Monthly Archives: November 2017

Tobacco Wars, Climate Wars: Who are to Blame?

After more than ten years of legal maneuvering and appeals, tobacco giants R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris, Altria and Lorillard finally ran out of options and admitted, in court-mandated newspaper advertisements, what they denied for decades — that they had been addicting and killing millions of people as a core business strategy. Here’s the ad that came in the morning paper.
Irony #1: The Big Tobacco maneuvering actually worked. During the long delay, non-digital news readership has declined sharply. You’re only seeing it because we’re posting it online.

Irony #2: The ad sits opposite a story about today’s equivalent of the Tobacco Wars, climate change and climate denial. The rapid melting of Peru’s glaciers portends the end of survival for Peruvian farming communities watered by Andean glacial streams and rivers. The water supply for these communities and farms is dwindling as the glaciers disappear.

On average, a citizen of Peru emits 1.9 tons of CO2 per year. The global average is higher: 4.9 tons. The average American, however, emits a whopping 16.4 tons — more than triple the world average. And we are the only country in the world that refuses to share in the global effort to stop climate chaos.

Imagine with me: What will your advertisement look like? Will you claim that you at least tried? Try writing it out. Tell yourself the details. Then, maybe, follow the link below to see what else you can do.

Learn more about the melting of Peru’s glaciers: http://nyti.ms/2A70TRD

Learn more about reducing your own carbon emissions: http://bit.ly/2xczf05

The Water Will Come

Climate change is already costing the world dearly. But it is not just money that will be lost.

Also gone will be the beach where you first kissed your boyfriend; the mangrove forests in Bangladesh where Bengali tigers thrive; the crocodile nests in Florida Bay; Facebook headquarters in Silicon Valley; St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice; Fort Sumter in Charleston, South Carolina; America’s biggest naval base in Norfolk, Virginia; NASA’s Kennedy Space Center; graves on the Isle of the Dead in Tasmania; the slums of Jakarta, Indonesia; entire nations like the Maldives and the Marshall Islands; and, in the not-so-distant future, Mar-a-Lago, the summer White House of President Donald Trump. Globally, about 145 million people live three feet or less above the current sea level. As the waters rise, millions of these people will be displaced, many of them in poor countries, creating generations of climate refugees that will make today’s Syrian war refugee crisis look like a high school drama production.

The real x-factor here is not the vagaries of climate science, but the complexity of human psychology. At what point will we take dramatic action to cut CO2 pollution? Will we spend billions on adaptive infrastructure, to prepare cities for rising waters – or will we do nothing and wait till it’s too late? Will we welcome people who flee submerged coastlines, and sinking islands – or will we imprison them? No one know how our economic and political system will deal with these challenges.

Jeff Goodell: The Water Will Come  http://amzn.to/2z50Jtq