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Hell, high water, & corporate profit

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From the World Glacier Monitoring Service (WGMS) comes the latest in a long line of dire warnings. Thanks to climate change, mountain glaciers are shrinking three times faster than they were in the 1980s. Across America, two distinct sounds are heard: a collective yawn and the clacking of keyboards as another million words are written to cast global warming as a tree-hugger conspiracy.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is also about to release a major report that declares human-induced climate change is happening and must be addressed. IPCC chairman Rajendra Pachauri says the report "embodies substantial new research, it addresses gaps that existed in our knowledge earlier, it has reduced existing uncertainties. I hope policies and actions will be formed to address the problem." As reported by BBC News, the IPCC report will identify human activities as being "principally responsible for the climatic changes observed around the world."

The pro-climate change delegation will remind us it's possible that human influence on global warming is exaggerated. This may or may not be true. Either way, it begs the question: What's the downside of acting as if humans were the sole cause of climate change? The "policies and actions" Pachauri (and many others) urge could serve to reduce consumption, pollution, and many preventable deaths. Who could possibly be against that? Before you attempt to answer this, consider that if Americans get on board and take major steps to scale down their highly unsustainable lifestyles, corporate profits would tumble. As they say in Denmark: There's the rub.

While there is no pro-warming lobby, there are corporate lobbyists swarming like flies around the fetid legislative droppings in D.C. As the global temperatures increase, so will the press releases and the cunning campaigns of misinformation.

The late Australian scholar, Alex Carey once listed what he felt were the three most significant developments of the twentieth century: the growth and spread of democracy; the growth and spread of corporate power; and the development of corporate propaganda to protect corporate power against democracy. Translation: It's extremely difficult to provoke change within a culture born and raised on trusting corporate values. But the stakes may never be higher. "With the scenarios predicted," said WGMS director Wilfried Haeberli, "we will enter conditions which we have not seen in the past 10,000 years, and perhaps conditions which mankind has never experienced."

What change are you willing to make...now?

Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.
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Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at http://www.mickeyz.net.
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