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It doesn't have to be this way. We can join together to be the change we wish to see in this world. We can stop the killing.  However, that is going to have to start now. This crisis which will kill more than terrorism, is in and of itself terrorism, and it will not wait.

More below.

And now we will take even more time to sit and debate the effects of climate change and what we should be doing when we already know what we should be doing. The effects of it are already being felt, especially in poorer countries. Scientists have confirmed as has the IPCC, Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, and other scientific studies, that humans are the dominant force in this tragedy that is unfolding before our eyes. And the longer we sit the more who will die. So what will you do?

It is all well and good to go to see An Inconvenient Truth. But is that where your responsibility ends? Do you think you can simply sit in an air conditioned theatre eating popcorn and watching this for an hour and a half and then go home thinking you did your duty? Well, if you do think that YOU ARE WRONG. If you commit to seeing this movie you have to commit all the way, or all you are doing is betraying the trust of your planet, and more people will die. It has come to that.

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Published on Monday, May 15, 2006 by the Independent / UK

West's Failure over Climate Change 'Will Kill 182m Africans'

by Philip Thornton

The poorest people in the world will be the chief victims of the West's failure to tackle global warning, with millions of Africans forecast to die by the end of the century, Christian Aid says in a report out today.

The potential ravages of climate change are so severe that they could nullify the efforts to end the legacy of poverty and disease across developing countries, the charity says.

The report highlights the fact that, despite hand-wringing in the West about the threat to its coastlines from rising temperatures, it is the poorest who are likely to suffer most. It estimates that a "staggering" 182 million people in sub-Saharan Africa could die of disease directly attributable to climate change by 2100. Many millions more face death and devastation from climate-induced floods, famine, drought and conflict.

Sir John Houghton, former co-chairman of the scientific assessment working group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has given his support to the report's findings. "This report exposes clearly and starkly the devastating impact that human-induced climate change will have on many of the world's poorest people," he said.

Its warning came on the eve of a meeting of nearly 200 nations this week in Bonn which hopes to close the gap between the US and its allies over the best way to combat climate change.

While 40 nations are committed to cutting carbon emissions in line with the Kyoto protocol, the US and leading developing countries such as China have refused to sign.

Kyoto obliges rich nations to cut emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels by 2012. Few experts expect the Bonn talks to break new ground.

The summit of the leaders of the Group of Eight rich nations chaired by Tony Blair in Gleneagles last July agreed to develop markets for clean energy technologies, increase their availability in developing countries, and help vulnerable communities adapt to the impact of climate change.

Last week the head of environment at the World Bank said the world needed to do more to protect the poor from global warming. "As a development institution we have to focus on the fact that millions of people will suffer from climate change," Warren Evans said. "The last G8 pushed African development but didn't focus on the impact of climate change on Africa. We need to catch up on our understanding of that."

The World Bank said in its most recent assessment, that developing and transition countries would require investment of $300bn a year over the next 25 years.

In its report, The climate of poverty: facts, fears and hopes, Christian Aid calls on rich countries to fund a switch from fossil fuels to clean energy sources. Britain has pledged to cut CO2 emissions by more than the Kyoto target - 20 per cent below 1990 levels by 2010 - but the report urges the Government tocommit to a 33 per cent reduction by 2050.

The warnings

* 182 million people in sub-Saharan African could die of disease by 2100.

* Average global temperatures could rise by between 1.5C and 6C by 2100; sea levels are set to rise by between 15cm and 95cm.

* The number of people affected by storms and floods has increased from 740 million to 2.5 billion people since the 1970s.

* Up to 3 million people die of malaria each year. Warmer, wetter weather will help the disease to spread.

* Climate change could reduce Africa's crop yields by 10 per cent.

Source: Christian Aid

© 2006 Independent News and Media Limited

Wars kill the poor. Hunger kills the poor. Poverty kills the poor. Now, reports are that climate change will more deeply effect countries around the world that are too poor to prepare for its effects, and countries that do not even contribute the most to its effects. This is by far the most urgent moral crisis of our times, and countries such as the United States have a moral obligation to do what it can to face its responsibility for contributing to this problem.

The effects of climate change on a global scale will in my opinion be tantamount to the effects of nuclear war if this country and other countries that contribute the most to its effects continue to be morally remiss in taking proper responsibility for its contributions to it.

For far too long the government of the United States and others have buried their heads in the sand when it comes to facing the fact that this country contributes more to the greenhouse gases that cause global warming than any third world country. However, it will be those very third world countries that will feel the effects of that climate change in water shortages, depletion of resources, disease, and in disrupting the very delicate balance of nature that could tip off a cataclysm.

