Climate change

The climate change emergency cannot be solved by disintegrating democracies


President BidenJoe Biden Biden Tells US Zelensky Allies “Will Respond Decisively” If Russia Invades Biden, Harris Will Speak On The Anniversary Of The Capitol Uprising.The climate agenda of was launched with hopes, prayers and the expectation of leadership for all democracies around the world, like a glorious ship setting off on a maiden voyage: the SS Biden. There is now a deep concern that in rough seas it was pushed over rocks, still intact but needing a high tide to release it.

The SS (Steam Ship) Biden by definition is powered by coal or oil. The disregard for the safety of the Titanic’s passengers is remembered by several questionable company decisions, including sailing when a fire due to spontaneous combustion of coal was burning in a bunker, likely contributing to the ship’s untimely demise. .

Despite the global warming crisis, the Biden ship is still powered by fossil fuels, and the United States’ liquefied natural gas export capacity will be the largest in the world by the end of 2022, followed closely by Australia and Qatar.

Yes, this gas is burned by other countries and the three rich exporting countries do not have to account for these emissions at the national level. The degree of responsibility of these Scope 3 broadcasts is a delicate subject. In some countries, their importation and use will hamper the development of clean energy and its necessary decentralization. Indeed, solar home systems are the healthy and affordable answer in Africa, Bangladesh and some other Asian countries.

The United States could certainly play a leadership role in the world by accepting responsibility for half of the gas and coal emissions exported and pressuring other wealthy exporters to follow suit.

I have already detailed the looming dangers of gas for climate change control, including dangers accepted by the United States in its commitment to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030.

Nonetheless, the combustion of oil and gas extracted from the United States over the next decade is expected to consume 10% of the world’s remaining carbon budget, which cannot be exceeded if global warming is to be kept below 1, 5 degree Celsius. Australia may well add another 10 percent.

How can this be accepted by the US government and the public when UN modeling shows that even if all countries keep their commitments at the COP26 climate summit, the warming by the end of the century will be probably around 2.5 degrees Celsius? Currently, with a warming of 1.1 degrees Celsius, the extreme weather conditions are having terrible effects, including the recent fierce forest fires in Colorado. These are just a taste of future devastation leading to national economies totally consumed by constant infrastructure repairs.

Obviously, President Biden has leaned heavily on cutting domestic emissions through a series of measures in a Build Back Better initiative, which was based on the rocks of a Democratic congressman who seems to embrace climate change all the way. by opposing constraints on the production of fossil fuels. The president must now resort to decrees and a series of other measures, which do not require legislation.

This brings us to the crux of the matter. Our Western democracies can no longer reach consensus and action on issues that threaten the continued existence of humanity, including the most powerful democracy in the world.

A recent article by The Economist on threats to American democracy blames extreme partisanship, with each major party focusing on voting reform, which means different things for each side. This fails to understand that the threat to democracy lies in its inherent inability to deal with today’s pressing and overwhelming global problems.

In the United States, 109 members of the House of Representatives and 30 senators refuse to recognize scientific evidence of man-made climate change. These members have received over $ 61 million in lifetime contributions from the oil, gas and coal industries.

In the COVID-19 pandemic, many elected officials did not accept the science of vaccination and the need to recommend simple preventive measures, such as wearing a mask.

Many stunned observers of the international community equate these climate and COVID positions with a return to pre-Enlightenment times by elected officials and their supporters. Definitions of fact and truth have been spoofed, and the scientific consensus on climate change has become a hoax for many in the United States. Is it the same country with the scientific brain to send a man to the moon and make countless scientific breakthroughs for mankind?

The United States is not alone in democratic disintegration. Climate denial and anti-vaccination sentiment exists in many countries, but has not become as debilitating as it seems in the United States.

Over the past four decades, the failures of liberal democracies to address environmental issues and in particular climate change have become increasingly evident. In 2007, these failures were detailed and today we see that they remain unanswered. Indeed, failure has become the salient problem, the need to separate governance from corporate capitalism.

The common denominator of the current democratic failure is the government’s reluctance to accept that many of the problems we face today are so complex and urgent that they are beyond the comprehension and capacity of elected officials. The problem of the climate emergency is compounded by two other interrelated issues: elected officials put their political survival ahead of collective needs, and many rely on an extremely powerful fossil fuel industry for their personal gain.

To become relevant today, elected governments must be prepared to accept the advice and guidance of independent commissions of scientists and other relevant experts selected by their peers – not by political appointment. Details of these guidelines should be made available to all parties and to the public. A starting model for the United States and many other countries could be a strengthened United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with appointees by peers, not by politicians.

Currently, the SS Biden continues to navigate its downfall. When the iceberg made a hole in the “unsinkable” Titanic, the orchestra continued to play “Closer to my God to you” as the ship sank. The passengers of the upper social crust, the wealthy bankers and industrialists who resided on the upper decks were soon seated in lifeboats, while the poor workers of the lower decks proceeded to their aquatic tomb.

Today the upper crust, the rich titans, seem safe in their closed communities and there is speculation that they have already built their own space lifeboats, before the Titanic moment of the world, to travel to a planet. livable in an abundant universe awaiting exploitation.

David Shearman (AM, Ph.D., FRACP, FRCPE) is Professor of Medicine at the University of Adelaide, South Australia and co-founder of Doctors for the Environment Australia. He is co-author of “The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy” (2007) commissioned by the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy.