EP104 / Business as Usual Catastrophe

DontGiveUpImpactFilesLogo6Business as usual, that is the real risk. There are people working on pressing environmental and climate issues, but not nearly enough of them. Working hard for business as usual so that nothing is done about climate change, are people who we call the merchants of doubt. They are being very effective. More and more CO2 is entering the atmosphere, more than ever, and though some things are improving, not nearly enough is being done.

Some people, some corporations, some oil companies, are going to a lot of effort to make you think there is nothing to worry about. They twist the facts to plant doubt in people’s minds about this issue, because a lot of millionaires stand to lose a lot of money if we stop using fossil fuels,.

They tell politicians to reassure the public that climate change is caused by sunspots or “cycles” and they give them donations to do it. Politicians are either too ignorant or greedy to argue. Read part of this and this.

Paraphrased from the Daily Beast:

Wei-Hock (“Willie”) Soon doesn’t appear in the new documentary Merchants of Doubt, but he might as well be its poster child. That’s because director Robert Kenner’s film, . . . .  is about how the tobacco, fossil-fuel and other industries hire so-called “scientific experts” to refute charges that their products are dangerous. Wei Hock Soon, a scientist who claims that variations in the sun’s energy, not greenhouse gases, can explain climate change, was recently exposed as receiving over $1.2 million from fossil-fuel companies, purportedly to fund his research. He … failed to disclose this conflict of interest to the journals that published his papers—and is  the latest in a long line of scientists and spokespersons paid to cast doubt on real independent scientific research.

Some of these doubters are “ideologically committed, some are just in it for the money, some in it for the attention,” says Naomi Oreskes, co-author of the book on which the film is based.

Dr. Vandana Shiva with Cows
Dr. Vandana Shiva with Cows

Even our progressive president Obama is not doing nearly enough because he promotes an all of the above energy strategy and has opened up new areas of fossil fuel exploration. Our Democrats in the Congress are not doing enough either, and they are compromised. Many of them own stocks in fossil fuels companies!

I have seen this sickness in Democratic members of Congress a lot in the last 10 years. Supposedly liberal Nancy Pelosi has investments in fossil fuels. In 2007 the Wall Street Journal reported that Nancy Pelosi invested at least $100,000 in the Greenwasher T. Boone Pickens’s natural gas distribution company, Clean Energy Fuels, and she didn’t seem to realize at the time that natural gas was a fossil fuel. At the time, both her and Harry Reid were enthusiastically promoting natural gas as a great fuel, as was the Center for American Progress, and then later, as was President Obama.  Any fossil fuel you burn adds CO2 to the atmosphere and therefore adds to climate change. But many of our Democratic leaders are ignorant of that fact.

There is no factual debate about climate change and what is causing it. There is a debate based on nothing but capitalism about whether it’s something we should be spending money on. Some people fear changing our economic system, even though if we wait long enough, the system will be changed FOR US by the increasing effects of climate change.

2014 was the hottest year on record. 2015 is already on track to beat that record. An El Nino is coming. As the earth heats up, people will suffer, animals will migrate or die, crops will burn, droughts will increase in some places, rains will flood other places, and politicians will argue about how many pipelines they need to give to their friends in the oil industry so they can increase this growing catastrophe

Earth at Risk

Last November, some of the world’s preeminent strategists in environmental defense, social justice, revolutionary fire, and grassroots activism came together to share their insights and speak toward one goal: forming game-changing responses to address the converging crises we face. These strategists included people like Alice Walker – Vandana Shiva – Chris Hedges, Derrick Jensen – Guy McPherson – Thomas Linzey and many more. Topics covered at this conference included  Species extinction, racism, sexual warfare, deforestation, global warming, corruption and ecological devastation, autism, health issues, GMO crops — these are issues that all stem from the same root.  They feel, as I do, that for too long environmentalism has hinged on conformity to capitalism and acceptance of the status quo. Fighting this is the struggle of everyone. Will you sit on the sidelines as the world burns or arm yourself with information and help us do something to change the way things are before it’s too late?

This podcast includes the talk given by Vandana Shiva, an Indian environmental activist, at the Earth at Risk conference. Read more about Dr. Vandana Shiva here.

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