address the problem. Michigan and the Midwest generally have disproportionately higher greenhouse gas emissions, due in particular to our generally high rate of coal combustion in power plants. Reducing these emissions needs to become a higher priority if we are to avoid significant impacts to our health and the environment in the state and beyond.

We are already seeing climate-related changes in our environment. There has been increased general warming in regional temperatures as compared to those for the freeze-free season, which has ongoing implications for our agriculture sector. The early extreme warming in 2012 followed by frost led to significant losses of Michigan apples and other fruit crops, including a 90 percent decline in tart cherry production in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Climate change also poses public health threats in the state and region, including increased incidence of Lyme disease and West Nile virus, increased ozone pollution (which can exacerbate asthma) and increased heat stress. A recent study estimated that under a high global emissions scenario, Chicago could experience heat waves like 1995 (which resulted in nearly 700 deaths) every other year by the middle of the century. Temperature projections for Detroit and other cities in the region are similar.

The barnacles analogy is new; it’s going to take some refining over the coming weeks. July 5:

Thanks to a consortium of politicians with deep financial interests in preserving the status quo, our nation has not yet developed meaningful legislative responses to the threat of climate change. President Obama’s June 25 proposals for executive action offer a variety of rational ways to address the burgeoning climate crisis, but it is stretching things to say that his plan “moves in the right direction.”

From car-friendly suburbs to the complex infrastructures of consumerism, contemporary American society is entirely built on the rapid conversion of coal and oil into other forms of energy. Just as barnacles on the hull of an ocean liner are powerless to affect its progress, we — environmentalists and denialists alike! — are carried toward the treacherous shoals ahead. Obama’s proposals may offer a modest hope of slowing this progress, but until our politicians’ corporate paymasters acknowledge the danger, we’re still on a collision course with disaster.

Warren Senders

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *