Sunday, April 20, 2014

We got a lot to talk about!

          As I said in my previous post I want to guide you to exactly where I stand on what I believe are the most important problems facing America today. It is a complicated world and there are multiple issues that will have to be addressed. It will require an organized effort to be successful. Only a shared vision of where we need to go as a nation will result in long term success. As I see things I believe these must be a part of the vision for America going forward

          Climate Change

          Yes, it is real and it is our fault. Despite the far rights efforts to debunk the science with false hoods and scientists who disagree the fact remains that there is an overwhelming consensus among scientists about two things. The level of greenhouse gases or GHGs is rising due to human behavior and the climate is warming because of it. The debate comes in when trying to analyze the effects it will ultimately have on the environment.

Very conservative estimates put the global temperature rise by the end of the century by 2 degrees Celsius and a sea level rise of 2 meters.  Sea level rise of two meters will cause the displacement of tens of millions refugees worldwide. This will not only affect far off place like the Maldives, or Bangladesh or India but this will cause the relocation millions as well as a loss of infrastructure, agriculture and more here at home. Cities like Miami, New Orleans may no longer exist if even the most optimistic views of climate change come true.

The problem is the more we discover about what is currently occurring to our environment the faster and more extreme the changes are. Glaciers, year round snow packs, permafrost and the arctic sea ice are disappearing faster every time we measure them. Though these are major issues to deal with the real unknown is the ice that sits atop Greenland and the Antarctic. There is enough water stored in those two places to raise sea level to apocalyptic levels worldwide. The current position is that the ice should remain there for a long time to come but every time we measure these massive ice sheets are disappearing faster and faster and we honestly do not know where the tipping point is in relationship to the ice sheets long term survival.

Not acting to prevent all the further damage to our environment that we can is an ethics issue. With the knowledge that the scientific community has reached a consensus on the impact that we are having on our environment, lack of action will seem criminal in hindsight if even the most minor of environmental predictions come true. We need to impress upon our leaders that this needs to be of utmost concern. A national effort like that we made to be the first to the moon should be in place as soon as possible. What’s the downside? We create a bunch of jobs and industries that make the planet a better place to live. I could live with being wrong on this. 

Up next: Income Inequality

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