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View Diary: Global Warming, Islam, and the US: Flashpoint Bangladesh? (70 comments)

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  •  What might make US involvement in the area (14+ / 0-)

    you cite less likely would be the fact that climate change and rising sea levels are occurring everywhere.  Even though there are huge numbers of people at risk in Bangaladesh, that nation may not capture the attention of the increasingly budget-limited and narrow-minded US media, beyond a "and over there, too" type of comment.

    Rising sea levels in NYC, Washington DC, Florida, plus devastation of citrus crops, invasive pests, crop failure, fisheries collapses, and deadly heat waves, hurricanes, tornadoes, freak hailstorms will likely keep us occupied.

    What climate change does not need is further military involvement by anyone anywhere.  Yet, it is likely that wars will be fought over water and energy sources.

     It is my hope that the US can stay out of those wars and find a way to exert "soft" leadership in reducing CO2 emission levels rapidly. It may be a futile hope, but what more do we have?

    "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

    by YucatanMan on Sun May 12, 2013 at 08:46:26 PM PDT

    •  Maybe next time (4+ / 0-)

      When it comes to multinational climate negotiations the Obama Administration has been big on talk of cooperation but steadfastly adhered to the positions staked by the Bush Administration, and there is zero change of getting majority Congressional support even for actions in the USA, let alone ceding any powers to international bodies.

      American people have to do this, don't wait for the government to act.

      400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

      by koNko on Sun May 12, 2013 at 08:53:56 PM PDT

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      •  Well, I'd like for that to work, but I'm a long (9+ / 0-)

        time early adapter of anti-climate change strategies born of the first Earth Day.

        Small cars carefully maintained, no extra trips, superinsulated attic, energy efficient windows and low thermostat, work from home as much as possible, LED bulbs replaced CFL bulbs a while back, low water usage garden/yard, recycling almost everything, etc, etc.

        The thing is, individually, we cannot make big enough impacts.  

        For example, seat belts were available in cars back in the 1950s, but you had to order them and pay "extra." So, they had no effect on highway death tolls. Once the government mandated seat belts in cars, then passive restraints, then air bags, we saw death tolls fall quickly.

        We can each do more or less, but to get on with the big programs, we need government involvement. Without it, the battle is lost.  

        We need new transmission lines from wind farms and solar installations.  We need distributed power, with affordable financing schemes for individual solar cells on homes and businesses.  We need worker laws which encourage or allow work from home (without commuting) when possible. We need power plant emissions controls.

        And while I'm writing a wish list that I'll likely never see come into fruition, we desperately need a 'Manhattan-style Project' to find ways to remove CO2 from the atmosphere.  Whether through catalysts on car radiators (?) or mass forestation plans or whatever, we need government action there.  Companies and individuals cannot achieve such things on their own.

        Even though many of us have been trying for many years.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sun May 12, 2013 at 09:03:56 PM PDT

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        •  Agree. But there's a synergy between voluntary (9+ / 0-)

          adoption of green tech and the government mandates that follow.

          At first, only the neighborhood "kooks" put solar on the roof. But as the panels became a familiar sight, it became possible for legislators to stare down the oil company shills and vote for solar tax credits.

          California's 2006 climate-change law, AB32, mandates (among many other things)  tire inflation monitors and aerodynamic "dams" on semi-trucks. The TeaPuppets made a stink about these "job-killing" regulations, but the smart trucking companies started doing using these years ago.

          The California Green Building Code also codifies simple obvious things (like timers on bathroom fans) that have been voluntarily employed as "best practices" by builders and building owners for years.

          It used to be that only "health food nuts" composted their kitchen greenwaste. Today the city of San Francisco requires separation of kitchen waste into separate bins. The city now sends 600 tons of greenwaste per day to composting facilities.

          So, there's a place for individual initiative by "early adopters".

