Freedom and Equality Took Another Hit

In the broadest of terms, the right to vote is a form of freedom of speech.  When a person goes to vote they are expressing their individuals view of who should represent them in the office. During a primary in my state, the vote must specify which party he is voting for.  With the judge’s decision to give access to the voter fraud commission, he has opened the door for the people of the United States to voter intimidation and tyranny. I can just envision the brown shirts marching down the main street of every town.

 

A Laymen’s Look At The Paris Accord

A Layman’s Look At The Paris Accord

When I heard of the President’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement, I was discouraged, but when I thought about it: his decision reminded me of a line from one of my favorite movies. In the movie the Wrath of Khan, in an anti-climatic scene, a dying Spock whispers to Captain Kirk “Logic dictates that the needs of many outweigh the needs of the few.” In the president’s mind, the needs of the few outweigh the needs of the many.

 When I first heard of the Paris Accord I wanted to shout from the rooftop. This was the first time these many nations came together to agree on a strategy for a major crisis. That is other than war. So when Trump announced that the U. S. was going to withdraw from the Paris Accord. In my mind, I heard “the needs of the few outweigh the the of the many.”

 148 nations met adopt green energy resources and to limit the rise in global temperatures. At the same time, these countries are cooperating to cope with the impact of unavoidable climate change. What the agreement acknowledges is that the threat of climate change is urgent and irreversible. The signatories felt that the problem of emission reduction could only be addressed through the cooperation of all countries.

What is the effect of the cuts?

      According to the agreement: “Holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”

The goal of 2 degrees as a limit had been discussed for several years. The global warming will still increase, but it won’t be as significant if nothing was done. The agreement notes that even if every signatory meets their obligation of 2 degrees world temperatures will still rise by 2 degrees. However, this is just a first step. It is the hope of all the signatories that the world will figure out how to get to the 2-degree goal, in time.

The accord goes onto a goal of pursuing loftier limits of 1.5 degrees temperature increase. The agreement states, “and to continue the efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees C above pre-industrial levels, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.”

 If the initial target of 2 is an ambitious goal, the Paris Accord goes to further suggest an even harder ambitious goal. The reason for the second ambitious goal was because of the campaigning of small island nations. These countries argued “noting that even if the temperature increase was held at 2 degrees, the resulting rise in sea levels would devastating for them.

Those island nations weren’t able to establish the 1.5 degrees as the primary target; the representatives were successful getting it into the Paris Accord. The reality is the 2-degree goal is lofty, and no one is sure if or how that is going to be achieved. The 2 degree Celsius may be the target, but world leaders have not figured out how to obtain it.

I am sure you have heard the figure $100 billion dollars in conjunction with the Paris Accord. This money is to be used to help developing countries swap from fossil fuels to greener resources and also to adapt to the effects of climate change. This contribution is the bottom level estimate of developed countries would have to contribute. Over the years this contribution is going to rise.

 The nations do not expect that they will be able to reduce emissions shortly. When the countries came to Paris every one of them had a voluntary pledge. Those pledges are now codified which sets a framework for the reductions to begin by 2020. That year is also the projected time to submit long term plans for the future. Not a pledge for the short term, but for one for future generations.

 The one element of the deal that President Barack Obama supported was that in the year 2020. In 2020 the reductions are supposed to begin. Every five years, every nations target will be reevaluated to move the world closer to the 2-degree target.

 President Obama support for this idea was to have each country’s goals submitted 9-12 months before they are finalized. This allows time to be created for other nations can seek clarity about the proposed targets. The goals should reflect progress from earlier targets. The target should be the highest each country can achieve. This framework should drive climate ambition while technologies improve and circumstances changes.

The target date for climate improvement is roughly mid-century or 2050. That is when the world is supposed to meet the goal of zero emissions of green house gases. However, no one expects the world to quit using every form of technology that greenhouse gases use. One example is the removal of carbon dioxide which could be accomplished by growing more trees. I guess that is why President Trump targeted Giant Sequoia National Monument. Those trees absorb two-thirds of the carbon dioxide for their species.

Personal Conclusion

 I have to agree with Trump’s supporters that the document is a lot of words. However, it is a lot of words targeting a particular problem setting real goals, not just talking about it. If we do not believe there is a critical issue with climate change: Please consider this all buildings and vehicles emitting fossil fuel emissions for ninety decades. Don’t you think there could be some damage?

