Sunday, November 29, 2009

Buffy Sainte-Marie video from Democracy Now/ Amy Goodman

On the Way to Copenhagen: UN climate summit on 12-09

President Barack Obama will be travelling to Copenhagen to speak to the UN summit on climate change, appearing on December 9 to speak. As citizens we can individually support his efforts by conceding that our country has been a largely destructive influence to the climate and ecology of the planet.

Early European settlers in the New World cleared forests for farm land, gradually crossing from East to West, and from the South to the North. Up until current times we have engaged in the most profligate growth of industry and habitational developments among all nations. Obama only recently re-approved our agreement to the Kyoto Protocols which were developed decades ago, and deleted by the Bush Administration.

The so-called “Free Trade Agreements,” begun during the Clinton Administration, have further eroded environments by enabling corporatizing of resources on this and other continents. Over the years our own agricultural industries have disturbed the ecology of the oceans with runoff of chemical nonorganic fertilizers and weed control products into the Gulf of Mexico via the Missippi River and into the ocean from there and other sources.

Take a look at a recent NASA developed map of the global climate influence of El Nino in the Gulf and the Pacific Ocean. Your cursor will display “El Nino” when you run it over specific red “hot spots” in the Gulf and along the equator in this view of the Western Hemisphere.

How can we as individuals help the effort to turn the dial back on climate change? The truth is, according to the Copenhagen Diagnosis, we will not be able to stop the stampede of the inevitable-- many processes are already irreversible and will continue while we work toward changing our habits. Our enormous consumption of material products and energy used to produce them, as well as energy used to keep us “comfortable,” are way beyond the levels that other nations habitually use.

Spread the word, and cut your own home use of virtually everything. Oh yeah, go ahead and eat, but consider a garden in your back and front yards, plus planting trees in your community. You all have been hearing the environmental message for a long time. At this point we have to get busy and change our “standard of living” to a much simpler one to extend the lives of all creatures and species, least of all us. As stewards of the Earth we have failed thus far, and the changes already in progress are likely to last for at least 1000 years.

Perhaps we can consider our continuing economic woes to be a blessing in its necessity that we get by with less and begin to cut our energy usage individually and as a collective effort. How about a kitchen composter or a slowcooker for a gift this year? Solar power is decreasing in cost—can you afford to install it? Maybe so!

Encourage your friends to be grateful for each day of life we live with Mother Earth. Life ahead is likely to be a challenge.