As a continuation of our self-care challenge on the World of Wellness board, I thought to expand upon the thoughts and concerns (as well as the shocking level of inaction displayed by ‘world leaders’)
Over the last week or so you surely will have heard and been stirred by the passionate words of 16 year old Greta Thunberg. The Swedish climate activist spoke at the start of the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York.
"This is all wrong. I shouldn't be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean, yet you all come to us young people for hope. How dare you.
Greta told the UN that even the strictest emission cuts being talked about only gave the world a 50 per cent chance of limiting future warming to another 0.4 degrees from the current level, which would meet the global goal of 1.5C — the benchmark temperature rise laid out by the 2015 Paris Agreement that will limit the impact of warming on world weather systems. Certainly not the best odds.
After her speech, Greta along with other young climate activists filed a complaint with the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child alleging that world leaders' inaction on the climate crisis had violated children's rights.
The petitioners from 12 different countries aged from eight to 17, presented their complaint at the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) headquarters and told how their lives and homes have been affected by climate change because of political inaction.
Global warming caused by heat-trapping greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels has already led to droughts and heatwaves, melting glaciers, and rising sea levels and floods, and scientists say the problem has become worse since world leaders signed the 2015 Paris Agreement to combat climate change.
A new report from the World Meteorological Organisation has warned the world is falling behind in the race to stop a climate disaster.
According to the report, the last five years have been the hottest on record with ice sheets melting and sea levels rising.
As an aside, the following link https://climate.nasa.gov/news/2315/study-fire-seasons-getting-longer-more-frequent/ is a NASA report on how fire seasons are getting worse.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who organised the event, had warned leaders only to turn up if they came with definite action plans, not empty speeches.
"There is a cost to everything. But the biggest cost is doing nothing. The biggest cost is subsidising a dying fossil fuel industry, building more and more coal plants, and denying what is plain as day: that we are in a deep climate hole, and to get out we must first stop digging," he said.
"There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today because these numbers are too uncomfortable and you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is," Ms Thunberg said.
"The eyes of all future generations are upon you, and if you choose to fail us, I say we will never forgive you."
However, in light of all this evidence it is a sad fact that those people in the best position to do something about it are in truth doing the exact reverse. Trump for example has rescinded many environmental rules governing emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, brings to 84 the total number of environmental rules that the Trump administration has worked to repeal. Officials at the White House, the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies have called the regulations burdensome to the fossil fuel industry and other businesses.
Half of those environmental rollback attempts, like the new methane reversal, will undercut efforts by previous administrations to reduce emissions and fight climate change. Many of these efforts have been challenged in the courts; whether the administration will succeed in achieving all of its goals is far from certain. Here are some of the most significant climate-related reversals:
Leaving the Paris climate agreement
One critical effort by the Trump administration was its announcement in 2017 that it would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement. The process of withdrawing cannot be completed until 2020, but the move sent a strong signal to the world that Mr. Trump, who has scoffed at climate science, would be taking action at many levels of government to reverse climate policies created during the Obama administration.
Weakening methane regulation
Thursday’s decision to remove restrictions on methane leaks from oil and gas wells is only one administration effort on behalf of fossil fuel producers. Burning natural gas produces half of the carbon dioxide that burning coal does, but methane, the chief component of natural gas, has a powerful effect on climate change. Though it does not persist in the atmosphere as long as carbon dioxide does, it has 80 times the heat-trapping power of carbon dioxide during 20 years in the atmosphere. The Obama administration had passed many rules to reduce methane leaks. An early effort by the E.P.A. under the former administrator Scott Pruitt to reverse Obama-era rules on leaks from new oil and gas wells was declared illegal by the courts in 2017.
Freezing fuel efficiency standards
Transportation is the United States’ biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions, and fuel efficiency standards were a signature Obama administration proposal for reducing those emissions, as well as other air pollution created by vehicles. Earlier this month, the Trump administration proposed freezing antipollution and fuel-efficiency standards for cars. The proposal puts the administration on a collision course with California, which sets its own stringent tailpipe standards — and even with automakers, who wish to avoid the complexity of dealing with two car markets with different emissions standards.
Red more here: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/09/04/politics/trump-climate-change-policy-rollbacks/index.html
Are you proud of yourself Trump? Of course, this environmental bully is far from alone. To Australia's morbid shame, Scott Morrison seems to have positioned himself as Trumps ventriloquists dummy!
And underline Trumps anti-environmental stance...
Scott Morrison has warned against causing children "needless anxiety" about climate change and suggested Australian kids need to be given more "context and perspective" on the issue.
Responding to a passionate speech by Swedish teenage environmental campaigner Greta Thunberg at Monday's United Nations Climate Summit, the Prime Minster said it was important Australian children were confident they would live in a "wonderful country and pristine environment".
"They will also have an economy to live in as well," he said.
"I don't want our children to have anxieties about these issues.
"We've got to let kids be kids."
Well, it's the view of this website that if you want kids to be kids then maybe you should do something about contributing real world solutions instead of aligning yourself with the trash of world leaders and lining your pockets along the way.
The Prime Minister has faced criticism from Australian businesspeople and scientists for missing the summit.
Some said the Government has so far failed to put forward a "credible climate or energy policy" and the nation's international reputation is suffering as a result.
When asked if he thought children might be less anxious if emissions were falling, Mr Morrison said "context" was important.
The truth is though, that Scott Morrison has little interest in the people's voice and seems to listen only to industry, seemingly without a care as we travel headlong down the road of climate change in a vehicle with no brakes.
Australia is among a group of coal-supporting economies singled out as not getting a spot on the list of 63 speakers at the upcoming UN climate change summit.
Environmental advocates welcomed the ‘unprecedented move’, saying it represented a rebuke of Australia’s climate change policies on the world stage.
“Australia talks the talk, but it doesn't walk the walk. It is a global deviant for climate action," Dr Martin Rice, from the Climate Council of Australia, said.
"The UN knows that a speech from Australia would be all hot air [would lack substance], similar to rising emissions which are driving worsening weather events.”
'Race against climate change'
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres earlier this year warned only leaders with a clear climate action plan would be allowed to speak at the summit as the cost of inaction is too high.
"We are losing the race against climate change. Our world is off-track in meeting the [UN] Sustainable Development Goals” he said.
Mr Guterres has warned that “climate change is not only a threat for the end of the century, but climate change is already a tragic problem of our society”.
Morrison. Trump. All those other leaders who put profits before promises. When history looks back on you, it will not do so kindly and your legacy of condemning our planet will be laid bare.