The Real Debate About Climate Change

Since the beginning of the New Year there has been a string of extreme weather events throughout the world. In December and January, the South American country, Colombia, saw record flooding that left millions without access to safe drinking water or shelter. A few months later, in April, Colombia was again battered by record flooding.
In the United States, the Mississippi River flooded much of the central states and forced the state of Louisiana to purposely flood parts of the state to save the cities of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. The irony of the flooding in Louisiana is that the state is currently suffering one of the worst droughts in history. In some parts of the state this year’s rainfall is three feet less than the yearly average.
In China flooding in the eastern part of the country has forced over five million people to leave their homes. These torrential rains and flooding follow a drought that has gripped this part of China for the past fifty years. China’s second-largest freshwater lake, Dongting, has lost two-thirds of its water over the past few months. Rivers and streams along the Yangtze River have dried to the point that annual festivals celebrating water and life had to be canceled. The Chinese government warned that food prices will continue to rise as drought and flood impact large parts of the country used for planting crops. The government said that the cause of the extreme weather events is man-made climate change.
The Chinese government is not alone in identifying man-made climate change as the cause of these record-setting weather events. UNICEF, United Nations Childrens Fund, put climate change as the number one risk to the future development of children. This group cites the lack of food and water due to climate change, as a very serious threat to the world’s children.
Even the United States military agrees that climate change is real, is caused by human activity and needs to be addressed now. The United States Department of Defense called on all installations to prepare for the impact of rising sea levels, severe heat, and other conditions that could affect operational readiness at bases, and training grounds and other facilities.
Shouldn’t the US, as the richest country in the world and leading consumer of energy, be in the lead of the making the changes that must take place if we are going to try to something about the climate crises the scientists are warning us about? It would seem that only debate would be what to do.
The Arizona wildfires provide a perfect example of the elite’s refusal to act or even acknowledge the threat of climate change. Last week John McCain said illegal immigrants, not global warming, are to blame for some of the fires burning a record part of the American Southwest. For those who protect the system that treats the planet like a something that can be used and tossed aside, accepting responsibility is not possible. Admitting that capitalism was to blame for the destruction of the planet would mean admitting that their system needs to change.
So, while many government agencies might agree that climate change is real and needs to be addressed, the lack of response reflects their priorities. One only needs to look at the impact on the price of basic foods. Those in control of the economy have a simple solution – charge people more and let those who can’t pay, die.
We can’t leave our future and the fate of the planet in the hands of those who have created this crisis. They have shown where their real interests lie. They will continue to pollute and ravage the planet as long as it is profitable for them.