Sacrificing the Earth for the Economy | Counter-currents

Climate change is an extreme emergency

There is ample evidence that unless the international community acts immediately and effectively to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy, tipping points will be passed, after which loops of feedback will take over, making human efforts to avoid catastrophic climate change unnecessary. Some examples of feedback loops are the albedo effect, the methane hydrate feedback loop, and the drying of forests followed by fires.

Extreme temperature records in Europe

In the UK, on ​​July 19, 2022, the country’s first-ever temperature above 40 degrees Celsius was recorded. The UK government has also issued its first-ever red heat alert. Hospitals across the UK canceled surgeries because operating rooms were too hot. Londoners have been advised not to use the city’s transport network due to the heat.

In the same week, record extreme temperatures killed scores of people in Europe. In Spain, some municipalities, temperatures of up to 45 degrees C have been recorded. In Portugal, where temperatures reached 46.7 degrees Celsius, health authorities reported that 659 people had died from heat-related causes. In Spain, 829 heat-related deaths have been recorded, according to the Ministry of Health.

In France, Spain and Portugal, firefighters are battling a large number of out-of-control fires caused by a combination of high temperatures and drought. Forest fires are raging not only in France, Spain and Portugal, but also in Croatia, Greece and Turkey. The French government has already evacuated 25,000 people from the affected regions.

Record temperatures and wildfires in the United States

Record temperatures and out-of-control wildfires are not only happening in Europe, North Africa and China, but also in the United States, especially in the southwestern region of the country. For example, in New Mexico, the massive Hermit’s Peak/Calf Canyon fire destroys everything in its path. It is hoped that the temperature records and wildfires will make the American public more aware of the existential dangers of climate change.

Water shortage

According to UNICEF, “Four billion people – nearly two-thirds of the world’s population – experience severe water scarcity for at least one month each year. More than two billion people live in countries with insufficient water supplies. Half of the world’s population could live in areas facing water scarcity by 2025.”

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres calls for international climate action

“We have a choice, collective action or collective suicide,” Guterres told diplomats from 40 countries gathered for a three-day climate conference, “it’s in our hands.” The Secretary-General also said the Paris conference target of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees C “is about sustaining life. Greenhouse gas concentrations, rising levels of the sea and the heat of the oceans have broken new records.Half of humanity is in the danger zone of floods, droughts, extreme storms and wildfires.No nation is immune And yet we continue to feed our addiction to fossil fuels…”

“Nations continue to play the blame game instead of taking responsibility for our collective future, we cannot continue like this. We must rebuild trust and come together – to keep 1.5 alive and build resilient communities to climate change…”

“We must demonstrate at COP27 that a renewable energy revolution is underway. There is enormous potential for a just energy transition that accelerates the phase-out of coal with a corresponding deployment of renewable energy.

The United States is particularly bad at climate action

According to an index developed by the universities of Yale and Colombia, the United States ranks 43rd among nations on environmental issues. What is the reason for this very poor performance? One reason is that during Donald Trump’s presidency, he claimed climate change was a hoax and acted on it to destroy existing environmental legislation. His last act as president was to fill the Supreme Court with far-right justices. This rogue Supreme Court recently ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency cannot restrict the emission of greenhouse gases.

The current President of the United States, Joe Biden, is not as bad as Trump. Indeed, it would be hard to find anyone as bad as Trump! But Biden has failed miserably to deliver on his climate action campaign promises. He authorized the drilling of new oil wells at sea, on public lands and in Alaska. During his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, one of Biden’s goals was to ask Saudi Arabia to increase its oil production, in order to reduce gasoline prices in the United States and thus increase his own political popularity.

Sacrifice the land on the altar of the economy

Not only the United States, but also most other countries, seem to put a healthy economy ahead of the existential need to save the world from catastrophic climate change. This explains the failure of the climate conference in Glasgow last year to produce any real progress. The future of the earth, our only home, is sacrificed in the name of present comfort and in the name of corporate profits.

What will happen if we fail?

If we fail to control catastrophic climate change, in the long term, most parts of the world will become uninhabitable and vast numbers of plant and animal species will disappear. The human population will be drastically reduced and the struggle to survive will lead to violent conflict. However, the human species will not necessarily become extinct, as there will be parts of the earth where survival will still be possible.

We need popular action now!

The peoples of the world must realize the dangers of catastrophic climate change. We all need to exert as much pressure as possible on our governments to stop sacrificing land on the altar of the economy and embrace the Green New Deal, creating both renewable energy infrastructure and new jobs.

A free downloadable book

I would like to announce the publication of a book which deals in detail with the questions mentioned above. It can be downloaded for free from the following link:

PDF download

Other books on world issues and on cultural history can be found at the following web addresses:

John weighs Avery is a theoretical chemist at the University of Copenhagen. He is known for his books and research publications in quantum chemistry, thermodynamics, evolution and history of science. His 2003 book Information Theory and Evolution expounded the idea that the phenomenon of life, including its origin, evolution, as well as human cultural evolution, has its background located in the fields of thermodynamics, statistical mechanics and information theory. Since 1990, he has been Chairman of the Danish National Group of Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. Between 2004 and 2015 he was also President of the Danish Peace Academy. He founded the Journal of Bioenergetics and Biomembranes, and served for many years as its editor. He was also Technical Advisor to the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe (1988-1997). He can be contacted at [email protected] To learn more about his works, visit this link.

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