It is no longer feasable for those in this country who claim to care about human rights to ignore this problem. It is no longer feasable to claim that it would cost too much for our economy to dismiss this problem. The effects of climate change on a global scale and the residual cost to all of us in money, but more importantly in lives, in the very way we live, and even in the very make up of this planet are too great to be dismissed as a myth, or needing more research. The research is there, and the verdict is in. Humans contribute to climate change. Therefore, it must be humans who work to counter it.

The Bush administration and all other politicians regardless of politics who ignore it however, are morally bankrupt on this issue. They have turned a blind eye to the future existence of this planet based on their own corporate agenda. The continued dismissal of this very real problem will result in poverty, hunger, land depletion, and depletion of natural resources such as water, that will cause war, terrorism, and death far beyond what we are even seeing now. Far beyond their "war on terrah."

Do our children and those to come in this world deserve for us to be squandering the resources we could be putting towards this problem, to fighting wars that only create the very conditions that contribute to this problem? Do they not deserve to see us working together on a global scale for the advancement of technological, scientific, and sustainable solutions that will provide proper safeguards to those who do not contribute as much to this problem but who will feel most of its effects?

Those in this administration who DARE to throw the word morality around so cavalierly, are being seen for the true moral hypocrites and cowards they are by dismissing this issue. They cannot claim to care about Democracy, human rights, and freedom, if they would shirk their moral responibility to facing climate change on a global scale, and promising that this country will meet its responsibility and obligation to cut greenhouse gases and work with less developed countries in order to head off the effects of the cataclysm we have helped create by our greed, selfishness, and inability to care for others. And I say, if they and other political leaders refuse to face it there, that WE then GO AROUND THEM OUT HERE.

There is no other choice in this matter. If they can take 60 billion a month of OUR money to fight a war of lies, they can most certainly then find what is necessary to provide what we need to fight global climate change and more fervently advance alternative energy sources in this country! It isn't that we do not have the money, capability, innovation, and means to do it. It is simply that the money lies in the hands of people without consciences and hearts. To know what climate change is doing to people in this world, and also here at home as we have seen with Hurricane Katrina and other hurricanes that have hit us so visciously and do nothing, is a human rights violation in and of itself. The time has come for them to be held accountable with all countries that will not carry their weight on this issue. Our very future depends on it.

However, that will not happen by us simply watching an Inconvenient Truth. It will not happen unless after watching it and even before watching it, people become informed, educated, and empowered and DEMAND changes that will truly face this problem that does threaten our very existence. And that DOES include demanding social and political change NOW (not even three years from now, but NOW) as well as taking that action in your own lives. And also, people must be made to understand that this movie is a serious call to people of the entire world to open up their eyes and look in the mirror. This didn't happen by itself. WE let it get this far, and if we fail to take the proper action to reverse what we have done within the time frame given, we will have done nothing less than perpetuate an environmental holocaust.

But we still have time... Time to save lives. What could be a more noble campaign than that?

Originally posted to Patriot for Al Gore on Tue May 16, 2006 at 08:58 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  How do we reverse this? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In like 10 years, we will have passed "the point of no return" (from AIT trailer)!

    •  That is the question of the hour (5+ / 0-)

      I ask it many times myself. And I always come back to human nature, and then wonder if we even can change it. I think we can, but it is going to take tremendous strength of character and perseverence on the part of those of us who see this, pushing into the consciousness of those who do not see it. It seems as though human nature is to just dismiss something unless it effects you perosnally.... we have to make people see that is already happening here. What happens to our planet happens to us.

    •  I wonder (6+ / 0-)

      This will get me flamed for sure, but I wonder if we've effectively passed that point already.  Fossil fuels are tied up with everything we do, and the political will that'll be necessary to disentangle ourselves will be huge.  Then you have to tack on a couple years for research and development, and then widespread use of new technologies.  In the longer term you're talking about a reform of the entire country's transportation infrastructure, as well as attempts to find new electricity sources to replace coal and oil power plants.  Can we do that by 2016?

      I wonder if it's to the point where we have to start thinking about financial and engineering solutions to respond to the impacts of climate change rather than prevention.

      Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

      by ChicagoDem on Tue May 16, 2006 at 09:06:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not going to flame you (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ChicagoDem, Hummingbird, roses

        I think it may well be a valid point that we too have to prepare for strategies in adapting to the changes as well. Actually, based on my observations of people, that may have to ultimately be our choice. People are paying in some places 4 dollars a gallon for gas, but they still trek to the malls to "shop", drive fast, and basically don't give it as second thought for all of their bitching about it. As I stated, I really do then wonder what would really have to happen to open their eyes. You would think reports like the one in this diary would do it to some extent... Will this movie do it? I sure hope so, but then as you stated as well, where do we go from there?

