Posting in Cities
There's no shortage of discussion about climate change. But it's not often that the conversation shifts to how the world's poorest could be affected by global warming.
Michael Dorsey, assistant professor of environmental studies at Dartmouth College, has made it his mission to bring into the limelight the impact of climate change -- and government policies regarding global warming -- on people already facing economic disparities. With a $300,000 grant from the Ford Foundation, along with funding from collaborations with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the government of Palau and other groups, Dorsey is heading up a project to bring climate justice to the forefront. We spoke last week.
Tell me about your project and its mission.
We're trying to understand, "What is this thing called climate justice?" We've been tracking what different local communities, primarily in the U.S. but also increasingly abroad, say climate justice is. There is a network called Climate Justice Now that formed after the Bali negotiations two years ago. We track what people in that movement say climate justice is, why they make certain claims that they make. That gives us a sense of organizations that represent literally millions of people around the world saying, "This is what climate justice looks like, should be, has to be."
On the other hand, we look very closely at the policies that are coming out of the official process, from things like the Bali agreement up through the Copenhagen accord. We literally go line by line. Will that produce climate justice as embodied and as demanded by social movements and representatives of millions and millions of people around the world?
How does the issue of climate change intersect with economic disparities?
At the end of the day, checking carbon emissions and reducing them means essentially incorporating them into the economy. That means carbon has a price. Whether it's cap and trade, whether it's direct tax from governments, it means when it has that price, your cost of energy goes up. Typically, a poor person spends more of their income on energy. When you increase the cost of energy generally, which is what will happen when we try to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, that fix translates into the economy. We know that those on the margins of society, the poor regardless or race or ethnicity, they're going to feel the hit in their pocketbook more so than the rich.
What's wrong about the way we're currently addressing climate change as far as the lower-income bracket?
The proposals that we're offering -- before we even get to economics -- the very proposals for reductions, are insufficient. It's very hard to say that [Hurricane] Katrina was caused by climate change. It's very hard to put a firm causal link between these things. But what we do know about climate change is that the one thing that it will do -- other than raise the mean average temperature of the climate -- is produce very harsh weather anomalies. These anomalies -- extreme temperature, extreme snow -- happen when you warm the climate. So, when targets and commitments [from the Copenhagen conference] are off the mark, that's a death sentence for people in Africa, people in low-lying areas.
Before you even get to the money, the proposals will produce widespread ecosystem collapse. When we have these 100-degree temperature days for several days running, which we're seeing now in a whole number of cities, the people that die first are typically those that are poor, black, brown, people of color. We already know that the reason why they die first is because their overall environmental quality is worse. They live closer to hazardous facilities. We already have good data that tells us that poor black and brown people of color, their environment is already compromised. Those people are going to be put under more stress -- and that's before the hit in the pocketbook comes.
What are the goals of your project?
The ultimate goal is threefold: To begin to share with policy makers what climate justice is, why it needs to be achieved and how it can be achieved.
More information on Dorsey's project is available here.
Photo: Michael Dorsey / By Joseph Mehling
Feb 15, 2010
Climate change is socialism and wealth re-distribution repackaged as a crisis to sell it more effectively. After all, who wants to be the one to 'kill the planet'. But as this article points out, it's all about taking from the haves and handing out to the have not. Of course, the actual effect will be to leave us all poor and enslaved to our governments, but we're not supposed to think about that.
Human civilization? Humans have grown and destroyed civilizations for millenia. There's nothing unusual about that at all. If you really believe in threats to our current technological civilization, I have this for you: in the 60s and 70s, folks were busy trying to scare the bejeezus out of us with all the "scientific proof" about about nuclear annhilation. That one never came true either. Human civilization: easy come, easy go. No problemo. Don't worry: be happy.
Global warming? The earth's climate has always gone through warmer and cooler phases. There's nothing unusual about that at all. If you really believe in global warming, I have this for you: in the 70's, climatologists were busy trying to scare the bejezzus out of us with all their "scientific proof" of global COOLING. That one never came true either.
....since the scientific community has been convinced that human influence has been tipping the climate scales toward global warming and all the myriad influences. In 1988 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was formed, and after 2 years of compiling data, came out with its first report that said that humans are probably a factor in the dynamics in the earth's climate, but we need to know more to understand it better. In 1995, their much more data had been collected and they came out with their second report, which strongly suggested humans were impacting the climate in a way that was resulting in global warming. In 2001, their third report strengthened the amounts and kind of data that linked human activity with climate change that includes a global warming trend, saying that these two things were "strongly linked," and called for even more data in a wide number of areas, including sea surface temps, ocean heat deeper down, albedo and ice coverage changes, ice thickness, etc. Notice that's 10 years ago. In 2007, the Fourth report came out and their conclusions were that the additional data has made the conclusion that humans have influenced the climate "unequivocal." They are continuing to collect even more data. The data is suggesting that the conclusions of 2007 were conservative. This is not going away in 5 or 10 years. Get used to the consequences, which will be more severe with every passing year. We will look back at the nay sayers as just more tobacco lawyers and flat earth types.
All that is shown in a lab is that CO2 is an extremely inefficient "greenhouse gas" when compared to other common gases, such as methane and water vapor. As recent revelations have shown, the "instrument record" you refer to is extremely flawed, when it's available at all. When advocates of AGW are allowed to pick and choose their instrument data, they can pretty much prove whatever they want. Yes, I repeat back to you: "you can call it a scam all you want, you can misinterpret all of this news to fit your prejudices all you want but the planet and the climate system doesn't care. Global warming will become to obvious for all but the most ideologically constipated people to ignore within 5-10 years." Amazingly enough, even Phil Jones no longer agrees with you. The only people who still do universally are the politicians.
