Scientists are beginning to sound the warning about rapid climate change, and the disastrous effects is going to have on Earth by the end of this century, with more and more forceful and alarming statements.
Barnosky and his colleagues reviewed research on climate change, ecology and Earth’s tipping points that break the camel’s back, so to speak. At certain thresholds, putting more pressure on the environment leads to a point of no return, Barnosky said. Suddenly, the planet responds in unpredictable ways, triggering major global transitions.
The most recent example of one of these transitions is the end of the last glacial period. Within not much more than 3,000 years, the Earth went from being 30 percent covered in ice to its present, nearly ice-free condition. Most extinctions and ecological changes (goodbye, woolly mammoths) occurred in just 1,600 years. Earth’s biodiversity still has not recovered to what it was.
Today, Barnosky said, humans are causing changes even faster than the natural ones that pushed back the glaciers — and the changes are bigger. Driven by a 35 percent increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide since the start of the Industrial Revolution, global temperatures are rising faster than they did back then, Barnosky said. Likewise, humans have completely transformed 43 percent of Earth’s land surface for cities and agriculture, compared with the 30 percent land surface transition that occurred at the end of the last glacial period. Meanwhile, the human population has exploded, putting ever more pressure on existing resources.
Here is your problem. The people currently in power, especially here in the United States Congress, have adopted the ultimate “I have got mine, screw the rest of you” philosophy. This results in the current blind rejection of science in regard to anthropogenic climate change, and how what we are doing is speeding up climate change that will have disastrous short term effects.
This same willful refusal to address reality and deal truthfully with critical issues manifests itself in our political and economic life, also.
This is crystal clear in their attempt to sell the destruction of social security by reassuring us older voters we will get to keep our benefits, so we should go along with their Cat Food Commission plans to destroy Social Security and Medicare. They are just going to screw succeeding generations, our children and grandchildren, out of Social Security and Medicare and any semblance of government programs that assure a survival standard of living. It does not matter to them that these are not welfare, but savings programs, designed to be managed by the government to insure their long term stability and to shield them from the vagaries of the market. They want those monies in the private market so they can exploit and manipulate them, and add to their already outrageous pile of accumulated gold. That is their purpose, and their goal. No more, no less. Besides, they know that if their investment schemes fail to turn a profit, they will not suffer the consequences. They own the government, and the government will just use more bail them out, thus transferring even more money from the poor and middle class to the elite wealthy. That’s the way America rolls now.
That is why you have people like Alan Simpson lying through their teeth. He recently made the outrageous claim that Social Security was never intended to be a retirement program, just a temporary bandaid for Depression error workers. Typical of our ruling overlords, the lies drip from their mouths effortlessly, and the media do not call them on it. Ever. Mitt Romney is now basing his entire strategy to get elected on his recognition that he can lie effortlessly, day after day, and the media will never call him on it. It does not even matter if what he says one day contradicts what he said the day before 180 degrees. The failed American institution of journalism will not hold him accountable or point this fact out to the American people. After all, they are owned and operated by the 1% and the corporate oligarchy now, and no longer do actual journalism.
I never thought I would see such blithe amorality flowing from the lips of elected politicians in this country. I now stand corrected, however, and simply dumbstruck at the how nothing matters to our overlords, not the Constitution, the Rule of Law, or any sense of responsibility for one’s fellow citizens, much less the poor, the needy, the old, the homeless. As far as they are concerned, American workers should be without any unions, no worker rights, no access to equal pay, and required to work until you drop dead, never having the opportunity to retire and least enjoy a few of your last years in old age in some semblance of peace and deserved rest. I have absolutely no respect for the Catholic Church hierarchy, which has defended and covered up the rampant child sexual abuse by priests simply forever. But even the US Catholic Bishops wrote a letter to Rep. Paul Ryan pointing out to him that his proposed GOP budget was basically a sin against the poor and the weak in the way it shredded the safety net and slashed programs that help American citizens survive.
Of course, although they appreciated the support of the Catholic Church in the controversy over banning birth control coverage in insurance, they did not want to hear from the church on their budget. After all, it is far more important that corporate profits flow to insure high CEO salaries, even when their policies fail; and for the 1% in general to simply have all the money and wealth.
What happens to future generations means nothing to them. They’ve got theirs. Screw the rest of us. And forget about any sense of caring about a future for your children that is brighter than yours. It worked for them for the second half of the last century. But now they want to own all the marbles, and I guess hold them in their cold hands as they die. And our children and grandchildren can just grub around in the trash heap of history of this nation and try to get by.