        •  Hmm (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Fabian, ignorant bystander

          Well I mean one good strategy might be to call for more research on the probable impacts of climate change.  Politically it's nice bc it turns the GOP's calls for "more research" on their heads, and it'll fill a HUGE data hole we have right now.  So far way too much of the research has been focused on documenting the existence and current impacts of the change, but we need to start seeing which places are going to need the most money and technology.

          Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

          by ChicagoDem on Tue May 16, 2006 at 09:22:49 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  We can still have an effect on the magnitude (3+ / 0-)

        of climate change.  It is not clear that once we reach the tiping point that we can't still have an influence on how much of an impact we have.  Can we decide if we will have a Cat. 2 or 3 climate impact versus a Cat. 4 or 5.  Let's shoot for the best we can achieve.  

        The other thing is that anything we do in terms of creating sustainable alternative fuels and fostering energy effeciency will have an impact on other aspects of the environment from human health to the health of natural systems.

        The things that are driving global warming are also fueling habitat loss and the discharge of toxic pollutant into the water, air, and soil.

        And of course then there are the resource wars that our continued dependence on fossil fuels have and will ignite.  The impacts of war always severely compounds the effects mentioned above.

        We have to both plan for responses to the changes that we can't forestall and try to minimize the changes we can control.

      •  I think we need (0+ / 0-)

        To do both.

        I think we both need to try and get our government to DO something about this, but we also may need to learn to adapt.  We really don't know the extent of what it's already too late to stop.  

        But we need to try.

        After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

        by Hummingbird on Tue May 16, 2006 at 04:33:31 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  no flaming here because you're right (0+ / 0-)

        what you say is perfectly valid.  I think about this all the time.  I am 42 years old and I have been around enough to know that people do not change until they perceive an immediate cost to what they are currently doing.  This facet of human nature means that people won't act until forced by effects of GW, but the time delay is such that people won't act until the window of opportunity is past.  So I am not optimistic.  But never mind.  We must do what we can and act as if we can make this necessary change happen.  Our children will be asking us what we did when this was going down.  What is our answer?  

        I don't have any illusions about the likelihood of fixing this problem, and I am all for exploring adaptation strategies that can save lives and species and ecosystems.  I am even ready to promote monster techno-fixes.  No stone left unturned.  We must be honest with ourselves about the immense scale of this problem if we are to figure out how to get people to perceive the cost before it is too late.

    •  Already passed ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      point of no return on many issues ... such as, there is and will be climate change ...

      The "no return point" is redefined with each passing second ...

      Question is just how bad it will be and how much can we do to mitigate the situation.  

      RE economic aspect, for example, unless we are seriously mitigating for peak oil at least a decade prior to it happening (oops, might have already occurred), then we are looking at 10-30 years of negative GDP growth worldwide.  And, that negative GDP will drive more damage to the environment as people/communities/nations fight for energy resources and will be willing to further compromise long-term environmental costs for short term economic gain ...

      9/11/05, Day 1469, A count worth keeping? Or, Osama Bin Forgotten?

      by besieged by bush on Tue May 16, 2006 at 12:26:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sadly, there's a long history of ignoring (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SallyCat, pattyp, lorenzodow

    African genocide, famine, and plague.  

    If climate change was scheduled to kill millions of affluent Americans, people might get concerned.  But that's only a might.  Sadly.  

    •  And there it is (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SallyCat, petewsh61, pattyp, lorenzodow

      And that is the same sentiment sadly that guides our political system. That's why it boggles my mind when I see people only rah rahing for Al Gore to run in that system. It is going to take SO MUCH more than that to change the entire balance of our planet. But again, people look for the easy way out. And actually, as The movie shows, climate change could well effect many eight here in this country. But I wonder even should that happen, will they get it then?

    •  Killing Americans didn't stop anything (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Growing up in the '60s and '70s we had bumperstickers with smoke stacks billowing black smoke in an effort to change the environment. Well they the pollutants are not visible and killing people world wide. Love Canal contamination, and so many other places, were responsible for awareness and the set up the EPA - now the EPA has been gutted.

      Climate change means other fights - an example - see the huge water control fights in states hit by repetitive years of drought.

      We'll keep trying though.

      Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you..... Ralph Waldo Emerson

      by SallyCat on Tue May 16, 2006 at 09:57:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Well... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        That's actually an interesting point.  Really, despite the march of Republican idiots running the country, the concentration of directly harmful pollutants in the atmosphere has been steadily dropping since the 70s.  That's probably because crappy enforcement is better than no enforcement, but also because the cost of preventing and cleaning up point source pollution has dropped.  But it's worth noting that people have known industrial effluent is bad for the public since the early 20th century.  It just took a major mobilizing effort, particularly books like "Silent Spring" to get people to do anything about it.

        Something like that may be happening with climate change -- it takes a while for the public to catch up to the science.  The public now understands that invisible, colorless, odorless industrial chemicals can harm you directly.  But now we have to make them understand that normal everyday chemicals in aggregate can harm them indirectly.  And it takes a while for that perception to go from "whoa, weird" to "oh my god this is a huge problem".  Maybe this movie will help that process along.  We need to get to a place analagous to where you guys were in the 60s with toxic chemicals, where people understand that there's a problem and it has a very clear source.

        Read James Loewen's "Sundown Towns"!

        by ChicagoDem on Tue May 16, 2006 at 11:40:59 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  so sad, so true (0+ / 0-)

      BARTLETT: Why should the life of a [insert vaguely African sounding fictitious ethnic name here] mean less to me than an American life?

      WILL:  I don't know, sir, but it does.

  •  great diary... (0+ / 0-)

    And thanks for posting on DailyKos Environmentalists...

  •  Theatres Carrying An Inconvenient Truth (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I have called five theatres today, and none of them said they were getting this movie. I think we then need to face that there may also be forces out here working to see this movie is not as widespread as it should be. Now, even though I told all of those theatres I was disappointed and told them they should play it because of its importance, I surely do not have the clout of a "lobbyist". I have no illusions that there are those out here trying to put the brakes on this movie as it goes against everything EXXON and other interests want people to hear and see. One sure way to harm it being carried in more theatres is to tie it directly to a political scheme by Al Gore, which is false. As many of us also know, the opening weekend of this movie will decide where else it is carried in this country (because the bottimline is profits,) which is why as many as can pledge to see it should do so. Unfortunately, since it is not being carried in many cities outside of NY and LA opening weekend, it is going to be very hard for the numbers who pledge to actually see it unless they can get to those theatres. This concerns me very much. So I am sending the flyer I received about it to as many churches in my area as I can this weekend and posting some up around town. I will post the link to a pdf file for a flyer if anyone else would like to copy it and send it off to churches, schools,  AND MY REPS IN CONGRESS , and post it up on bulletin boards. We need to push harder.

  •  isn't this heartbreaking? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    what to people think about their children and their grandchildren's lives. Then again, they all let Bush run up this goddamned deficit so they probably don't care much about future generations.

  •  We are (0+ / 0-)

    Trading in our SUV for a Prius this month.  We only use compact flourescent light bulbs in our house (except for one light fixture, and that will change soon).  We buy only the most energy efficient appliances, when we buy them.  I have lobbied on the hill for solar and wind power.  We are looking at our driving habits and trying to consolidate trips, though unfortunately we have no good public transportation here.  We would like to get off the grid, but we have had energy consultants to our little valley and we don't get enough hours of sunlight here.

    We are doing what we can.  One thing everyone could also do is join Native Energy to offset the energy we use.

    After the Rapture, we'll get all their stuff! Hummingbird's Blog

    by Hummingbird on Tue May 16, 2006 at 04:31:35 PM PDT

    •  I applaud your efforts (0+ / 0-)

      and have been doing the same thing, BUT,
      We will not have sufficient impact just by doing what we can in our own lives.  I believe it is an illusion to believe that just being an example is "doing what we can."  I used to believe it.  But I am coming to the painful realization that just sitting here being an organic farmer and letting my little light shine is NOT ENOUGH.  The few people in this country who have really thought about the scale of this problem have got to advocate, hard, for change.  Only government and corporations and the public working together can make a meaningful impact.  Do all those things.  But also RAISE HELL.  I am trying to figure out how to do that, and juggle my two jobs, four kids, exhausted spouse, major weed pressure, believe me, i know how busy everyone is.  But this is where we win or lose.  Right now.  Right now.  I admit this is a recent realization for me, i don't have the answer, but I'm looking for strategies.  For many years I have whined about the Dems and their sellouts but really, they are what we have to work with, so I 'm gonna work with them and get somebody elected that will listen.  There must be more, but now I have to go to work.  Great diary, great comments!

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