Like a spear thrusting into the Gulf of Mexico’s gut, the Isle de Jean Charles is turbulent with ruinous daily oil and gas accidents, rising sea levels, and tropical storms. Homes on the Isle de Jean Charles perch on delicate wooden stilts thirteen feet high, their paint peeling in the sun. A solitary road snakes down the spine of the shrinking island. Stained American flags billow slowly in the Gulf breeze, affixed to porches where one can catch the nasal tones of plaid-clad men bantering in Cajun French.
Humanity's failure to slow the rate of global heating can be measured by a single number: the number of parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere. A decade ago this number was 392. As of February 2021, Mauna Loa Observatory measured CO2concentration to be 416.75 ppm, a rise of 2.31 ppm since February of the preceding year, despite decreased economic activity from the Corona Virus pandemic.
With California and Oregon on fire as Climate Week opened in New York on September 21 “climate arsonist” Donald Trump took to the virtual floor of the UN General Assembly and slammed China for its environmental record while ignoring his own efforts to save the coal industry and boost fossil fuel consumption – actions that earned him that sobriquet from Joe Biden.
System Change Not Climate Change readers and viewers will want to take a look at the interviews referenced here from PCI.
Introducing “The Great Unraveling?”, a series of interviews with some of the world’s foremost experts on a broad range of environmental and societal challenges, culminating with a powerful discussion on what these converging and accelerating crises mean, and how we can respond.
As China struggles to recover economically from the impact of the pandemic, it is set to deal a painful blow to global efforts to fight climate change. The party has often sacrificed environmental regulations as soon as GDP targets and economic growth have been threatened, thus industrial or trade decline paradoxically produces soaring pollution. But even in normal times, China’s soaring carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are a massive part of the dire threat to all life on earth posed by climate change.
Joanna Bozuwa, J Mijin Cha, Daniel Aldana Cohen, Billy Fleming, Jim Goodwin, Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Daniel M Kammen, Julian Brave NoiseCat, Mark Paul, Raj Patel, Thea Riofrancos, Medium, March 24, 2020