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Global effort needed to stop world’s warming

We have known for over a century that Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere will cause the planet to heat up. In the 1970s scientist predicted that in 50 years we would see some effects. Floods, droughts, forest fires, melting glaciers, melting permafrost and wild temperature swings are all happening right now.

The greater the temperature, the more energy in the system, the more turbulence in the system.

It’s been 50 years since those first warnings. We knew at the time that we had to stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere. Remember Jimmy Carter turning down the thermostat and putting on a sweater. He put a solar heater on the roof of the White House.

The oil companies started a campaign to discredit the concept of Global Warming. It worked. Lake Erie is 71 degrees on the first day of summer.

Scientists predict that if we do not change drastically right now we will see conditions that make it impossible to maintain our civilization. Remember we owe everything to six inches of topsoil and the fact that it rains.

The breadbasket of the Great Plains is turning into a desert. There is methane trapped under the ice in the Arctic. Now that the ice is melting, methane is being released into the atmosphere. The melting permafrost is also releasing methane and organisms that have been frozen for thousands of years are waking up. We have no idea what diseases might be sleeping.

We are on the edge of space travel. The only way we will get to explore the universe is if we do not destroy our home planet first.

One of our biggest problems is that corporations have been given the same status as human beings. The corporations don’t care if people starve or have homes. They only exist to create a profit for their shareholders. Why have we given so much power to entities that care nothing for the long term health of the planet?

The Supreme Court in 2010 made a decision that campaign spending was free speech and could not be limited. Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito were taking trips and accepting lavish gifts from corporations. In a dissenting opinion, Justice John Paul Stevens argued that the court’s ruling represented “a rejection of the common sense of the American people, who have recognized a need to prevent corporations from undermining self government”.

So much hangs in the balance this election. Trump is totally for the corporations. Biden is for the common person. The thing is we do have mechanisms through the courts to sue corporations for the damage they have done and use that money to go full speed into the switch to renewables. But it will take years and the heat will kill us first.

Fifty years ago if we had switched we would still be enjoying the mild climate we used to have.

Now we need to use the time we have left to prepare for a much hotter future. Right now if there were a prolonged heat wave and a power failure at the same time, thousands of people without air conditioning would die.

Air conditioning is not really a solution. We need to think of other ways to deal with heat. There can’t be an infinite number of air conditioners running all over the world.

The thing is in absolute numbers of what physically exists we have enough manufacturing capacity to make machines that pull water out of the air. Everyone in the world could have clean water. With water you can grow food. It would be the end of world hunger. We don’t because we’re making bombs instead. We need to rearrange our priorities.

It’s like the Divine Right of Kings. Once an accepted way to run the world. We chose a different path. We chose to govern ourselves. Now our democracy is in a crisis.

What happens when one party refuses to accept the results of the election? Trump filed 62 lawsuits claiming voter fraud and every single one of them was dismissed. None of it was true. Surely knowing how they have stacked the courts with conservative justices at least one would have some merit. Even their own appointees didn’t bend to them.

Now we have a third of the population openly saying they won’t accept defeat. Our system is like the rules of the road. People don’t run into each other because everyone agrees to drive on the right side.

We have elections and agree to follow the majority rule. Doing anything else is like driving on the wrong side of the road.

The system only works if we cooperate.

Marie Tomlinson is a Fredonia resident. Send comments to editorial@observertoday.com

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