 

 

 

 

 

America The Beautiful

         Do you remember the patriotic song “America the Beautiful?” If President Trump chooses to close the 27 national monuments, which he has targeted by executive order for oil, mining, and logging, we will start singing a new song? I don’t find any aesthetic beauty in oil wells sticking up all over the horizon, especially in the Bear Ears National Monument, Giant Sequoia National Park, Yellowstone, or Canyon of the Ancients Monument. These places attract millions of people a year to view the scenery and wildlife. They employ people and produce income. But you know that? Right? All of the 27 targeted monuments were created under the Antiquities Act.

         Some Sequoias are more than 3200 years old and have a height of 250 ft. Since we all know that trees produce oxygen. Have you ever imagined how much oxygen has been created I have a few figures to give you? The amount of oxygen a tree can produce depends on several factors. I want you to consider that the number and ways that they are presented depend on how oxygen is produced. These figures and ways depending on the species of a tree, its age, and its health.

           “You’ll hear a range of numbers and ways of presenting them because the amount of oxygen produced by a tree depends on the species of a tree, its age, its health, and on the tree’s surroundings. According to the Arbor Day Foundation, “a mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.”

McAliney, Mike. Arguments for Land Conservation: Documentation and Information Sources for Land Resources Protection, Trust for Public Land, Sacramento, CA, December 1993:

“One acre of trees annually consumes the amount of carbon dioxide equivalent to that produced by driving an average car for 26,000 miles.”

       ” A 100-ft tree, an 18″ diameter at its base, produces 6,000 pounds of oxygen.”

        To me, the obvious reason for targeting this iconic park is that Trump and his fanatical followers are still pushing their climate change denial agenda.

Bears Ears National Monument 

                

         This is a place whose story came out of the Wild West. The monument was set aside to stop the pillaging of an area rich in Native American artifacts. Local Native Americans in 2009 came together to protect the spiritual and archaeological sites. Through seven years a coalition developed between five local tribes and local outdoor and environmental groups. The coalition formed the Bears Ears Intertribal Coalition.

            President Barack Obama heard their cries for help. When the Utah delegation failed to resolve the situation, President Obama made the area a national monument. For me, this is just not another attack on the environment, it’s lazy thinking by lazy leaders that are more consumed by greed by progress and the safety of mankind.

Canyons of the Ancients Monument                                            

          This site has the largest concentration of archaeological sites in the country according to the Bureau of Land Management. The Bureau of Land Management and 26 local tribes manage the areas.
Just as on the previous monuments this is an assault by Trump and friends from oil and mining. It is also driving the youth of America to learn about other cultures that occupied our country.

I have mentioned three of twenty sites targeted by Trump via executive order. He has targeted destroying opportunities to learn other cultures, opportunities to honor other cultures. These sites produce jobs and money to the areas.

If you believe these, and Ironwood Forest, Vermillion Cliffs, Sonoran Desert, Grand Canyon-Parshant, Carrizo Plain, San Michael Mountains, Berryessa Snow Mountain, Mojave Trails, Sand to Snow Mountains, Craters of the Moon VI, Hansford Ranch, Grand Staircase-Escalante, Cascade-Siskiyou, Basin and Range, Gold Butte, Rio Grande del Norte, Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks, Upper Missouri River Breaks, and Katahdin Woods and Waters, are worth saving. Then please contact your representative, or senator, or the Secretary of Interior.                                      

A Birthday Remembrance

As my sixty-sixth birthday approached I found myself remembering a scene from one of my favorite movies. “Citizen is hard! You have to want it bad!” These are excerpts from the movie American President in which the fictional President Andrew Shepard(Michael Douglas) interrupts a press conference. For me, citizenship means jury duty, military service (if you are capable), voting and participating in rallies or demonstrations. It is part of everyday living.

Last year was the greatest opportunity to vote for the office of President, with such issues as health care, immigration, and client change.  In exchange, we lost the ability to be civil to one another. It didn’t, take much effort when for decades we’ve  accepted political campaigns which are solely about personal attacks rather than campaigning about issues.

We have forgotten what America is all about. It’s not about being first, the previous generations worked together, had a core belief in a higher power, and lived by values. None of that is present. We need to go back to the basics if we want to survive. But leave the bigotry and fear behind. Don’t you think that the great generation was afraid after Pearl Harbor? Sure they were, but they didn’t wallow in their fear.