Despite Global Climate Mandate, Surge in Greenhouse Gases and Failed Leadership

Record greenhouse gases as leaders fund consumptionGreenhouse gases hit a record level last year [ark], well beyond what threatens the habitability of the Earth for humans and all creatures. And indications are that most global citizens are prepared to sacrifice [ark | moreark] and pay some price to avert the worst effects of abrupt climate changes [search]. “43% of the 12,000 respondents of the survey chose climate change ahead of the global economy when asked about their current concerns.” This constitutes a global mandate for climate action.
Where are our leaders? The U.S. is not listening to the people [ark], Italy desperately clings to the past [ark], Australia blames others [ark] and China and India shirk their responsibilities [ark]. Globally tens of trillions of dollars are being spent to prop up an economic system based upon the environmental impossibility of maintaining exponential economic growth forever [search], the same growth that has caused the climate and other environmental problems. How ridiculous for governments to tax their citizens to pay failed banks to lend to already over-extended consumers.
It is all coming down baby. The only question is whether we will have the will, strength and remaining ecosystems to reconstitute truly civilized, equitable and just sustainable societies. Or will we enter an era of barbarism in vain attempts to first continue our over consumption (based upon continued ecosystem destruction) and then just to survive. The human family's future and prospects for shared survival is being determined now.

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7 Responses

  1. Dear Glen,
    The road ahead will not be an easy one, I suppose; precisely because the mistakes our not-so-great generation of elders are making now simply cannot be repeated by our children. Thankfully, new leaders are emerging. Some have called this phenomenon the appearance of “transformational” leadership. That is also what I am observing.
    The unrestricted consolidation of filthy lucre and political/military power, the unbridled expansion of economic globalization, the unrestrained per-capita overconsumption of limited resources and the unchecked human overpopulation on the relatively small, evidently finite and noticeably frangible planetary home God blesses us to inhabit, could soon become unsustainable. Perhaps the humane, reasonable, sensible and wise regulation of these activities will make make it possible for the family of humanity to build a patently sustainable, distinctly human world order, one that adequately enough models key biological systems and physical structures of Earth.
    New leaders with new ideas are coming forward. A new day is dawning. My hope is for members of our generation to become helpfully engaged by openly acknowledging and effectively addressing the challenges presented to humankind rather than by perversely mounting a “rear-guard action” in denial of looming, human-driven threats to human wellbeing and environmental health.
    Glen, thanks always for your many sagacious contributions to the dialogues of Climate Ark and EI.
    Sincerely,
    Steve
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population,
    established 2001

  2. Patrick Troup says:

    To Dr. Glen, thank you for this article, and all others.
    To the people who comment, thank you for your dialogue.
    And to all, you inspire me. A Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a prosperous future.
    Patrick

  3. nyFrk says:

    Thanks for the informative article.

  4. Anna Loftin says:

    Hi Dr Glen – agree that global political leadership is needed to address this serious issue.
    I'm working on a campaign called Time to Lead. It is a movement by Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and World Wildlife Fund through the coordination of the Climate Action Network (CAN) that urges European citizens and organisations to act by contacting local political leaders and issuing support of a 30 percent reduction in Europe's own carbon emissions by 2020. Citizens act by joining the

  5. Behold a chimera on the far horizon, a paint horse upon which imperious and ignoble GREED rides. This horse and its pin-striped rider are an unexpected front runner, a Fifth Horseman of the Acopalypse. The “Four Horsemen” in tandem are following close behind.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on the Human Population,
    established 2001
    http://sustainabilityscience.org/content.html?contentid=1176

  6. R. Gates says:

    As I reflect upon the sad news of the Walmart employee that was trampled to death today in N.Y. by the herd of eager shoppers, I can't helpt but think of the general human situation right now. Homo Consumerous, the new species of human that has emerged upon the earth!
    Interestingly enough, it is a personal choice as to whether or not each person wants to be a Homo Consumerous. Ask yourself these questions:
    1. What can I do to reduce my personal consumption?
    2. What can I do to increase my recycling of products?
    3. What can I do to re-use products well past the time they might have gone to a landfill?
    As I have been saying, and will continue to say, it is up to individuals to look at their life and lifestyle and begin to remove themselves from the lifestyle of mass consumption. Most importantly DON'T EXPECT POLITICIANS TO SUPPORT YOUR EXIT FROM BEING A CONSUMER! The laws they pass and the whole world they live in is based on a mass consumer society. They are supported by corporations who get their lifeblood by the consumer oriented society.
    Interestingly, those who have successfully removed themselves from the mass consumer world, and returned to a sustainable, sain, and much more community and family centered life are currently considered “freaks” by the mass consumer society. But these “freaks” will find themselves to be the ones looked upon for the way out of the mess we're in.
    Finally, though a rejection of mass consumption is necessary to create a sustainable world, don't mistake that for a rejection of technology in some Ludite type fashion. Technology, like any tool, can be used to help transform society as well as destroy it. For example, I am consulting for a community in N. Wisconsin that is being built totally green, off the power grid, and self-sustaining in terms of food as well. Greenhouses, hydroponics, wind power, biowaste recycling, active and passive solar, community gardens, community kitchens, etc. all play a roll in this exciting new community…and there is not a rejection of technology at all…but an embrace of it when it makes sense, is green, and is sustainable. I believe such sustainable communities…not mandated by the government, but built literally from the grass roots up, are the way forward.
    There is a way out of this mess…but the way begins with YOU!
    R. Gates

  7. A culture that defines its very raison d'etre by endless accumulation of material possessions; by the unbounded acquisition of more money, money, money, money; by recklessly overconsuming and relentlessly hoarding limited resources, demonstrably declares to all the world that greed is good.
    Are we not members of a culture that worships consumerism? Are the products of greed nothing more or less than the objects of our idolatry?
    Are the pin-striped suits, fleet of cars, chauffeur, private jets, McMansions, distant hideaways, secret handshakes and exclusive clubs…… all signatures of success in a culture borne of the 'goodness' of greed?
    Consider for a moment what greed has wrought.
    Steven Earl Salmony
    AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population,
    established 2001

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