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Wed Sep 18, 2019, 05:03 PM

'We're Losing The Race': UN Secretary General Calls Climate Change An 'Emergency'

Source: The Guardian

The UN secretary general says that he is counting on public pressure to compel governments to take much stronger action against what he calls the climate change "emergency".

"Governments always follow public opinion, everywhere in the world, sooner or later," Antnio Guterres, said on Tuesday in an interview with Covering Climate Now, a global collaboration of more than 250 news outlets, led by Columbia Journalism Review and the Nation, in partnership with the Guardian. Guterres, a former prime minister of Portugal, added: "And so ... we need to keep telling the truth to people and be confident that the political system, especially democratic political systems, will in the end deliver."

Guterres refused to comment on Donald Trump and the Trump administration's hostility to climate action, but a CBS News poll released on 15 September found that 69% of Americans want the next president to take action, while 53% say such action is needed "right now".

Guterres said that "it would be much better" if the US was "strongly committed to climate action", just as it would be better if Asian countries [notably, China and Japan] stopped exporting coal plants. Until then, he said, "what I want is to have the whole society putting pressure on governments to understand they need to run faster. Because we are losing the race."

With five days remaining before the UN climate action summit on 23 September, the secretary general cited the "fantastic leadership" of young activists as a leading example of how civil society can pressure governments to honor the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit temperature rise to "well below" 2C and preferably to 1.5C. Recent election results across Europe - where green parties gained significant public backing - also left Guterres optimistic that at next Monday's summit the European Union will announce that it promises to be "carbon neutral" by 2050, as the Paris Agreement mandates.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/18/un-secretary-general-climate-crisis-trump



Guterres said, "Nature is angry," citing a visit to the Bahamas where Hurricane Dorian unleashed what he called "total destruction".

The Secretary General also pointed to fierce drought in Africa, melting glaciers, bleaching coral reefs, July 2019, the hottest month in recorded history, and potential future sea level rise of 10 to 20 meters (33 to 66ft) as evidence that, "You cannot play games with Nature. Nature strikes back."

"Don't bring a speech, bring a plan" is what he told heads of state and government in the months before the Sept. 23 UN Climate Summit.



--------------------
- Also: "Guardian joins major global news collaboration Covering Climate Now." Ahead of the UN climate summit, more than 250 newsrooms are boosting their climate coverage in a major initiative launched by Columbia Journalism Review and the Nation in partnership with the Guardian. Sept. 15, 2019.

*The 'Covering Climate Now' network represents every corner of the media including:

- TV networks (CBS News, Al Jazeera),
- newspapers (El Pas, the Toronto Star),
- digital players (BuzzFeed, HuffPost, Vox),
- wire services (Getty Images, Bloomberg),
- magazines (Nature, Scientific American),
- and dozens of podcasts, local publishers, radio and TV stations.

Countries represented include Togo, Nepal, Argentina, India, Japan, Australia, Brazil, the Netherlands and dozens more.

More, https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/sep/15/guardian-leads-global-news-collaboration-covering-climate-now

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Reply 'We're Losing The Race': UN Secretary General Calls Climate Change An 'Emergency' (Original post)
appalachiablue Sep 18 OP
Saviolo Sep 18 #1
Newest Reality Sep 18 #2
bucolic_frolic Sep 18 #4
Newest Reality Sep 18 #5
bucolic_frolic Sep 18 #8
Newest Reality Sep 18 #9
appalachiablue Sep 18 #10
JudyM Sep 19 #12
progree Sep 18 #3
CrispyQ Sep 18 #6
flamingdem Sep 18 #7
Boomer Sep 18 #11
bdamomma Sep 20 #13

Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 05:12 PM

1. Very soon, environmental collapse will not be a political issue.

We are in a crisis. We are not approaching a crisis, we are -in- a crisis.

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Response to Saviolo (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 05:22 PM

2. Admitting that

is going to be a long, difficult and hard slog for many people.

I am on the other side, so to speak. In other words, the momentum and feedback loops in the climate, along with the almost nil changes in the current human lifestyle means we had best get on means to withstand the impacts while, at the very least, try not to make it worse for who or what survives this. Anthropocene anyone? a mass extinction event coming to a world near you?

It is good to be more sensitive to the process of climate grief. I think that denial will work for some, (and no, I wouldn't condone it if this crises could be averted at such a late date) until they can no longer maintain it due to direct experience. On the other hand, many will buck up, open their eyes and start to cope as best they can with the facts and changes to come.

When you are at the acceptance stage, then you might just do what you do with even more gusto, while changing your views about the future, which includes a wide gamut of choices concerning having children, owning property in certain locations, building communities based on resilience, etc. All of them difficult and inconvenient choices to start making. However, more emphasis can and should be placed on being in the present and making the very best of it while you can. Here and now.

The window of opportunity to turn this around is closed, IMHO. Green-washing and feel goods are okay, but that's about guilt, catharsis and other psychological factors.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #2)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 05:59 PM

4. You mean like Green Consumerism?

Which do you think will get us - plastics, heat, wind, typhoons and hurricanes, tsunami's?

I'm mostly concerned about the costs of the fallout. Maintaining and insuring anything will be through the roof. Renters may win for awhile, but have no place to go.

I think the species will survive, but it will be those in caves.

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #4)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 06:19 PM

5. That's part of the problem...

Right? It seems that this is not just about one or two or several things, but a multi-faceted set of circumstances and a conflagration of perfect storms. It is all going to get us, but extreme weather, (all the above) and rising ocean levels look like they will bring the initial major blows. We have to keep in mind just how many major metropolitan areas are on or near the coasts.

