Friday, October 26, 2007

Sustainability & Climate Crisis Update: Truths, Lies & the Consequences of Both, A Glimpse into Our Orwellian Future

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Sustainability & Climate Crisis Update: Truths, Lies & the Consequences of Both, A Glimpse into Our Orwellian Future

By Richard Power

It is almost too much to wrap your mind around, isn't it?

On one hand, you have the release of the UN's fourth Global Environmental Outlook, a report it describes as "the final wake-up call to the international community" --

Climate change, the rate of extinction of species and the challenge of feeding a growing population are among the threats putting humanity at risk, the UN Environment Program said in its fourth Global Environmental Outlook since 1997. "The human population is now so large that the amount of resources needed to sustain it exceeds what is available at current consumption patterns," Achim Steiner, the executive director of the program, said in a telephone interview. Efficient use of resources and reducing waste now are "among the greatest challenges at the beginning of 21st century," he said.

On the other hand, you have the Bush-Cheney regime actively engaged in massive denial and deception on climate change and related issues: e.g., this week alone, the White House censored the CDC Director's congressional testimony on the public health impact of global warming, and then, in its defense, disseminated utter nonsense at a White House press briefing; meanwhile, the hacks and shills assigned to run FEMA were resorting to the production of a fake news conference on the forest fires raging in southern California --

Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee on the “Human Impacts of Global Warming.” ... CDC officials are now revealing that the White House heavily edited Gerberding’s testimony, which originally was longer and had more “information on health risks“: “It was eviscerated,” said a CDC official, familiar with both versions, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the review process. Think Progress, 10-23-07

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino ... claimed that “the decision” was “to focus that testimony on public health benefits” of climate change.” “There are public health benefits to climate change,” asserted Perino. Asked to explain what some of those benefits are, Perino said that climate change “would help those individuals” who “die from cold-related deaths every winter“ ... Think Progress, 10-25-07

Scientists and public and environmental health experts ... “overwhelmingly denounced” the White House’s editing of CDC director Dr. Julie Gerberding’s congressional testimony on global warming. They called the edits “frustrating,” “terrible” and “appalling,” and acknowledged that the White House is denying widely accepted scientific conclusions ... Think Progress, 10-25-07

... while “wildfires raged” in California, Vice Adm. Harvey E. Johnson, the deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), held a press conference at FEMA’s Southwest D.C. offices that was “carried live on Fox News, MSNBC and other outlets.” ... But if the questions lobbed at Johnson seemed a bit like softballs, that’s because they were asked by FEMA employees posing as journalists. ... Considering FEMA gave reporters “only 15 minutes’ notice of the briefing,” it gives off the perception that they didn’t want reporters to show up and ask questions that would disrupt the agency’s propaganda performance. Think Progress, 10-26-07

If you think it would be any different with Giuliani or Romney, or any of the other crypto-fascists running for the nomination of the Cult formerly known as the Republican Party, you're wrong. This disgraceful abnegation of social and governmental responsibility is not a moral failure peculiar to the Bush-Cheney regime itself, it is shared by all who owe their power and position to corporatist interests. Indeed, even if a Democrat were to win the White House -- if the makeup of the US Senate remains as reactionary as it currently is -- any change will be only incremental, i.e., not nearly as sweeping or radical as needed.

The political establishment, the US mainstream news media and the corporate sponsors behind them both are all in deep denial; and therefore, we are all in deep trouble.

For the Words of Power Climate Crisis Updates Archive, click here.

Click here for access to great promotional tools available on The Eleventh Hour action page.

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Want to wake people up to the US mainstream news media's complicity in misinforming the public on global warming and climate change? Click here for Media Matters' compilation of "Myths and Falsehoods about Global Warming".

Want to participate in the effort to mitigate the impact of global warming? Download "Ten Things You Can Do"

Want to join hundreds of thousands of people on the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, and become part of the movement to demand our leaders freeze and reduce carbon dioxide emissions now? Click here.

Center for American Progress Action Fund's Mic Check Radio has released a witty and compelling compilation on the Top 100 Effects of Global Warming, organized into sections like "Global Warming Wrecks All the Fun" (e.g., "Goodbye to Pinot Noir," "Goodbye to Baseball," "Goodbye to Salmon Dinners," "Goodbye to Ski Vacations," etc.), "Global Warming Kills the Animals" (e.g., "Death March of the Penguins," "Dying Grey Whales," "Farwell to Frogs," etc.) and yes, "Global Warming Threatens Our National Security" (e.g., "Famine," "Drought," "Large-Scale Migrations," "The World's Checkbook," etc.) I urge you to utilize Top 100 Effects of Global Warming in your dialogues with friends, family and colleagues.

And don't forget to tune into Eco-Talk Radio on the air waves and/or in cyberspace.

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