In the last two months we have had two devastating hurricanes along with two devastating reports regarding climate change. If anyone wants to further deny the reality of climate change they need to go into a corner along with those who continue to believe that the Earth is flat.
Let’s start with the hurricanes. Florence and Michael have brought tremendous and near apocalyptic damage to the regions that they hit. Entire towns have been wiped out. Looking at pictures of the Florida panhandle in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael brought to mind pictures of areas that had been devastated by carpet bombing.
The warnings, in connection with both hurricanes, were very ominous. The strength of the hurricanes before they hit, with Florence initially off the charts and with Michael the strongest on record to hit the panhandle, should have led even the dimmest light in the room to glow brightly. Something is definitely wrong.
Scientists explained this in the immediate aftermath of Michael: yes, they said, there is a direct connection between climate change and the increased intensity and unpredictability of hurricanes. There, it’s been stated.
There were also two reports. The first was from the Trump administration itself, and one, from what I can figure, they did not want the public to see. In essence the report indicated that the Administration expects the temperature of planet Earth to jump 6-7 degrees by the 22nd century. Ironically, they also conclude that nothing can be done, therefore, there is no point in increased regulations on the greenhouse gases that promote climate change! Did I hear that right?
The other report was from the United Nations warning us that nations are not keeping to their agreed targets from the Paris Climate Accords and, as a result, the planet is hurtling towards a point of no return, which could arrive within the next 10-15 years.
The conclusion that we should take from all of this is that the debate is finally over. There is clear and verifiable evidence of climate change underway and the direct relationship of human activity to this phenomenon. For those who raise the point that there has been climate change in the past and that this is natural, guess again. Yes, there has been climate change and it has taken place over hundreds of years. There is no precedent for what we are currently experiencing. This is something new and it is dangerous. And it is something that may envelope humanity in our current life-times, not to mention the life-times of our children.
Is this the end of the world? Not if strong and direct methods are undertaken to change the way that we live, the way that we work, and the things that we produce. That means that capitalism, as we know it, has proven itself incapable of solving the planet’s crisis. It is now up to us to construct an alternative.
Let’s get busy and make this a central issue in all local, state and national elections. We must avoid disaster. I don’t know about you but my daughter means too much to me to remain silent and inactive.
Bill Fletcher, Jr. is the former president of TransAfrica Forum. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and at www.billfletcherjr.com.