Tuesday, August 04, 2015

America the Beautiful

Climate change deniers are killing this nation. From sea to shining sea there are weather catastrophes every day ad nauseam. If it is not drought it is multiple fires from drought; if it is not fire it is flood; if it is not flood it is devastating multiple tornadoes throughout the entire Midwest; if it is not tornadoes it is tropical-like storms; if it is not storms it is devastating winters with their accompanying Everest-like mountains of snow that does not entirely melt until July. Fire from environmentally devastating gas fracking is pouring out of people’s faucets giving new meaning to the drinking of firewater.

The costs to our environment and the health costs of all of this are staggering and yet the carbon emissions from factory smokestacks belch on with no end in sight and a science denying Republican Congress that refuses to see the forest through the trees -- at least the trees that are left -- is our brave new world. Climate change stands between us and extinction.

There is enough regurgitation of carbon to proverbially choke a horse. Nearly 100% of scientists who have studied climate change have agreed now for decades there is no doubt the planet is warming and that climate change, in no understated part, has man’s signature on it. This is not conjecture or hypothesis it is fact. Man is committing suicide. Moreover, blood is on his hands for the eventual murder of his own progeny whom he claims to care about so much.

Our rivers, streams and vast parts of the ocean are rife with polluted filth and human sewage. The condition of the waters is so desperate that the summer Olympic Games in Brazil are at risk because of fear from deadly viruses that swim with the dead fish in the ocean – the same ocean athletes will use to compete in the Games.

The BP Gulf oil spill, the largest in this nation's history, is still wreaking havoc in the once-pristine Louisiana ecosystem and its attendant shores. The chemical Corexit used to clean up the massive spill did not correct it but rather added to the toxicity. It still can be found in food deemed ready for consumption by those who love the words “cover up” lest money be lost. What do a few cancer deaths from it matter?

The Fukushima meltdown of Japan’s nuclear power reactors from its Richter Scale 9 massive earthquake and its sidecar tsunami devastated that nation and still leaves its legacy. Vast living space is still deemed radiation-soaked uninhabitable and will remain so for decades. The refuse of it, I might add, we see on America’s shores as we all live in a globally connected world.

The cancer rate from the combination of all these man made catastrophes continues to rise. What will it take for this nation to place caps on fossil fuel emissions, impose strict limitation on drilling for filthy oil in pristine parts of the globe like the Arctic as well as negating permanently the huge Canadian oil pipeline running through the middle of our nation with no way to stem leaks that most definitely will erupt from it. What will it take to develop post haste alternative nonpolluting sources of energy?

I know what it WON'T take – a Republican science-denying majority in Congress and Senator Inhofe Chairman of the Environment Committee melting snowballs to prove global warming is a hoax. This is knee slapping laughable if it were not so serious and sad.

The corporatist oligarchs of the 1% pay to play with their Congresspersons who keep them blindingly rich but care nothing about the preponderance of suffering in this nation because of their fossil fuel and other dangerous energy cargo. One might think they, too, cared nothing for their own children or even for themselves.

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

We might remember the lyrics of “America the Beautiful” because, unless we act to reverse man-made climate change the contextual meaning of those lyrics is faster-than-we-know, sadly, becoming obsolete.