August 25, 2013 – Vol.18 No.24
PROTEST INACTION ON GLOBAL WARMING? DON'T BUY THEIR STUFF.
by Bruce Mulliken, Green Energy News
In a draft report leaked to some major news outlets, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said that with 95 percent certainty (up from 90 percent in the last update) that the warming planet was caused by us. (Surprise, surprise.)
The draft also says that sea levels, on average globally, should be expected to rise by about 3 feet in 87 years, by year 2100. (It won't happen all at once, but the speed at which oceans rise should accelerate as the decades pass. And, of course, the flooding won't stop at 2100. 2101 will be a fraction of an inch higher still.)
There are millions of people alive today that will wonder in amazement as to why people long dead let this happen.
Fortunately, there are many parents today concerned about the future of their toddlers, (and eventually their toddlers', toddlers) and are making some changes – as best they can and with the technology available. Look around. There's no shortage of Prii on the road, LED lights are selling very well and the solar industry is keeping very busy putting on rooftop solar systems. The people buying these things aren't doing so just to save money: They'll have no part in human-caused warming planet and are willing to do their bit.
Yet, there are many in still in denial, those that think God will fix the problem (or just put an end to the human race and be done with it) as well as those that pretty much don't care and those that rather make lots of money in the fossil fuel biz than save humanity. There are also those that are playing the blame game rather than fix the problem. All together it's this tawdry bunch that's keeping global effort from really tackling the problem in a major way.
Many want some action, particularly by government and corporations. Now it seems a sizable number will take to the streets if they have to.
A recent survey conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that many Americans (24 percent) would support an organization that engaged in non-violent civil disobedience against corporate or government activities that make global warming worse, and 13 percent say they would be willing to personally engage in non-violent civil disobedience for the same reason.
I'm not exactly sure what "non-violent civil disobedience" means. (I suppose a sit-in, march or something.) Yet there are "non-violent" things people can do already. Make changes in their life style to cut their own emissions. Buy low and zero emission products and support businesses that are making rather substantial efforts to cut their emissions: Walmart, Walgreens, Kohls and IKEA come to mind.
And, in protest, of course, don't buy stuff from companies that are doing little or nothing.
Many large companies are putting out environmental reports now. Look on their websites for these. Search their news archives for clean projects they've undertaken or clean products they've sold. Maybe a good advocacy group to start would be one that found the greenest companies and encouraged group members to buy from them and them only. Call the group "Buy Only Green, Boycott the Others" or something.
As far as "non-violent civil disobedience" against "government activities that make global warming worse" goes there has to be a distinction made between levels of government (local, state or Federal?) as well as the difference between ongoing government programs and mandates as opposed to political action.
Surprisingly, looking around at the world, looking at all levels of government, there is quite a bit of activity to cut global warming emissions. Here in the U.S. communities are doing it, so are states and the Federal government. Raising fuel economy standards is great thing. Replacing incandescent bulbs for LEDs and CFLs is fantastic. And, of course, beginning the process to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from power plants is big step in the right direction. Heck, even the US military, which recognizes the severity of the problem, has been making changes for years to cut its carbon footprint. It's just very hard to do when military hardware is so oil reliant.
Overall, despite what appears to be a do-nothing-about-global-warming attitude in Washington, through mandates and spending the Federal government is doing quite a bit to the combat problem. You can mostly thank the current and two previous Presidents for that.
It's the inaction by Congress on global warming that infuriates people and makes them want to protest. There's much more this slacker crowd could do. Fortunately there's a mid-term election a little over a year away. A good non-violent protest would be to help remove those in Congress unwilling to act. Taking to the streets would mean canvassing for a candidate.
So, buy green and don't buy the other's stuff. And don't buy the rhetoric from Capitol Hill saying that global warming isn't a problem.
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