Failure to reverse the direction of climate change will
destabilize the environment that
has been making human progress possible.
When it comes to the environment there is no doubt that the failure of congress to govern year after year has further endangered those who live in poverty as well as those whose skin is other than white. For example, the failure of congress, state and local governments to deal with the water that comes into the homes of the poor and others through lead pipes does such damage to infants and children that they are prevented from bringing the full force of their humanity to the pursuit of the American Dream.
Dennis Jacobsen explains how:
Lead in water robs children of their opportunities to pursue life, liberty and happiness. There are hundreds upon hundreds of stories of micro destruction of the environment like lead in water stories.
“In children, low levels of exposure have been linked to damage to the central and peripheral nervous system, learning disabilities, shorter stature, impaired hearing, and impaired formation and function of blood cells.”
But unless the world responds to the environmental crisis, the coming macro crisis will swallow up all of these smaller issues as our world becomes ann extremely hostile place for the pursuit of the American Dream.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century, Yuval Noah Harari, asserts that untamed global warming will destroy the foundations of human civilization. We are living in the Holocene period of the earth where Earth’s climate has been nearly ideal to support unbelievable human progress.
“Any deviation from Holocene standards will present human societies with enormous challenges they have never encountered before….. There is a scientific consensus that human activities, in particular the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, are causing the earth’s climate to change at a frightening rate….. our best scientific estimates indicate that unless we dramatically cut the emission of greenhouse gases in the next twenty years, average global temperatures will increase by more than 3.6ºF, resulting in expanding deserts, disappearing ice caps, rising oceans and more frequent extreme weather events such as hurricanes and typhoons. These changes in turn will disrupt agricultural production, inundate cities, make much of the world uninhabitable, and send hundreds of millions of refugees in search of new homes. Moreover, we might perish in the process of adaptation.” (Harari, p. 116-118)
The world’s failure to address the causes of global warming destroys the conditions which enable to human race to progress. Not only are the lives of those in poverty imperiled, but the lives of everyone else. The world needs the leadership of the United States. This is a problem America cannot solve alone.
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