When it comes to consuming the most energy per capita, we are the leaders. When it comes to pollution, we ruled them all up until 2007 until China surpassed us. And I know that many like to point out that India and Russia is gaining as well, which I think is irrelevant to the fact that we have been leading the world in consumption and pollution for decades.
We are the 1%, those of us that live here in the US, we are privileged and shielded from quite a bit of the atrocities and horror that take place around the world.
Meeting the Poor’s Basic Needs
As many as 2.8 billion people on the planet struggle to survive on less than $2 a day, and more than one billion people lack reasonable access to safe drinking water.
The U.N. reports that 825 million people are still undernourished; the average person in the industrial world took in 10 percent more calories daily in 1961 than the average person in the developing world consumes today.
What are the odds this has gone up substantially in the last 7 years? D you think that globally the world is doing better economically now? Probably not.
Look at how much oil we use compared to the rest of the world:
Let's start with America's oil consumption, which is 18.8 million barrels per day (MBD), according to the EIA. That usage puts the U.S. atop the list of the world's largest oil consumers by a wide margin. Indeed, U.S. demand is more than that of the next four nations combined: Japan, Russia and rising economic powers China and India:
U.S : 18.8 MBD
Who's Pumping What
What countries are the top producers of oil? The answer provides an important context for any discussion of oil supply:
Russia: 9.9 MBD
Saudi Arabia: 9.7
How is this even remotely sustainable? How is this even realistic as far as how pathetic our mpg standards have been? and to imagine the C02 put of by that much use in relation to how many people there actually are in our Country? I do not have words.
In 2009, according to the World Food Programme, the number of the hungry on the planet hit more than one billion and that number would continue to grow. And the reason why this number grows so quickly and staggeringly would have nothing to do with our changing climate, would it?
DURBAN -- Experts agree that the world’s poor, women and girls in particular, will bear the brunt of the effects of climate change. As rainfall becomes increasingly unpredictable, smallholder farmers will find it harder than ever to grow the food they need. And if natural disasters become more frequent, it will be the poorest victims that are most exposed to hunger because they have no support structures to protect them.
Here are seven facts about climate and climate change which show how closely intertwined they are with global hunger:
FACT 1. Climate change is expected to add another 10-20 percent to the total number of hungry people by the year 2050.
FACT 2. By 2050 we can expect 24 million more malnourished children as a result of climate change. Almost half of this increase, 10 million children, will be in sub-Saharan Africa.
FACT 3. Between 1980 and 2006 the number of climate-related disasters has quadrupled.
FACT 4.The number of people affected by climate-related disasters is expected to reach 375 million per year by 2015.
FACT 5. In 2010, climate-related extreme events and disasters affected some 300 million people, most often in countries which have little capacity to cope.
FACT 6. With climate change, two thirds of the arable land in Africa could be lost by 2025, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization.
FACT 7. By 2030, climate change could push food prices up by 50-90 percent more than they would otherwise be expected to rise, according to a recent report by Oxfam.
We are the 1% because our consumption and our governments refusal to act is going to cause a great deal of harm to a great many people. And we need to make this an issue we care about and pay attention to or all our talk about giving a shit about the 99% is for naught, it is hot air.
The OWS movement, occupying Congress, we need to remind Congress that being as exceptional as we are, we need to lead the world in doing something, not in doing nothing.
As I type and as the Durban Conference comes to a close, The US is proposing more delays and more "kicking the can down the road".
The US is proposing we start doing things when scientists say it may already be too late to act.
You read that. We are undermining talks to the point that we are putting off agreements that could be made without us with the promise we may come to our senses in about ten years when it just may not matter enough by then.
Instead, the only thing the U.S. brought to the table was a wrecking ball. Rather than standing out of the way and letting the rest of the world get on with setting up an international architecture to facilitate cutting emissions, stopping deforestation, and investing in renewable energy, the U.S. has spent the years since Copenhagen attempting to systemically dismantle the U.N. process.
Here in Durban, however, the U.S. has taken on an even more insidious role by pushing a proposal that the international community adopt a "mandate" to negotiate a new climate treaty that will take effect in -- wait for it -- 2020.
This isn’t just a delay, it’s a death sentence. Scientists have stated over and over that in order to avoid catastrophic climate change, emissions must peak by 2015 or 2020 at the absolute latest. (For a closer look at the scientific reasoning, read David Roberts.)
It is especially callous and cold-hearted for the U.S. to be pushing the 2020 timeline here in Durban. Africa is already seeing the devastating impacts of the climate crisis, from the deadly drought still ravaging the Horn of Africa to terrible flooding, including here in Durban where heavy rains killed at least eight people just last week.
But instead of being recognized as yet another delay tactic from the world’s biggest historical emitter, the 2020 timeline seems to be gaining traction here at the talks. Brazil and India have vaguely expressed support, China has made cryptic comments about the proposal, and the European Union has yet to stand up clearly and strongly against the delay. If the talks here in Durban are allowed to simply stumble to the closing gavel, there's a chance that the U.S. proposal could become the new mandate for the U.N. climate talks.
We are the 1% when it comes to global warming, climate change and making any progress in salvaging the environment, species, habitats, agriculture and the inhabitable world for future generations.
We have to get beyond feeling helpless, beyond throwing our hands in the air because it is just not good enough anymore. Income inequality will not matter much in ten years when we have failed to act on the most important issue facing every single person on the planet.
We are the 1%, we have a voice that so many others on the planet do not have and as OWS has proven, when channeled properly and used for the right reason and the right issue, we can make a difference. Imagine that our voices could make the difference for more than just the people of the US, but the 6.7 billion beyond?
PS, excuse the obvious typos, typing with one hand.