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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 6/24/11

Overlooking the Consequences: World Leaders Ignore Major Planetary Crisis

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Message David Model
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There are blinkers and then there are blindfolds. Blinkers are useful for blocking out points of view that are threatening to your agenda and blindfolds are useful for ignoring the conspicuous consequences of your agenda.    Leaders of major nations must be wearing blindfolds as they continue to exacerbate the catastrophes occurring around the globe in order to serve the interests of capital.   The canary in the coal mine must have lost its voice or is outside the hearing range of major decision-makers around the planet.

People have to pay attention to the weather even if they are using their blackberries or cellphones.   Extreme weather conditions may have always occurred but due to global warming they are occurring with greater frequency, more intensity and trends suggest that these freak weather conditions are becoming a permanent fixture on meteorological charting of weather conditions.

For example, Britain just experienced the warmest spring in 100 years and coldest winter in 300 years.   If you think that these conditions belie the existence of global warming, consider the fact that higher temperatures are diverting the Gulf Stream which moderates winters in Britain.

Frequent and devastating droughts have plagued 2 million square kilometers of Eastern Europe and Russia where 50,000 people have died, hundreds of giant fires have broken out and crops have been devastated.

Queensland Australia was flooded in what has been defined as the country's worst national disaster where $30 billion of damaged has been caused by the flood.

  Let us not forget Obama's blind spot, the United States, which suffered from the worst tornado season ever, numbering over 600 and killing 138 people.   As long as the public doesn't connect the dots, Obama and his corporate friends can stay out of a political storm.    Texas and other southern states have experienced exceptional droughts but as long as Obamas et al's powder is dry, he can fire salvos at environmental critics while carrying on business as usual.

Mexico has suffered the hottest temperature in half a century, causing 9,000 wildfires and 3.5 million farmers to be driven to the brink of bankruptcy.

In isolation, a sceptic might argue that freak storms happen and if the time reference is only 50 years, it can't possibly be attributed to global warming.    If you believe that all the freak storms globally considered together are a coincidence, then you must be living in a location where the unusually hot sun has caused you heat stroke.

Another crisis that would be a formidable challenge to overlook is the state of the oceans.   Possibly the 11 garbage patches in the Pacific Ocean have escaped the notice of our leaders due to the fact that they always fly and as well, the plastic bottle depositories may be out of reach for their yachts.

  Some species of big fish and sharks have been depleted by 90% as a result of overfishing.   Wouldn't it be a shame if Europeans were denied the delicacy of shark fin soup.

Coral reefs, phytoplankton and growing acidity of the oceans are also interfering with how the ocean interacts with other bio systems thus multiplying the impact of a number of crises.

If none of the leaders of major industrial nations are aware of these changes in the oceans, then their environmental appointees need to lengthen their reading lists or take a principled stand.   Of course, I am assuming that there are still people with principles among those appointed by our great leaders.

The nuclear threat is based on the array of nuclear weapons deployed on a launch on warning basis, or in other words, hair trigger alert, the sheer number of nuclear weapons, the number of nations aspiring to join the club, the risks associated with nuclear power plants including meltdowns, disposing of nuclear waste and the threat posed by terrorists.   Terrorists are those large mass of humanity, mostly Muslims, who have organized themselves into one grand monolithic network, all of whom are bent on destroying the U.S. at any time.   Apparently, they either hate American values or are envy them but are clearly not outraged by American policies.   Tie a red ribbon around your tree and hide under your dining room table while placing your hands over your head and you will have nothing to worry about.   It's a proven preventative measure since it worked in public schools in the 1950's against the threat of nuclear war

Surely world leaders are aware of these dangers posed by Einstein's formula: E=MC -.   For example, Obama, as the only person with the codes to launch nuclear weapons must know about their launch on warning status and the fact that Russian missiles are on the same status with aging computers.   Yet he is planning to upgrade America's arsenal with more sophisticated weapons.   As Dr. Caldicott stated in the title of one of her books, is this a case of missile envy?   It's more likely a result of America's unrelenting, unshakeable determination to control as much of the world as possible.

If you do not believe that a president is capable of using nuclear weapons, listen to the conversation between Nixon and Kissinger when Nixon lusts for the opportunity to bomb Cambodia with nukes and Kissinger politely suggested that it probably was not a good idea.   Who would have thought that Kissinger had a moderate bone in his body?

In addition, as nations are desperately scrambling to secure dwindling resources to secure industrial growth and higher profits in the future, they are militarizing the planet.    The United States has almost four times as many military bases as there are nations on the planet.   At one point, the Southern Command was based in Panama and the United States maintained 14 military bases there.   No wonder they defeated the Panamanian Defense Forces so swiftly with little resistance.    After all, following Nicaragua and Guatemala, Panama posed the next most serious threat to the security of the United States.   It's a miracle one of those countries didn't occupy all 50 states.

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I have been a professor of political science at Seneca College in Toronto. I have published five books the last of which "Selling Out: Consuming Ourselves to Death" was released in May/08. As well, I have been featured in CounterPunch, Z (more...)
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