"Let’s start big. It’s official. Climate change is no longer a topic of the presidential election banter. Since pretty much no one has mentioned climate change for the past three months, we must be free and clear. As I watch the east coast get hammered with Hurricane Sandy, and 7.4 million people out of power, I note that politicians may be wrong.
I just spent an evening with my Harvard classmate Bill McKibben, president of 350.org, who sobered me up a bit on where we are. As of May, we had broken world temperature records for the 327th month in a row. Worldwide, we broke maybe 100,000 temperature records this year. This year we saw the sea ice melt in the Arctic, making it possible to move through the region, and to exploit more oil, deeper than ever. Nice, except if you are a polar bear, or happen to live on Christmas Island, Tuvalu or other Pacific countries, which are now going underwater. Then, there is our food, coming from the ocean to a Red Lobster near you. The north Pacific itself is already about 30 percent more acidic than it was 25 years ago. That is climate change.
In Copenhagen, in a post conference accord, l67 countries agreed to not hit the two degree temperature rise mark. We have already driven global temperatures up 0.8 degrees. And if we are interested in the tipping point: Swiss Re, the world’s largest reinsurance company predicts that climate-change-related disasters will be costing about 20 percent of world GDP by 2020—that’s a scant eight years away, or two presidential elections. That will be a costly problem for our economy, and for whomever is in the White House."
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Winona LaDuke: Pro Life and Not a Planet Baker: Why I’m voting for Barack Obama
(Indian Country Today 10/31)
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