All Good Things Need Not Come to an End
Demonstrators make their way down New York’s Sixth Avenue on Sunday.
PHOTOGRAPH BY JASON DECROW, AP
Last week was quite a week for U.S. advocates of protecting the environment. Four hundred thousand of them, including people of all ages, cultures and locations (people from all 50 States), joined together and marched through the streets of New York City, the country’s’s most populous city otherwise known as “The Big Apple”. Their reason for making the trip (many chose to endure long bus rides) was to demonstrate to the world and their county’s political leaders, and in no uncertain terms, their deep and growing concern with the increasing amounts of “greenhouse gases”, most notably carbon dioxide (CO2) which has 42% higher concentration levels in the atmosphere now than in pre-industrial times, before the widespread burning of fossil fuels for energy, which releases predominantly CO2 gas as an invisible byproduct. The greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have historically kept the planet warm by absorbing the Sun’s radiant energy and trapping it near the surface. However, too many of them being added to the atmosphere causes what is commonly known now as “global warming”, which causes ice and snow to melt at the poles and mountainous glaciers, and ultimately leads to rising and warming ocean waters that are more acidic (a certain percentage of CO2 is absorbed in the oceans). Global warming also causes more extreme weather events (a warmer atmosphere is more volatile), including heavier rainfalls and flooding, stronger storms, hotter and longer heat waves, worse drought and related problems (such as buckling highways and dwindling water supplies).
“Our citizens keep marching,” U.S. President Barack Obama said in his Tuesday address, acknowledging the protest. “We cannot pretend we do not hear them. We have to answer the call.”
Despite the biggest and most diverse climate march ever – one having almost 400,000 people, including people from every state of the Union marching through the streets of New York City in a huge show of strength in advance of last week’s United Nations General Meeting, it’s back to “business as usual” in the USA this week.
Global warming deniers, who flat-out refuse to believe rising greenhouses gas emissions from fossil fuel burning the last two centuries are affecting the atmosphere, the oceans, plants, wildlife, the weather and people; and that the effects are likely to grow stronger in intensity and thus in damage as the world adds to the aggregate amount of greenhouse gases emitted to the atmosphere, cannot deny the fact that the poor and middle class in the U.S. and the rest of the world will be the ones who suffer the greater effects from global warming. Those who are at the top of the economic ladder in the U.S., many who refuse to pay their fair share of U.S. taxes to help poor individuals and families yet purposely deny the existence of global warming are all now likely breathing a huge sigh of relief.
Last week’s groundswell of the people’s demands and concern for urgent action is now past history for them. They survived the four-hundred thousand people from all over the country marching through NYC Sunday, September 21, demanding action be taken by government and business to slow the global warming – already causing brutal climate change impacts throughout the globe and the country; they survived Wall Street being flooded with protesters Monday, September 22, that brought Wall Streets Financial District to a grinding halt over the course of a day-long sit-in by environmental activists; they survived any action by the U.S. Congress which adjourned after last week for the year.
“We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the real tragedy of life is when men are afraid of the light.”