Climate – Changed - Citizens` Climate Lobby

OPED February 26, 2014
Climate – Changed
By Editorial Board
Last week U.S. Secretary of State John
Kerry said climate change was the world’s
“most fearsome weapon of mass
destruction”, echoing U.S. Navy Admiral
Samuel J. Locklear III’s warning last year
that biggest long-term national security
threat in the Pacific region isn’t North
Korea, it’s storms and rising seas caused
by global warming.
A new report released by the
Insurance Bureau of Canada stated 2013
was the costliest year for this country’s
insurers, who shelled out nearly $3 billion
in claims. That number is nearly double
the previous most costly year.
That fact is, the number of extreme
weather events around the world, and
here in North America, is rising sharply,
and will have an increasingly
destabilizing effect on the global economy
and our national security.
Millions of people around the world
are being impacted by severe weather
right now. California, the agricultural fruit
basket of North America, is experiencing
an epic drought that will increase food
prices for all of us. Meanwhile in much of
the rest of the continent this winter has
seen huge blizzards, ice-storms, and
record low temperatures that have lasted
much longer and reached much further
south than normal. Across the pond in the
U.K., people are seeing an opposite but
related climate effect, severe and
unprecedented flooding and Australians
are in the middle of their hottest year
ever, with record-breaking high
temperatures and a brutal wildfire
We’re no longer at the point of trying
to stop global warming. It’s too late for
that. We’ve burned enough coal, oil, and
natural gas – about 30 billion tons a year
now - to raise the temperature of the
earth one degree. We are at the point of
trying to keep it from becoming a
complete and utter calamity.
“The world is warming to a
catastrophic extent, and the human race
must step up,” the former president of
Ireland, Mary Robinson, said recently.
This is painful to hear. As a parent, it is
painful to think about a world for my
children where extreme weather happen
more often, and where climate wars will
be fought over food and water rather than
ideology. I feel a connection to our
beautiful, wild corner of the world and it’s
hard to contemplate the ecosystems that
are going to be destroyed by a climate
gone crazy. As economic analyst Daphne
Wysham has written “If the truth will set
you free, the truth about climate change
may set you free to take anti-depressants
for the rest of your life.”
Yet taking a serious look at what is
being called the planet’s “The Sixth
Extinction” being caused by human
impacts is exactly what this crisis is
asking us - all of us - to do. Ms. Wysham
went on to say
“After years of working through [the
stages of grief], I've discovered a new
sixth stage: doing The Work. This means
taking courage from each other as we
look this monster in the eye and fight
side-by-side in the battle of a lifetime.
Systemic change — not just light-bulb
change — is what's required now...
Together, we can get a glimpse,
beyond despair, of a world of
transformation and rebirth that is
possible if we're courageous enough to
fight for it. After all, our planet will
eventually restore itself to a state of
equilibrium — we just have to make sure
humankind is around to witness it.”