The plastics are going to take a while as marine life and oceans are largely impacted by them and that factors into food chain collapse, though the plastic is now rather ubiquitous as we are finding and who knows the long-rang on that one?

Yes, your concerns are apropos. I don't think we can even get our heads around the ramifications yet, at least, I haven't read the book, if there is one. Initially, I think what you mentioned about maintaining and insuring is a right up front problem. Plus, we have an impending mass migration from the coasts to the inland and we can expect at least around a billion climate refugees globally.

The survival of humans, and for how long after this really ramps up and rages, is an interesting speculation. I imagine two types of survivors.

The first will just be loose, leftover bands of humans who eek out a living after a massive breakdown in most complex systems, JIT, etc. How long they make it is anyone's guess and with the mass extinction of species and collapse of food chains, etc., that seems to be a variable that is not in their favor.

The second, of course will be the wealthy, who are already setting up their means of survival should everything collapse, be it slowly or suddenly.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #5)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 06:36 PM

8. The wealthy will survive?

How long before their bunkers run out of food. Remember, the wealthy don't know how to do anything. They pay servants for food, transportation, infrastructure that serves their lives. They don't know how to skin a deer or chicken, grow a vegetable garden, or even cooperate with neighbors sometimes.

Some preppers may survive. But life could quickly become tribal warfare, survival-of-the-fittest, the strong over the weak, the armed over the timid. Perhaps parallels can be found in the Dark Ages and the period of the Black Death. Religious cults may survive. Some of them remain insular, very independent and supportive of one another, mistrustful of outsiders.

Cities and suburbia would not be my preference to prepare. Witness hurricane evacuations, and what use is your car when you are hungry?

But be hopeful. The decline may be gradual as heat waves cull the population until it is actually shrinking. This will mean less consumerism, depression, but also less use of resources and energy in particular. Undertakers will be one of the few growth industries.

Cheers!

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Response to bucolic_frolic (Reply #8)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 06:45 PM

9. Oh, thank you

Thanks for filling in that part. I tend to go on and didn't want to get into an entire article about that, but you are right on spot there.

I don't think it will be a grand ol' time and there are some major flaws in some plans people have. Nobody is an island and things are far more interdependent than the myopic, rugged individualist viewpoint of the USA is concerned, for one thing.

I think the loner preppers are the worst off and will be first causalities and easy pickings. "Oh, how nice of you to gather all of that for us! Blam!" The numbers of people ready to take them on in long standoff will be overwhelming in that case.

And the wealthy scenario will probably devolve rather quickly. Ah, if you have a group of paramilitary security personnel, well, we know how that can go. I do then to think of the Morlocks of the Time Machine in this case, though.

On the positive side, there are people who are investigating more of a group effort approach now, so looking into communities based on resilience and survival based on these coming scenarios might be a good idea. Worse comes to worse, misery loves company.

Cheers!

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Response to Saviolo (Reply #1)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 07:06 PM

10. Shocker episode I remember. Thanks for posting.

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Response to Saviolo (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 19, 2019, 08:58 AM

12. Thanks for posting this ... it needs to become viral, IMO, to help motivate folks to rise.up.now.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 05:44 PM

3. I suspect Americans are at best in the "minor fixes are all that is needed" stage, which is

barely helpful and definitely inadequate.

The Kaiser Family Foundation/Washington Post Climate Change Survey, 9/16/19
https://www.kff.org/report-section/the-kaiser-family-foundation-washington-post-climate-change-survey-main-findings-9349/
Few U.S. adults are willing to make personal sacrifices in the form of higher gas or electricity taxes in order to address climate change.

Fewer than four in ten adults (37%) think that reducing the negative effects of global warming and climate change will require major sacrifices from ordinary Americans, while a plurality (48%) think it will require minor sacrifices and 14% say it won’t require much sacrifice at all.

Majorities are willing to support raising taxes on wealthy households (68%) and on companies that burn fossil fuels, even if it may lead to increased electricity and transportation prices (60%), as ways to pay for policies aimed at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

But when it comes to taxes that are likely to hit consumers’ pocketbooks, support is much lower. About half (51%) oppose a $2 monthly tax on U.S. residential electric bills, and seven in ten (71%) are opposed to such a tax at the $10 a month level. Similarly, majorities oppose increasing the federal gasoline tax by 10 cents or 25 cents per gallon (64% and 74%, respectively). There are partisan divisions, but even majorities of Democrats oppose a $10 monthly electricity tax (60%) and a 25-cent per gallon gasoline tax (63%).

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 06:22 PM

6. The Republican Party is the biggest obstacle on this issue.

The dems need a national campaign pointing out that fact. Hopefully dem orgs & leadership will pull out all the stops & have some kick-ass marketing campaigns for next year. Not holding my breath, cuz for some reason our party seems to believe that capturing the narrative, or framing the debate, or just plain fucking marketing, if that's what you want to call it, isn't necessary.

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Response to CrispyQ (Reply #6)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 06:26 PM

7. True

and Trump is working with Bolsonaro to destroy more of the Amazon.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Wed Sep 18, 2019, 07:57 PM

11. We were leaving anyway, one way or another

Climate change will accelerate our exit from the Anthropocene, but we've been on a suicidal path for sometime now anyway. Unrestrained population growth and pyramid-scheme financial models are responsible for us eating our way through the global ecosystem. We've already shown that we simply won't stop until we have consumed every moving being and left behind a toxic pool.

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Response to appalachiablue (Original post)

Fri Sep 20, 2019, 08:54 AM

13. yes we are

Hurricanes are shooting out from Africa with force, and devastating countries and we have a ignorant POS who believes it's a hoax.

fuck him, People are loosing their homes and livelihoods.

The earth is mad.

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