December 8, 2019 by epoetus
Global warming and climate change represent what is frequently referred to as an existential threat to our quality of life, and the health of the environment on Earth. The term is meant to raise the level of urgency and priority we have previously assigned to it so that we as individuals, our society, our institutions and our governments have sufficient reason to respond and demonstrate an ability to produce measurable change. Since the United States has not really made much if any progress on this matter, and our President and the Republican Senate have decided to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, it is appropriate for us to consider the health of our democratic processes as a potential cause for this pattern of inaction. We are not alone in this as countries like France triggered “Yellow Vest” protests because of its plan for using regressive fuel taxes to address global warming – the poorest are already being hit the hardest because of this.
A quick plug for Islanders’ Voice: If you like what you see on the Islanders’ Voice site then please share our stories with your friends and ask them to join the mailing list: Subscribe to Islanders’ Voice Free Weekly Mailing List, and like the Islanders’ Voice Facebook page as well: Islanders’ Voice Facebook page.
Factual updates on COP25 and the events leading up to it:
• A key goal for COP25 is to define the basis for a carbon trading, and set a global carbon price
• 2010-2020 was very likely the hottest decade ever recorded
• C02 concentration is at the highest levels ever recorded 407.8 ppm in 2018
• CO2 emissions are at the highest levels ever recorded
• The rate at which CO2 emissions are generated appears to be slowing
• US has formally sent in its 1 year notice to withdraw from the Paris Agreement
• Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democrats have told COP25 that they are ‘still in’ the Paris Agreement
• The US delegation at COP25 was focused on US business interests
• Greta Thunberg has arrived at COP25 and is already engaged in protests
It is hard to say if COP 25 will settle on an approach for trading in and pricing carbon emissions – it will certainly be harder without a major country like the United States playing an active role in shaping that policy. As with other issues like gun control or the impacts of Citizens United and “Money in Politics” on our elections, where 70%+ of the nation want to see change, it appears that our inaction as a nation is a “tell” about how democracy in our country operates. Throughout human history we can see how democracy has lurched forward – the royals or oligarchs in power at the time created existential problems that forced the people to rise up and stop them from proceeding. Those in power need “the people” to do their bidding for them. Maybe it is time for another lurch forward for democracy, because we “the people” can see where this “Moscovian” fiddling is taking us.
Greta Thunberg at COP 25
UN COP25 agenda
Hottest decade recorded
Pelosi and House Democrats say that they’re ‘still in’ the Paris Agreement
COP25 5 things you need to know
COP25 – goals
Do carbon credits work?
Carbon emissions at highest level
International Chamber of Commerce and Carbon pricing
The San Juan County Democrats sponsor this publication to encourage discussion about issues of public concern. Articles published represent solely the views and opinions of their respective authors, and do not necessarily represent the views of Islanders Voice, its staff, or the San Juan County Democrats.