VITAL: Focus on the causes behind climate change !!!

Is Climate Change the be-all-end-all problem that “we” are facing?  Yes, I agree with the sentiment of the picture you see here (facebook)- namely, the effects expected from Climate Change are so huge and far-reaching that there’s no “adapting” to it, really, at least not in any simple straightforward way.  Sea level is expected to rise 10-20 feet, putting zillions of dollars worth of infrastructure that’s sitting at sealevel at risk.  In the SF Bay Area we have two major airports, lots of bridges and highways, whole cities, and more, that will be inundated by a 10 foot sealevel rise.  The issue doesn’t affect just the SF Bay Area, but every coastal community.   It’s clear there will be more scenes like that one from Hurricane Sandy coming in the next few years.

However…  As big as that is, what if Climate Change is just a symptom of a deeper problem?

What’s causing Climate Change?  Yes, it’s the over-use of fossil fuels and rising carbon levels.  But what’s behind that?  And what’s behind the inability to scale back fossil fuel use?

Image borrowed from Salon.com with this caption:
Mural by the artist Bansky along Regent’s Canal in London.
(Credit: Flickr/Matt Brown)

I just read a very insightful post on salon.com, I was a climate change denier, going over one person’s response to being flooded out by Hurricane Sandy.  That not taking action on the effects causing climate change, that is, just sitting around taking care of other issues rationalizing away not working on climate change, is itself a form of climate change denial.

However that article also goes over some of the deeper systemic issues, and says that “that the crisis is more titanic than any other, so if we’re going to do anything about it, we have to do everything.”  And: “Unfortunately, there is a lot of truth to this story: The crisis is gargantuan, and it’s getting worse. Ultimately only a fundamental social, political, economic and personal transformation is going to get us out of this mess.”

This is something I rather agree with.

The article references some well known thinkers who point at how climate change is related to some other big issues, that are deeper than the climate change symptom: “Vandana Shiva pushes us to see that the intersecting crises of food, climate and economy are all based on a common theme of debt, while George Monbiot reminds us that the oil profiteering that ruins our climate would be impossible were it not for the insidious relationship between money and politics.”

For example, the economic system as a whole is based on a financialization of money that forces businesses and people to stay in debt, and forces the system to keep growing and growing and growing.  Growth is supposed to be good, but what happens when Growth causes our society to outstrip the ability of the planet to allow us to continue surviving?

That’s basically what Climate Change is – a symptom of the planet being unable to continue supporting the health of our people upon this planet?  Our home is beginning to violently react to our presence?  Why?  Because the lump sum of all human activity is too much for the planet.

Some other symptoms of the deeper issue are housing foreclosures, rising student debt, rising tuition hikes, rising health care fees, the oil spills, the proposed oil pipelines, the rampant deforestation, the factories that blow up, the poisoning of the earth to grow stuff that’s claimed to be food, etc etc etc etc

All this is rooted in the economic system that’s totally out of whack and is driving the financial system to the brink of collapse, just as the planet is kicking up a fuss about the side effects of the factories and cars and whatnot we collectively own and operate.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

About David Herron

David Herron is a writer and software engineer living in Silicon Valley. He primarily writes about electric vehicles, clean energy systems, climate change, peak oil and related issues. When not writing he indulges in software projects and is sometimes employed as a software engineer. David has written for sites like PlugInCars and TorqueNews, and worked for companies like Sun Microsystems and Yahoo.

Leave a Reply