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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 5/20/19

Death by Constitution

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Message Harold Novikoff
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voluminous amount of scientific data and by the evidence of massive escalating climate disasters, the world's scientific community, almost unanimously, has alerted us to the Draconian fate awaiting humanity - and all life on Earth - if vital steps are not started immediately to alter our course towards the inferno of global warming. The alarmist character of this message is well-substantiated in the timely book "The Uninhabitable Earth" by David Wallace-Wells, as well as by a flood of others that attempt to awaken our collective consciousness to the inevitable consequences of global warming.

Whether or not we have the capability to escape the ultimate fate we have brought upon ourselves by not living within the boundaries of our natural environment, as described in these books, if we value life we have no choice but to attempt whatever is possible to mitigate the calamity. In the distant past, we did not have knowledge of these limits, nor were our transgressions against nature of significant magnitude; but in the present era, our political/economic system that is entrusted to wisely govern us and our economic activities, does not recognize or observe these boundaries. Unless all governments and powers-that-be, inconceivably, have a sudden awakening to the existential threats of global warming, our fate may be sealed.

In our country, the fault lies not only with the present administration, inflexibly devoted to the capitalistic tradition of ever-expanding, profit-seeking, indiscriminate economic growth in pursuit of wealth. The fault lies in our very constitution that does not provide the means for rapid response to emergencies of this order, thereby keeping a reactionary administration in power. In this respect, the parliamentary system that can change the head of state at any time by a vote in parliament or special election may be more effective.

The planetary shift in policy needed to realistically confront global warming would, in most cases, require new administrations committed to the cause as their ultimate purpose - as if we were engaged in the war to end all wars. And this change can not wait years for the long-drawn-out process in our country of proposing constitutional amendments in Congress or by national convention, to be approved by three-quarters of the state legislatures or by state conventions. Nor can it wait for the next presidential election heavily influenced by regressive corporate interests whose products are at the root of the problem, or by an election process of questionable integrity. Furthermore, the planetary shift in policy cannot be subject to revocation by a Supreme Court whose members are chosen to abide by party ideology.

The impetus for the massive action needed, beyond what our constitutional procedures allow, must come from the citizenry. We must be engaged at all levels, informing ourselves of the reality and urgency of the peril. We must counter and defy in every way possible the negativity and obstructiveness of our reactionary administration and its peers, and ceaselessly demonstrate and demand that effective steps be taken in this struggle for existence. We must all be guided by the knowledge and wisdom of the supporting international scientific and humanitarian community. And we must all be willing to change our extravagant life styles and make extraordinary sacrifices if we are to preserve life on Earth.

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Veteran, retired from several occupations (school teacher, technical writer, energy conservation business, etc.) long-time Sierra Club member

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