Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I am a big fan of protecting the Environment.
I make no excuses. I think it is important, really important. My health and the health and well being of everyone that I love and care about depends upon our environment. That would include my lovely wife Julia, our equally beautiful daughter Sarah and maybe even more importantly, the future of our planet, our wonderful, brilliant, Grandchildren.
No, I did not forget my parents, my sister and all of my nephews, nieces, cousins etc etc. And of course all of our friends.
But to get back to our Environment, which we cannot afford to forget for even a minute.
Lets get to it. Climate change is real. The vast majority of scientists are agreed that it is happening, and it is accelerating. But the US remains the lone deny er. The Republican Presidential candidates are not just denying it they are not even mentioning it. Even President Obama, "champion of the environment" fails to refer to it.
But what is happening in the rest of the industrialized world? Rather than going into a lot of detail I will make a simple list of the % cut of emissions agreed to by each of the Developed counties by 2020 from 1990 levels as agreed in the Copenhagen meeting this year. I'll follow this with a second list of the Developing countries. The US is now the world's second biggest polluter - after China.
Developed Countries. (Cuts agreed to.)
Europe........20% (Offer to go to 30% if others will)
Russia........20% to 25%
Canada.........3% (Non binding agreement to 25%)
(Ottawa said it will follow Europe)
New Zealand...10% to 20% (depending on others)
Norway........30% (willing to go to 40%)
Developing Countries. (Cuts agreed to.)
China.........40% to 50% by 2020 from 2005 levels
Indonesia.....26% (or 41% if other countries support them)
Germany expects to get 80% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. Denmark plans for 100% by 2050. China has more power from windmills than any other country.
How is the US doing? You may well ask! Our reluctance to even acknowledge man made climate change is scary. We seem to be actually attacking the environment and anyone who makes any attempt to protect it. Efforts to protect are being thwarted for economic gains. We continue to give big tax breaks to coal and oil companies. Even as we say we are trying to cut our federal spending we are pumping Big money out to Big Oil and Big Coal. No mention of trying to cut that expense!
How about if we cut subsidies to oil and coal companies (I think they will do just fine, even without that) and use those billions of dollars to develop renewable energy sources? Solar, Wind, Wave, Geo Thermal. Even just reducing our use of energy. The average person in America uses more than twice as much energy per person as the average European! A country with at least our standard of living uses less than half the amount of energy per person than we do! So we could cut in half how much energy we use per person and we would still be using more than every European uses! That would cut our emissions by 50% right there - more than any other country!
Instead we deny climate change and subsidize pollution with payments to oil and coal companies.
Worse we have a line up of clowns who want to close down the EPA (I can remember their name even if Rick Perry can't!) The Chamber of Commerce wants companies to regulate themselves! (Companies that do that have been caught out by the EPA. They checked one company that reported 3 to 5 tons of dangerous cancer causing chemical emissions per year and when the EPA tested them they found 91 tons per year! So much for self regulation.) If we relax pollution standards, as most Republicans want to do, we will do so at our peril. We hear that the companies will prosper more and hire more people. Guess what, companies have plenty of money, their coffers are flush with money (Our money) but they are not hiring. I think they are waiting for the Republicans to get in next year to cut regulations so they can make even more money. They won't hire any more people. If we relax pollution standards all we will have will be dirtier air and water and more cancer, asthma and other illnesses. Which will doubtless please the Health Industry no end! So all we will have will be more pollution and nothing to show for it. No jobs, just more dirt, and more climate change.
I could probably go on for hours, but will let you go. You get the idea. We`are all in dire danger - especially our children. All in the name of Greed. When it comes to money we count for nothing.