The ostrich politics of 2018: Global warming is a real thing

In case you haven’t noticed, global warming is a thing, and unless we collectively do something about the 71 million millennial voters will do it for us. The world’s ice packs are shrinking. Sea levels are rising and it will start to affect the US sooner rather than later. North Carolina got a taste of it early September.

Of course, this is not limited to the US. There has been a spate of events across the globe and we are still only in September.

Super Typhoon Mangkhut

This huge storm affected southern China, the Philippines, the Marshall Islands and Guam at much the same time Hurricane Florence was soaking North Carolina. Three million people were evacuated, extensive coastal flooding means that many are still without power and will remain so for a long time to come – sound familiar. To date at least 69 deaths are attributed.

Mongkut also hit Guam- which had been hit by storm Maria a month prior. Maria’s eye passed right across the island.

Wildfires in California

California may be less affected by rising sea levels but wildfires are no longer something that is part of the natural way of things. Wildfires this year started on July 23rd and are still not contained. The damage added to last year’s damage means huge swaths of forest which help to deal with greenhouse gases are lost to us for years.

The key point about this fire, it is still growing. 12,000 firefighters are working day and night against the fire beast, and they are losing.

Drought

Almost the entirety of Europe experienced severe drought this summer. Cape Town, South Africa came under severe drought warnings and almost came to rationing. One of the big factors is in the last 10 years the population has increased by one third. The demand on the system, coupled with a 1-degree rise in ambient temperature, plus no rain, caused a perfect storm.

The evidence is there – where is the politics

The point about global warming form a political perspective is that this is both a national and an international concern. When one of the big CO2 either ignores or denies the issues, the effect is cumulative and affects all of us regardless.

Carbon dioxide is involved in everything in a nation state’s economy. The burning of fossil fuels is one part. Proponents of Nuclear power promote the use as a way of reducing fossil fuels but there are still grave concerns over safety and when nuclear power goes wrong the implications are massive.

Consensus driven political institutions

This is going to be the only way of dealing with the issues, but it is going to take the industrial leaders to take a stand. And somehow that means bringing China to the table and getting the US back to the table.

At the moment we still speak in terms of voluntary emission reductions. What I find worrisome is when we talk of imposed reductions.