Re: There Is An Alternative
loricat: Does the rising water levels have to be lapping at their doorstep for people to say "Oh, maybe..."?
I suspect, even then, the reasons for why
things need to change will be packaged as concerns non-related to fossil fuel use or not connected to our dominant economic models. Sure, there's disaster at our doorstep, but don't expect me to change my way of life...it has nothing to do with me!
Addicts can be well aware of the catastrophe waiting to happen, have mountains of evidence pertaining to past catastrophes, and be thoroughly convinced that their current behaviors must change....and still use. There are complex interconnections rooted in brain chemistry, bad habits, familial dysfunction, peer pressure, social and cultural norms, and individual unhappiness.
loricat: Have governments thought through the scenarios where the ice caps melt and coastal cities are, probably quite quickly, submerged?
I think most governments have various components of disaster preparedness scenarios in place, but if New Orleans and Katrina is any indication...I suspect we have a long way to go before we can rest assured with any planning currently underway.
Interestingly, it is city and local governments that are leading the way in embracing governmental regulation and legal frameworks for turning the tide. For example, this is a segment of the The U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement
signed by over 400 Mayors
We will strive to meet or exceed Kyoto Protocol targets for reducing global warming pollution by taking actions in our own operations and communities such as:
1. Inventory global warming emissions in City operations and in the community, set reduction targets and create an action plan.
2. Adopt and enforce land-use policies that reduce sprawl, preserve open space, and create compact, walkable urban communities;
3. Promote transportation options such as bicycle trails, commute trip reduction programs, incentives for car pooling and public transit;
4. Increase the use of clean, alternative energy by, or example, investing in "green tags", advocating for the development of renewable energy resources, and recovering landfill methane for energy production;
5. Make energy efficiency a priority through building code improvements, retrofitting city facilities with energy efficient lighting and urging employees to conserve energy and save money;
6. Purchase only Energy Star equipment and appliances for City use;
7. Practice and promote sustainable building practices using the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED program or a similar system;
8. Increase the average fuel efficiency of municipal fleet vehicles; reduce the number of vehicles; launch an employee education program including anti-idling messages; convert diesel vehicles to bio-diesel;
9. Evaluate opportunities to increase pump efficiency in water and wastewater systems; recover wastewater treatment methane for energy production;
10. Increase recycling rates in City operations and in the community;
11. Maintain healthy urban forests; promote tree planting to increase shading and to absorb CO2; and
12. Help educate the public, schools, other jurisdictions, professional associations, business and industry about reducing global warming pollution.