Once again, the Bulletin has unfortunately chosen partisan political patter over serious policy discussion. I am referring to last Friday’s Gatehouse Media opinion piece by John Shoemaker (Democrats gone wild and crazy, April 26). Shoemaker’s comments on the Green New Deal (GND) are such a confused and confusing mix of truth and fiction that it sounds like he didn’t even read it: House Resolution 109. I did.
Shoemaker: “The GND acts on solving global warming….”
GND: (title of the Resolution): “Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal.”
Do you see the difference? While this Resolution is unique and historic in terms of a statement of goals by Congress, in practical terms it has no effect, and takes no action at all.
Shoemaker: “The GND …believes that humanity has only 12 years before we reach the point of no return.”
GND: It’s not clear to me how a Congressional Resolution can have its own beliefs, but that point aside, there is simply no such statement or warning in this Resolution. The warnings regarding future climate impacts that are in the Resolution are derived from two scientific reports issued last year, one of which is from the US Government itself (The Fourth National Climate Assessment).
Shoemaker: “We are not the world’s major polluter.”
GND: “The US has historically been responsible for a disproportionate amount of greenhouse gas emissions, having emitted 20% of global greenhouse gas emissions through 2014….”
Besides his false and misleading comments on the GND, Shoemaker can’t resist taking a swipe at Al Gore, who “has made millions” since his “Oscar-winning movie ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ in 2006.” So what? Shoemaker concedes that climate change is real, but is silent on the millions made by fossil fuel executives who have profited, and continue to do so.
Shoemaker further argues that “the US cannot solve the problem itself,” and that “China, India, and other countries will continue massive toxic pollution…,” implying that this then excuses the US from taking immediate and drastic action. I believe most of us grown-ups were taught by our parents when we were children that defensive blaming of others never excuses our own bad behavior.
Despite the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Treaty, despite denial, and staff and funding cuts to the very agencies most able to address the climate crisis, there is growing momentum among children, youth, and adults, as well as corporations, cities, and many states, to implement the changes required. The unmistakable and long-predicted signs of the global climate imbalance are there for all to see in the accelerating frequency and intensity of storms, floods, droughts, and fires. For the growing numbers of people and communities affected, life as they knew it is already gone forever. The global atmospheric CO2 level was 378 ppm in 2005; now it is 410 ppm and still rising.