The fundamentals of AGW are settled. That CO2 is a greenhouse gas is easily shown in the lab. That temperatures have been rising for the past century is easily shown from the instrument record. That the rise in CO2 in the atmosphere comes from human emissions of CO2 is easily demonstrated. What isn't settled is a lot of details, some of them pretty important, like the effects of clouds. You can call it a scam all you want, you can misinterpret all of this news to fit your prejudices all you want but the planet and the climate system doesn't care. Global warming will become to obvious for all but the most ideologically constipated people to ignore within 5-10 years. Meanwhile, all of the delay in the US will ruin our economy as the rest of the world is moving ahead on attaching the problem. The US used to be a world leader, now we're fading fast partly due to people like you clinging to the old systems instead of looking to the future.
Today's "deniers" are those who continue to spread the myth that anthropogenic global warming is "settled science", as Al Gore likes to say. It's far from settled, as the recent backpeddling by the IPCC, the release of the "climategate" e-mails. Even Phil Jones is now doing the backstroke. I truly hope that all of the words are archived, so future generations will be able to see how nearly the entire world was nearly driven over the economic cliff by this scam.
Let me get this straight. Rapid climate change is supposed to be natural. Rising water levels are good because they'll create jobs for sandbaggers and so on. That's pure comedy gold in bad logic and too good to be true wishful thinking. Denying a problem exists doesn't make it go away, unfortunately. I truly hope that all of the words the GW/GCC deniers - common folk and elected officials - are saying and writing are duly archived in a type of digital time capsule, so that future generations who live with the more severe consequences of our human contributions to GW may view how this so-called "debate" wasn't a debate at all, but was a shining example of how faulty human thinking caused unhelpful doubt and inaction, when reasonable thinking and timely action was of the utmost necessity. I predict it will be considered as the major reality disconnect of humankind in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. May our descendants forgive our self- absorbed arrogance and ignorance.
Climate change is socialism and wealth re-distribution repackaged as a crisis to sell it more effectively. After all, who wants to be the one to 'kill the planet'. But as this article points out, it's all about taking from the haves and handing out to the have nots. Of course, the actual effect will be to leave us all poor and enslaved to our governments, but we're not supposed to think about that. As for Hurricane Katrina, someone please tell me how a Category 3 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico is a weather anomoly? It's not like Louisiana wasn't hit by hurricanes just as powerful before. The devastation to that region was so acute because of ill-prepared governments that didn't do what they were told for 40 years they needed to do to protect the residents. When a Category 6 makes landfall somewhere, then we'll talk about extreme weather. Oh, by the way, the Atlantic has actually had below normal hurricane activity this past decade, but let's just keep ignoring that because it doesn't fit the convienent narrative.
Today's Wall Street Journal points out that the IPCC has cited a study claiming that global warming could deplete water resources for as many as 4.5 billion people by the year 2085. But the IPCC neglected to mention that the same study found that global warming could also increase water resources for as many as six billion people. I guess "climate change" news only counts if it's bad, or suits someone's political agenda. And much of that agenda is based upon wealth envy and efforts at socialistic redistribution. Just yesterday my wife and I were laughing about a story she read about how a 5-cent tax on plastic bags would hurt and discriminate against the "poor". Silly envy-politics. But either way, I'll tell you what will really hurt the poor the hardest: A global economy trashed as a wasted response to "climate change" that we can't possibly change. The poor never come out any better when nobody else does either.
Please watch my video It's about climate change, earth catastrophes and our planet as we lives in. Continental Drift: One huge continent became 2 continents, then 5 (or 6) and then? Thank you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7I_eFoIk64
Climate Change Policy of Christian Aid: Nothing inherently Christian about it! The theory of Global Warming has run its course. NGOs are now left high and dry, having to painfully re-examine their own roles in this scam. Climate Change will certainly go down as one of the darkest chapters of NGO history, when they went amok, exchanging their ideals for thirty pieces of silver. Where have they gone wrong? Visit our new bog site: http://devconsultancygroup.blogspot.com to read a critique of Christian Aid's Climate Change Policy.
Climate change is and will impact all of us regardless of how much you make. Policy has real problems because science in academia is blind to the temperatures discussed. If the sciences are blind, so is policy because policy is based on science. Buildings are designed and insulated for specific temperatures so we use less energy as well as produce less emissions. In finding the cause of urban heat islands and how they use energy responding to them, we found buildings were being radiated by the same sun that burns us. Los Angeles alone spends over 100 million a year responding to symptoms of buildings becoming urban heat islands. All of it is a waste, we just couldn't see before. The poor will be affected and the rich will be toxic, extinction of species will result. http://www.thermoguy.com/urbanheat.html When you can see the problem, it can be fixed. Paint, shade or coatings will eliminate the need for air conditioning(refrigeration)
Climate change is a fact of life. It has been for millions of years. As the earth naturaly warms from the last ice age more areas are available for crop and food production bringing food costs down and helping the poorest among us. As sea levels rise naturaly, there will be jobs for the unemploied to build seawals and take advantage of the new shoreline. Rainfall will return to parched areas as a result of heat transfer of water vapor bringing relief to many in central Africa. It won't all be roses but it will be a lot worse when the Earth begins to cool again. Ice ages are mass killers.