Thursday, November 14, 2019

Governments Engaging in Climate Denial While Suffering the Effects of Climate Change

Politicians who fail to act on climate change should be held responsible. At the very least they are guilty of dereliction of duty and very likely the day will come when they are charged with ecocide. Governments large and small are making irrational decisions that fly in the face of both science and common sense. This is clearly evident in Italy, Australia and the U.S. All three countries are experiencing the effects of climate change in real time yet are opting to do nothing about it.

Just after the Veneto regional council in Italy voted down climate action, the chamber in which the vote took place was flooded. The council chamber in Ferro Fini Palace began to take on water a couple of minutes after the climate amendments were shot down on Tuesday November 12. This is the worst flooding Venice has seen in more than five decades and it is the first time Venice's Grand Canal has flooded. The council rejected funding for renewable energy, replacing diesel buses and highly polluting stoves.

As wildfires rage in Australia, Prime Minister Scott Morrison vowed to outlaw environmental boycott campaigns. Four people are known to have died in these fires and crews are still battling over 120 fires in NSW and Queensland. More than one million hectares have been burnt across NSW since September and both Sydney and port city of Geraldton are threatened by these fires. Morrison has refused to acknowledge the link to climate change despite the spike in heat, drought and wildfires.

Nowhere is the situation worse than in the United States. In the face of unprecedented heat, wildfires and extreme weather, President Donald Trump has unleashed an orgy of deregulation. In the three years that Trump has been in power he has eradicated more than 70 rules and regulations designed to combat climate change, conserve the environment and protect the health of Americans.  This includes killing the clean power plan and cleaner car standards.  As part of an insane energy strategy he opposes renewables while supporting fossil fuels (including subsidies).  Likewise, his actions on efficiency, the Arctic, and plastic oppose common sense.  He has repeatedly demonstrated his contempt for science. This includes gutting the ESA and his war on wildlife which threatens the survival of a number of species from the top to the bottom of the foodweb. 

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