Stein: White House role in blocking climate progress “unforgivable”
Regarding the recently ended Durban climate change talks, Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, issued the following statement this morning:
“Unlike my Republican opponents, President Obama professes to believe in science. He knows that America and the world is rapidly rushing to the catastrophic financial and environmental impacts of climate change, and yet he joins the deniers in blocking action to save our children’s future.
Current levels of fossil fuel use are already heading us toward indisputably catastrophic levels of global warming.Yet with emissions rising faster and faster every year, the Obama Administration has shockingly pushed an agreement to do nothing before 2020, ensuring that the critical time window for saving the climate will be missed. That the White House is responsible for this is unforgivable.
People are already dying from climate change. Extreme weather changes have already inflicted tens of billions in damage. This is a mere hint of the far greater impacts we are already on track for. The clear solution to the growing worldwide economic crisis is to invest in a sustainable fossil fuel-free economy. This is common knowledge, except among the politicians, oil barons and bankers that profit from the present system.
Even though the U.S. has never ratified the Kyoto Protocol — under Clinton-Gore, Bush-Cheney and now Obama-Biden — it has managed to swing a wrecking ball at the UN process on climate change. As always, it will be the poor, the elderly and the sick of the world who will most feel the pain from this abuse of our nation’s power. But all of us will pay the price as rising temperatures and sea levels, along with extreme weather, turn tens of millions into refugees, diminish the world’s food supply, and undercut political and economic stability in poor and rich countries alike.
The White House continued to block effective international action on climate change at Durban despite recent reports that the level of carbon emissions has actually increased by 50% since the Kyoto protocols were agreed to. Instead of pushing for stronger curbs, the White House led the fight to delay adopting the new climate agreement until 2020, when it will be too late to turn back. This is a deadly betrayal of future generations. Scientists have repeatedly stated that to avoid catastrophic climate change, emissions must begin to decline well before 2020.
According to the International Energy Agency, we’re already heading towards a devastating 6 degrees Centigrade rise in global temperature, three times the widely accepted limit of 2 degrees Centigrade, over which tipping points are triggered for ever-growing levels of lethal warming. Yet with emissions increasing every year, even this “game over” prediction understates the true risk.
This is not a time for pandering to oil and gas interests, it is a time for courage. We intend to crisscross this nation in the coming year, asking Americans to go into the voting booth and reject the devastation being pursued by the Washington establishment. This may be one of the most important political acts in our lifetime. We will give Americans a chance to vote for a Green New Deal that will save the planet and the economy, putting 25 million people back to work building the green infrastructure for a livable climate and the sustainable, just future we deserve.”
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