          “It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing
          he was never reasoned into” - Jonathan Swift

          by jjohnjj on Sun May 12, 2013 at 10:00:08 PM PDT

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          •  My grandparents on both sides composted since ... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            PaloAltoPixie, JayRaye, koNko, myboo

            well, forever. They were married in the 1930s.  Both sets of grandparents had "Victory Gardens" even before the war called them that and kept them up until they died.

            We all adopted all sorts of measures to save gas when the price went from 25 cents to $1.30 in the 1970s. Tire pressure checks, frequent tune-ups, slower driving.  But it wasn't until the government instituted and raised CAFE standards that it made a real impact in consumption. (other than driving avoidance, which millions did overnight.)

            Everyone needs to do their part. I'm not arguing that we shouldn't.  

            But that is not enough. Without the heavy lifting through concerted action by government programs and regulations, we cannot do enough on our own.

            "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

            by YucatanMan on Sun May 12, 2013 at 10:54:33 PM PDT

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          •  California is one leader (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            YucatanMan

            Refer to my comments to ZhenRen above.

            Standards are vitally important.

            I hate LA, but I love LA for the example it is setting.

            400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

            by koNko on Mon May 13, 2013 at 04:57:34 AM PDT

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        •  People need to lead (4+ / 0-)

          Almost everything important that has to change in the world happens because individuals and groups take initiative to lead.

          I'm personally very committed to environmentalism and have been for years, and want to say people can do more than they think if they focus on it when making decisions big and small. I could list them all day but the important thing is to make it a habit so it become as automatic as possible.

          But obviously individuals alone can't change many things that require large organizations and/or governments at every level from local to national and multinational.

          In that respect, I see the US making more progress at local and state government levels and this needs to be supported and accelerate because (a) Congress is pretty backward and gridlocked at this point; (b) the more things work and succeed locally, the more likely to overcome inertia nationally, and; (c) progress is progress and we need to take it any way we can.

          The public is behind this, but sleeping. Time to wake up.

          400ppm : what about my daughter's future?

          by koNko on Mon May 13, 2013 at 04:55:58 AM PDT

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    •  Having to tend our own disaster is, oddly (5+ / 0-)

      One small hope that we will be less inclined to blight the world.  I can even imagine the coming disaster will bring people together to act more cooperatively.  There may well even be more good jobs in shoring up the coastline, setting up solar panel fields, etc.  Lots of work managing the disaster that can't be outsourced.

      Then I remember how willing we are now to let things like education, health, and infrastructure turn to shit while we spend trillions on invading and occupying Muslim countries for neo-liberal ideology.

      It depends on us.  Climate change presents us with a unique opportunity to win the public imagination.  Sad that it might take a global catastrophe, but as they say, never let a crisis go to waste.

      A slower bleed-out is not a sustainable value.

      by MrJayTee on Sun May 12, 2013 at 08:58:09 PM PDT

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      •  World War II would have been impossible to win (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JayRaye, tobendaro, New Rule, northerntier

        under today's media/political environment.

        Everyone came together, recycled metal, planted Victory Gardens, bought war bonds, etc, etc, etc.  

        Today, the Republicans would be holding back money for the US Navy to fight back.  The Tea Baggers would be holding endless hearings on Pearl Harbor, preventing the administration from accomplishing anything other than navel-gazing. No bills would pass Congress, because no one wanted the other side to have credit for success.  We'd all be speaking German today. Or Japanese. Doubtfully Italian. ;-)

        Right wingers, Republicans and Tea baggers are literally crippling the nation.

        "The law is meant to be my servant and not my master, still less my torturer and my murderer." -- James Baldwin. July 11, 1966.

        by YucatanMan on Sun May 12, 2013 at 09:07:31 PM PDT

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    •  U.S. military listed it as a strategic concern (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      YucatanMan, Ginny in CO

      Every four years DOD prepares its Quadrennial Defense Review (QDR), most recently in 2010. That report pointed out that while climate change was not a direct threat, it would add pressure in countries that already are quite volatile, because of possible drought, famine, disease, etc.

      West Virginia's new motto: Ex Os, Ex Mens (go look it up)

      by blonde moment on Mon May 13, 2013 at 07:44:05 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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