Global warming won’t just affect our planet – it will also affect our health, says Ainslie Macgibbon.
“Climate change will affect, in profoundly adverse ways, some of the most fundamental determinants of health: food, air, water,” the director-general of the World Health Organisation, Margaret Chan, says.
It is an alarming scenario – and one that hit home in Australia this year after the deadly heatwave and bushfires in Victoria and the devastating floods in Queensland.
There were 374 more deaths than what would normally be expected during the January heatwave in Victoria, according to an assessment released by the Victorian Chief Medical Officer. The deaths represented a 62 per cent increase in total mortality from all causes.
Like the Wicked Witch of the West, the world is melting — and fast.
The University of Zurich’s World Glacier Monitoring Service reported earlier this year, “The new data continues the global trend in accelerated ice loss over the past few decades.” The rate of ice loss is twice as fast as a decade ago. “The main thing that we can do to stop this is reduce greenhouse gases” said Michael Zemp, a researcher at the University of Zurich’s Department of Geography.
Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) is organizing a “strike team” to oppose clean energy reform, likely led by extremist global warming denier Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL). Speaking to the global warming denying National Association of Manufacturers, Cantor said House Republican leaders will “target legislative efforts to cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions” — namely, the Waxman-Markey green economy legislation supported by corporate alliances like the U.S. Climate Action Partnership and Business for Innovative Climate & Energy Policy. In an interview with E&E News, Cantor said the opposition team membership has not been decided, but Shimkus is a “potentially valuable player“:
He is providing a real knowledge base on issues dealing with energy. He’s obviously very interested in clean-coal issues, and he is taking a strong interest in making sure we stop this cap-and-trade system.
The Shimkus “knowledge base” is extremist pro-pollution climate denial, embracing the worst myths and confabulations of the radical right.
THE SHIMKUS ENERGY ‘KNOWLEDGE BASE’
– Stopping global warming pollution is a greater “assault on democracy” than the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
In an exclusive interview with the Wonk Room following the GOP mock climate hearing on Tuesday, Shimkus reiterated his belief that global warming doesn’t exist, because the “climate continuously changes.”
Shimkus is also a serial liar, repeatingto this day the thoroughly debunked canard that an MIT study found that cap and trade is a costly $3100 or $3900 energy tax on working families.
Shimkus has received $914,245 in campaign contributions from the auto, chemical, coal, and oil industries and electric utilities — enough money to pay a mythical $3100 tax for 295 years.
Cantor is resorting to extremists like Shimkus because a cap on global warming pollution will allow America to rebuild its economy without being dependent on fossil fuel pollution — benefiting everyone except the corporate polluters and the politicians who take their money.
Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) bought himself a little bit more time yesterday to produce a consensus on global warming and energy legislation…. Waxman pledged to produce a new version of draft legislation next week while again promising to pass the bill out of the full committee before the Memorial Day recess….
Negotiations on the climate bill continue to focus on four key issues: the stringency and timetable of the cap-and-trade program’s emission limits, the use of offsets to ease industrial compliance costs, allocation of valuable allowances and the structure of a nationwide renewable electricity standard.
Waxman met with a cross-section of regional Democratic interests yesterday to work through those areas, including Rep. Charles Gonzalez of Texas; Reps. Brian Baird and Jay Inslee of Washington; and Reps. Zach Space, Marcy Kaptur and Betty Sutton of Ohio.
So what are the compromises? No big surprise — they are straight out of the (lame) USCAP deal, starting with a bunch of free credits to industry:
Edited by Joe Romm, we cover climate science, solutions and politics. Columnist Tom Friedman calls us "the indispensable blog" and Time magazine named us one of the 25 "Best Blogs of 2010." Newcomers, start here.