Friday, August 31, 2012

"Slowing the Rise of Oceans and Healing the Planet"

From Mitt Romney's August 30th acceptance speech:
"President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans." (LAUGHTER from delegates) "And to heal the planet." (LAUGHTER from delegates) "My promise is to help you and your family." (APPLAUSE from delegates) (

I'm saddened and dismayed that so many politicians and their supporters still don't get it :-(

The increasing imbalance of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere since the 18th century Industrial Revolution is a well documented fact. The coincidental timing of Hurricane Isaac with the start of the Republican Convention seemed to me to be a dramatic wake up call. The Summer of drought, crop failure, and forest fires have amply demonstrated the harm to human habitation that Climate Change causes. Yet environmental concerns were offhandedly belittled by the candidates and delegates alike.

Did it ever make sense to burn precious nonrenewable fossil resources at all? When we hear of lottery winners blowing off their fortunes in a short time by going on wild spending sprees we are not filled with admiration are we? Yet, while surrounded by renewable sun, wind, and biomass energy sources, we as a society have proceeded during the last 262 years to wantonly destroy irreplaceable fossil materials and to do so in a manner that harms our habitat.

Extracting fossil resources at the current stage of difficulty is analogous to the choice of the young teenager in China who sold one of his kidneys to buy an iPad and iPhone. The young teen became ill after his operation and his furious mother smashed his gadgets. Removing mountaintops for coal, extracting oil from tarsands, building the Keystone XL pipeline over the precious Ogallala acquifer, fracking for natural gas by contaminating water, air, and soil, these procedures amount to damaging the Earth's vital organs.  We harm our future to enjoy a brief interval of wastefulness.

The promised "jobs" and "energy independence" will undoubtedly come from unrestrained drilling and fracking if these political factions have their way. This way of "helping" us and our families is akin to enlisting us to dig our own graves. Yes, we are expected to be elated about sharing in anthropomorphic suicide.

Rob Hopkins is from the region where the Industrial Revolution began.  In his TED presentation about Transitioning to a World Without Oil, he reminds us that the cheap oil our world depends on is running out and points us to a future beyond oil:

There is a better way and we have the tools to implement it!
Grassroots Transition Town movements are implementing an "energy descent plan" and preparing to "power down":

Rob Hopkins sums up with a quote from Arundhati Roy: "Another world is not only possible, she's on her way and on a quiet day I can hear her breathing."

Greenies, what kind of future do you want to build?