I keep wondering why America’s leaders, and to some extent Americans, are so indifferent to climate change: its fires and cyclones, burning forests, destroying small cities, flooding large cities and their subways , Throwing cars in the air and killing people.
These are not insignificant and random events and damages. These are far-reaching and devastating blows that the increasingly powerful climate giant has inflicted on America and the world.
So why the political apathy that peaked under the Reagan and Trump administrations? Are Americans and their leaders and the rest of the world and their leaders suicidal?
I don’t think so. The problem is more complex. It is pervaded by the fear of maintaining an income for most Americans and the greed, money, and power of the billionaire class. Also, states rely on their military, not science.
For example, seeing the streets crowded with cars in the morning and late afternoon and afterwards illuminates this confusing dilemma.
Cars are certainly comfortable . You don’t need to walk or ride a mule and a horse. Your mechanical horse will take you to your desired destination quickly.
But the inconvenient truth is that cars are the worst machines ever invented. Their engineers and manufacturers and their regulators decided that the world outside of the auto machines was a giant toilet for their endless noxious emissions. They ignored people and other life needs a healthy atmosphere.
Cars atomize society. Everyone acts / drives for himself and takes care of his own business. The minds of these millions of drivers are full of worry about their “job” and countless other problems that affect them and their families. They listen to talk radio and major commercial TV stations, dumb them down and aggravate their worries, which makes them even more powerless.
In such a state of mind, it is impossible for the brain to be logical. Any thought that cars pollute the air of drivers (and all living things) disappears. The networking of cars with climate change is also becoming problematic and alien.
Motorists, especially in large cities, have learned to tolerate traffic jams, anger, invisible and visible environmental pollution, narrow spaces and often degrading factory work.
This dramatic decline of intelligence and democracy satisfies the leaders of both parties and the American corporate class. They repeatedly boast of the nonsense that America’s business is business. By that they mean the primacy of personal interest and ignoring the public good.
You would expect the country’s brain trust, thousands and thousands of scientists, engineers, doctors, lawyers and large numbers of professors to join hundreds of Colleges and universities would reach out in their arms to counteract the country’s apathy in the dark age towards a real and clearly threatened climate chaos.
Why that? Because these millions of highly educated men and women have the knowledge or at least the rudiments of the anthropogenic origins of climate change / global warming.
They know or should know that the culprit of this massive crime against future generations, including Mother Earth, is the burning fossil fuel is. They know that driving gasoline-powered cars and trucks, power plants that burn oil, coal, and natural gas, factory farming and animal farms that also run on fossil fuels, and armies, navies, and air forces that run on bombs and gigantic machines that run on fossil fuels Burning fuels, laden are the causes of the destruction of tornadoes, torrential rain, floods, droughts, massive forest fires, including increasing difficulties in obtaining food.
However, these employees were busy with fads. For example, at most colleges and universities, their priorities include playing down the Greeks and Western civilization and teaching palliative care courses to soothe minority anger. Meanwhile, they vigorously serve the military-industrial complex.
The honorable exception to this almost academic aphasia comes from biologists who denounce the destruction of animals and plants, as well as climatologists who have been warning world leaders since 1992. They document the anthropogenic causes of the climate catastrophe, demand the removal of fossil fuels by 2030 at the latest and their replacement with efficient and pollution-free solar and wind technologies.
The federal and state governments are largely supported by the fossil fuel industry and its generously funded allies in commercial media, universities, foundations, billionaires, medicine, law, large agriculture, other industries and Congress.
Reagan and Trump knew immediately that these actors were in the pockets of oil and coal. But with Joe Biden the man like his former boss Barack Obama is more complicated than Trump.
Biden still has to address climate change. He is buried in the pandemic and stock trap. Like professors who teach potentially interesting, if hardly important and relevant, courses, Biden spreads goodwill but not wisdom. His government purports to regulate polluters, although mining, the fossil fuel industry, agriculture, the agrochemical industry that produces neurotoxic and carcinogenic pesticides / biocides for warfare, and transportation continue to rule.
Biden shouldn’t expect the EPA to suddenly work in the name of public health and nature. The decades-long dominance of industry in politics cannot be put aside overnight. He can simply order the administrator to get rid of all neurotoxic and carcinogenic pesticides. Americans would be happy to receive such an order. The EPA can then ignore the chemical and agribusiness lobbyists and immediately ban these horrific harmful chemicals from nature and American food.
On September 9, 2021, I heard Biden say on ABC News that he was proud to have 500 million vaccines to have sent to poor countries. It’s good. The more people are vaccinated, the shorter the deadly life of the pandemic.
He should now do the same with the climate risk. Invite world leaders to Washington, DC, to design and enforce an enforceable fossil fuel phasing out treaty that promises technical assistance to impoverished nations over the next nine years to get over oil, coal and natural gas At home, Biden can order the Pentagon to end its dependence on oil. He can also use the Pentagon and its enormous resources in building an infrastructure for solar and wind power while dismantling the guts of corporations and governments for fossil fuels.
This should not be seen as radical in the first place because the Republican Party and industry would rather ruin America and the world than see a reduction in their fossil fuels and wealth.
Such necessary action should make this country (and the world) beyond the fake rhetoric about climate change and the insistence on it We need resilience, but most of all, we need to change from defending the status quo to preventing additional disasters that come our way. We will be able to do this once we get rid of fossil fuels and start using solar and wind power.
In the 6th century BC. The Athenians gave up tyranny in favor of democracy. That really was a radical departure from business as usual.
The 21st century requires a similar departure from the looming danger of business as usual with fossil fuels.
A possible civil war gave the Athenians a democratic future. Now we have a disastrous prospect that will bring us the message for a better solar and wind future if only we embrace a fossil-free future. The sun, the wind, and a healthy mother earth ask that we not ignore them.
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