Climate change catastrophe hard to ignore

Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org, wrote a New York Times opinion recently (Dec. 15, 2017) titled "Cashing out from the climate casino." The premise of the column was that it’s not only the political realm where climate action can be effective, but that the financial halls of power “may turn out to be the soft underbelly of the climate monster.”

McKibben writes: “European insurance giant Axa announced that it was divesting more than $825 million in investments in oil production and pipelines in the tar sands of Canada for both ethical and business reasons.”

McKibben continued: “Thomas Buberl, the company’s chief executive stated, 'As the father of two children, I really want to do the most I can with the company I am leading” to slow the rate of planetary destruction.'

Concluding, McKibben advises us that “the World Bank said it would by 2019 end all financial support for oil and gas exploration (it had earlier made the same pledge about coal) because of the simple fact of a 'rapidly changing world' ... Stephen Kretzmann, veteran campaigner with Oil Change International, told the Guardian, 'It is time for all of the institutions, countries, investors and individuals who are still in the Paris agreement to stop funding fossils.'"

From the Montana Sierran (Fall 2017), Jonathan Matthew’s cogent article titled “Act now to solve the climate catastrophe” enlightens:

"After Pearl Harbor, the U.S. radically transformed its economy in just months to fight (World War II). I believe we need a similarly radical transformation of the world economy to energy efficiency and clean energy, right now, as the long term catastrophic consequences we are facing are greater than the crisis the U.S. faced in (WWII). Human society has never seen a problem as large as the devastation of all coastal cities, worldwide... To avoid this tragedy, we need to focus nearly all of human ingenuity, and nearly all of our resources, on environmentally responsible actions to reduce Earth’s temperature. An example of one action that our emergency response could involve would be to put solar panels on all homes as fast as possible, irrespective of expense, as the cost of not doing so would actually be far greater."

Matthews also referenced Juliana et al. versus the U.S., the lawsuit children in Oregon and NASA’s James Hansen have brought against the government about inaction on climate change, “inaction that is dooming the current generation of young people to decades of escalating climate disasters.”

Finally, from the Nation (M. Hertsgaard, January 2018), Hertsgaard’s column "Why LA burns" gives us all a clear idea of why climate change denial is so evil:

"A capitalist, it is said, will sell you the noose on Tuesday that you will hang him with on Friday. But in the case of climate change, that noose drapes around the neck of everyone on Earth. Which is what makes the GOP position on climate change so morally abhorrent. If Murdoch (Rupert), Trump and the rest want to sentence themselves to a future of hellish misery, by all means proceed. But when their pocketing of Big Oil’s dollars and their resulting denial of basic science drags the rest of humanity toward that same doom, then no circle in hell is low enough for them... Lunatics are speeding us toward a cliff of no return. For the sake of our children and all we hold dear, the rest of us must wrestle the steering wheel from them and jam on the brakes."

Informed citizens no longer deny their children’s peril. The citizen coalition of nonviolent resistance against greed and dishonesty is growing. Join us to save our children’s only home.

Beth Taylor Wilson of Missoula is a social worker, social justice activist and member of the 350 Montana leadership team.

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