What do you know about hurricane Matthew? Most of us, not much. Matthew is mentioned by the press and by those running for office as “bad weather,” which totally leaves us in the dark. What is causing this ever mounting climate debacle? The VP and Presidential candidates do not call it climate change. They do not explain ever increasing winds and rain as a result of human activity. They do not heed the consequences of our increasing burning fossil fuel, of coal,and oil and gas. Oh no. That would upset their major supporters, corporations paying their advertising fees and the cost of their high living. It would put all of them out of business.
I listened to May Boeve of 350.org on Amy Goodman’s “Democracy Now.” She gave a clear perspective on hurricane Matthew. First, we have oceans rising as glaciers melt into the sea. Ice-bound lands like Greenland are turning brown as ice melts so that the brown earth is exposed which absorbs heat, hence more melting. Melting permafrost everywhere releases methane, a gas that increases global warming more than does CO2. Permafrost melt releases buried radioactive material. Ice does not last “forever” as was counted on by those who buried the radioactive waste, not if we heat things up.
Secondly, there is the turbulence. The winds outside Florida reached 104 miles per hour. There is increasing wind speed over islands because the ocean there is warmer. Huge and expanding damage is happening to Haiti, her crops ripped from the soil, her water increasing infected by cholera, an infection brought to the island by UN workers after the earthquake catastrophe.
Robinson explained that wind speed depends on the temperature of the evaporating water. The ocean is getting warmed to ever greater depth by the outpouring of heat from our use of carbon fossil fuel. If cold water evaporates into a storm, the turbulence slows down. If hot water evaporates, the storm speeds up. Hot water is on the rise.
Republican candidate Mike Pence says he supports the coal mining industry. Republican President candidate, Donald Trump states that he doubts global warming. President Obama criticized North Dakota’s mistreatment of the Standing Rock Sioux trying to stop digging of their reservation (including holy sites) to protect Mother Earth but did Obama not stop the sale of an adjacent ranch which is used to move the oil. So-called leaders make humanitarian statements but do not follow through with effective action. They are masters of “sound bites.”
The extraordinarily tuned-out “planners” want to run ever-leaking gas lines past the frequently disabled Indian Point which should have been long-closed. One leak out of this gas line whose spill is touched by a flame say from lightning or from a poorly snuffed-out match that falls on the grass and it’s goodbye New York City and its environs.
Island dwellers are already the first to go thanks to rising waters and lethal storms. But we, the mainland dwellers are next in line. Elected officials who shape the US economy and are supported by the fossil using industry, speak of building walls to keep out climate refugees. Trump and others label these refugees criminals, drug dealers, worthless parasites (by Trump of Mexicans), to support the myth of our needed self-protection- us against them.
People object to oil trains traveling past which explode into their homes and towns and schools. What are we doing about this short-sighted planning? How are we going to get our economy to use life-supporting energy from the wind, sun, geothermal, tidal, magnetic, whatever is next dreamed, a source that has no destructive side-effects? If the noise of these people’s objection gets loud enough accompanied by comparable voting, perhaps the “planners” will hear them.
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