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#FORWARDONCLIMATE Rally February 17, Washington D.C
An important rally and demonstration has been called on February 17 at the National Mall, Washington D.C. at 12 noon. Initial sponsors include 350.org, the Sierra Club and Hip Hop Caucus. The stated goal is “To tell Barack Obama it's time to lead the fight against climate change, beginning with the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline”.
We support this rally and encourage all those who can to attend and to spread the word.
More and more undeniable evidence of the impact of global warming has broken into broad public awareness in this country and around the world. A sharp increase in extreme weather events is a global phenomenon. Some examples beyond Superstorm Sandy.
Unprecedented extreme weather phenomenon more and more frequently span the globe.
•• Climate scientists James Hansen and Makiko Sato in a newly published study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) list evidence on a global scale for the last 61 years showing that in the last three decades, as the average temperature of the globe has slowly risen, extreme weather events have soared and expanded to cover 10 percent of the globe. This is an increase of 50-100 times from the previous three decades.
•• Bill McKibben, author, environmentalist and a leader of 350.org pointed to a rainfall at 109 degrees F. that happened in Mecca, Saudi Arabia this year, calling this the "hottest rainfall in the history of earth”. More examples from McKibben's book “Earth”: "In the last half decade we’ve seen the earliest forming Category 5 hurricane ever recorded (Emily 2005), and the first January tropical cyclone (Zeta 2006), the first known tropical cyclone in the South Atlantic (Catarina 2004) and the first known tropical storm ever to strike Spain (Vince 2005)."
We're not even mentioning the thousands of other independent pieces of evidence amassed by climate scientists which make clear that climate change is happening now, it is caused by human burning of fossil fuels and if major reductions in use of these fossil fuels are not achieved immediately the planet faces a serious emergency.
Climate Science Is Still Under Major Assault
Climate Deniers: One of the latest episodes in this unceasing attempt to attack and discredit climate science comes from someone who is supposed to be a serious potential presidential candidate for the Republicans, Sen. Marco Rubio. Rubio has stated that “climate change is not a proven fact”, that “the climate is always changing” and that he is not convinced that it is changing because of man-made activity. And in a full assault on climate science he stated: "I know people said there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle".
The Democrats: While coming out once every four years and saying something that appears to acknowledge the reality and dangers of climate change, and appears to acknowledge the overwhelming scientific consensus about global warming, in reality, the Obama administration has not only done essentially nothing – it's actually much worse than that. They have taken major steps in the wrong direction: opening up off-shore oil fields, promoting hydraulic fracking to produce more natural gas (also a major contributor to CO2 increase), and up to now allowing the development of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Internationally, they also continue to obstruct any global efforts to lower greenhouse gas emissions.
In his recent 2nd inaugural address Obama reprised this act stating: “We will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations. Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires, and crippling drought, and more powerful storms.” But small half-measures like reducing emission levels in some power plants fall far short of addressing the climate change emergency. And even more, there is no sign of a serious effort to change the energy policies that are on such a dangerous trajectory.
So we are currently offered these choices - either:
••• Open attacks on climate science and full-throated support for any and all energy policies that pose serious and ever-increasing danger to life on this planet.
••• Half-hearted acknowledgment of the science, deliberately vague statements claiming “we will respond to the threat of climate change”, combined with energy policies that pose serious and ever-increasing danger to life on this planet.
This is truly fiddling while the planet burns and it is criminal.
All this makes building a mass movement demanding immediate serious action to address climate change even more important.