Climate Change Is Not Just an Environmental Problem -- It's an Economic One
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And nary a word about the hit to the earth's warming climate of these "clean energy" technologies. According to the International Energy Agency the world cannot afford to burn two-thirds of all identified fossil fuel resources. All that new carbon alone will doom the planet. It has to stay in the ground. So what the heck are we all talking about? "Jobs and revenue" is beginning to sound like the ditty Nero might sing as Rome burns.
Earlier this month, countries of the world met in Doha, Qatar under the auspices of the United Nations, to continue their nearly 20 year conversation about what they could or should do concerning climate change. Twenty years of talk and no action. Why? Because there's way too much money to be made doing nothing, and besides, say some, carbon regulation is not the UN's job.
When ordinary people have a concern about the impacts to their well-being of an industry, they naturally turn to their elected political leaders. So it's disappointing when those leaders aren't that interested in protecting public health. Susan Rice, current UN Ambassador, whose name is being floated for Secretary of State, has over a million invested in the Keystone Pipeline, a deal that needs - surprise! - a permit from the Department of State to proceed. It's hard for politicians to care about whether you can breathe air or drink water when they're so busy toting up their own return on investment.
I'm not against jobs and revenue but I've come to highly value breathing air and drinking water. The only force in the world capable of ultimately winning out over all this prevailing wisdom about jobs and revenue and the incredible boon of "clean" fossil fuels is sustained direct action by people. For real change, people will have to push harder, because politicians can talk forever, if you let them.
This is the conclusion many activists have come to across a variety of campaigns like Greenpeace, the Tar Sands Blockade and the new student movement to force colleges and universities to divest themselves of their fossil fuel investments, to name a few. It's surely going to get hotter - literally and figuratively - before health and well-being win out over jobs and revenue.
This article originally published at GreenCityJournal.com.