In the Dutch movie De vierde man (The Fourth Man) is the memorable line, “When you are warned, you must listen.”
Today’s news: record high temperatures in Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands. 108 degree temperatures in Paris, France. Deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon basin has reached more than three football fields per minute of forest destroyed, getting closer to the point at which the forests of the basin can no longer recover, with major environmental consequences.
There is now more carbon dioxide — a greenhouse gas — in the world’s atmosphere than there has been for the past 3 million years. And it is said that every day the heat trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the equivalent of 400,000 Hiroshima bombs.
That is only a hint of the seriousness of the problem facing us. There have been so many warning signs of disaster to come — so many canaries in the coal mine — that as one person put it, we are already up to our knees in dead canaries. And it is only going to get worse.
As Greta Thunberg says, “We are right now in the beginning of a climate and ecological crisis, and we need to call it what it is: an emergency.”
If humans continue to do nothing significant about it — and world governments continue either to ignore it or pay the problem only lip service, or even create laws or regulations that make the problem even worse — then we can kiss the planet as we know it — and likely the human race itself — goodbye.
As for this country — the United States — there is the Impeachment Power that says the President may be impeached and removed from office for “high crimes and misdemeanors.” What could be worse than not only refusing to do anything about climate change, but even taking actions that will only make it worse and speed it up — and we know the consequences will be suffering, death, and misery for huge numbers of people, not only in this country but around the world. What crime could be higher? And why is no one in authority saying this?