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Please begin with an informative title:

Just recently South African freedom fighter and faith leader Desmond Tutu called for a global boycott and disinvestment campaign against the energy industry. He is calling for an international effort to reduce global climate change and push for investment in renewable and sustainable non-carbon emitting fuels such as wind, solar, tidal, geothermal, and other forms of energy.

We in the US know that many of our global competitors are making huge investments in this direction already including China, Germany, and Canada. In fact, during President Obama’s first term the US almost made such an investment until the Senate Republicans decided to deny the President any legislative victories and killed the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman Climate Change Bill.

I have been a participant at two United Nations Global Climate Change negotiations. I bear personal witness to the frustration of the rest of the world in the unwillingness of the United States to play any constructive role in reducing carbon in the atmosphere and the consequent climate change.

Now more and more people are linking climate change and income inequality both as the two most important issues facing humanity and the earth right now, but also as two crises that combined make each other more threatening and deadly.

A controversial scientific report just out made that case explicitly.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said, “[t]he volume of scientific literature on the effects of climate change has doubled since the last report, and the findings make an increasingly detailed picture of how climate change – in tandem with existing fault lines such as poverty and inequality – poses a much more direct threat to life and livelihood.”

So we know that income inequality and climate change are not just unjust, but also dangerous to humanity and our societies.

Why then, can’t we take action as a nation, a society, a people in order to mitigate these two related crises? We absolutely have the capability to resolve them.

Both these crises and our inability to mitigate them are a direct result of turning our future, our Earth, and our lives over to unfettered market forces, the forces of greed turned to evil, a deregulated capitalism that does not serve the interests of the many and humanity but only the few. Could it be that this growing understanding is why the plutocracy or oligarchy is now in overdrive to take maximum control of the US political system?

Photo source: Library and Archives Canada

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