By Petey Barnum
What would happen if mankind were threatened with extinction, but national leaders were so obsessed with advancing their own short-term individual interests that they were incapable of acting together in the longer term to save the planet?
You tell me. You’re living it.
Emissions of carbon dioxide from fossil fuels surged 5.9 percent to a record high in 2010 as developing countries fouled their air and rivers in a mad dash for financial equality with the former colonial powers. It was the largest annual increase ever recorded, according to the Agence France-Presse news service.
Carbon dioxide emissions totaled 9.1 gigatonnes in 2009, scientists reported in a letter published Dec. 4 in the “Nature Climate Change” journal. China, where people routinely lead their lives in surgical masks due to pollution, led the surge with an annual emissions increase of 10.4 percent. It’s now the world’s No. 1 polluter. Emissions in India rose 9.4 percent, while those in the United States climbed 4.1 percent.
On a positive note, industrialists in all three countries continued to amass huge personal fortunes and enjoy the greater individual living space, social standing and mating rights that result from the sale of the consumer products responsible for the rapid fouling of planet Earth. They reign supreme on our ship of fools as leader of the dominant “greed is good” community.
The letter was published as nations struggle to reach agreement on the regulation of the emission of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases which trap solar heat and are fostering rapid worldwide climate change.
Yvo de Boer, a Dutch civil servant, left his job as the U.N.’s top climate official 18 months ago because the process of negotiating a meaningful climate agreement was failing.
“I still have the same view of the process that led me to leave,” he told The Associated Press on Dec. 4.
“I’m still deeply concerned about where it’s going, or rather where it’s not going.”
A new report this month from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that 430 billion metric tons of ice melted in Greenland from 2010 to 2011, and that the past five years have had the five lowest summer sea ice levels on record. It also found that his year’s temperature is roughly 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit higher than what had been normal since 1980.
The Global Migration Group warned Dec. 1 that climate change threatens to displace millions of people around the globe due as melting ice in the Arctic and Antarctic causes sea levels to rise. The group is comprised of 14 United Nations agencies, the World Bank and the International Organization for Migration.
“While there is mounting evidence that climate change has the potential to contribute to substantial movements of people, the response of the international community has so far been limited at best,” the group said in a statement. “The international community (needs) to recognize that migration and displacement induced by environmental degradation and climate change require urgent action.”
But first, the leaders of the greed is good community must focus on raising short-term profit growth. And then, they have to raise short-term profit growth. Which will then be followed by the quest for greater short-term profit growth.
They’re geniuses. They’ve got it all figured out.
Where does that leave the rest of us?
Have you ever seen a film called “Soylent Green?”