Now Reading
To Solve the Climate Crisis, Think & Act Globally

To Solve the Climate Crisis, Think & Act Globally

Think & Act Globally to Solve Climate Crisis

Humans have shown an almost limitless capacity for innovation. We’ve mastered flight, mapped our own genome, and invented the telescope and Internet. So why are we so inept at tackling the climate crisis, the greatest existential threat we’ve ever faced?

It’s not because we’ve lost the knack for innovation, nor is it because we don’t know what needs to be done—stop dumping carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

So, what’s at the root of humanity’s incompetence when it comes to the climate crisis?

The “slow boil” hypothesis — that climate change is such a slowly evolving threat that humans behave like the frog thrown into a pot of water heated up so gradually the frog doesn’t notice it’s being cooked alive — is no longer credible. Every region of the planet is experiencing record-breaking climate extremes like wildfires. Orange County is no exception.

Combined with rising sea level, high surf during king tides pelted Beachfront propertiesCapistrano Beach, Dana Point and The Train tracks at Cotton’s Point in San Clemente, closing down Metrolink and Amtrak service connecting Orange County and Oceanside for three weeks last September.

Balboa Islanders had their hands full with parking lots, streets and homes in July 2020. FloodedWith up to three feet of oceanwater when combined with big surf.

These threats to seaside businesses and homes will only increase as the ocean is literally encroaching. California beaches are getting smaller.

As in every coastal community, the risk to Orange County’s commercial and recreational fishing will increase as more atmospheric carbon dioxide is released into the ocean. This will make the water more dangerous. AcidicIts calcium content can be lowered. Calcium is essential for corals, clams and snails as well as other invertebrates to build their hard shells. This has ripple effects all the way up the ocean’s food chain.

Though Orange County’s drought rating is currently “moderate,” the drought status in most regions of California remains Severe. Seventeen of the 20 worst Wildfires in the state’s history happened since 2000, three in 2021. The Canyon Fire 2, Blue Ridge, Silverado, and Bond fires are recent painful reminders of Orange County’s particular vulnerability, which is expected to worsen as climate change makes water less available.

The fundamental reasons for our collective failure to tackle the climate crisis are two-fold—unbridled corporate capitalism and the failure of governments to act in the public’s interest.

Corporate profiteering is a way for corporations to build economies in the United States and around the globe based on the unrestrained burning of fossil fuels. This allows them to continue to steer the world towards short-term corporate profits and ignore the climate crisis. The corrupt political system in which politicians are dependent on corporate donors to get elected means that the welfare of the people is put on the back burner.

The Netflix bombshell Don’t Look Up captures this formula for inaction on the climate through the satirical allegory of a planet-killing comet headed straight for earth. Our government gives in to the will of a greedy corporate CEO who plans to mine the comet for rare earth elements, despite overwhelming scientific evidence. If you haven’t seen the movie, I won’t spoil the ending for you.

David Sirota is an American journalist and screenwriter who contributed to Don’t Look Up. This article was published in a Jan. 7 interview, he clarified what the movie is fundamentally about, “how elites and institutions do not operate in the public’s interest.” Politicians and the media characteristically fail to address how a bill will affect the livable ecosystem on which human life depends, opining instead on how the economy could be affected.

This thinking puts humans and our planet’s life support systems in service of the economy. Instead, the economy should instead be viewed as a tool for ensuring that our planet is livable.

We are witnessing this same reversal of priorities in Congress’s deadlock in passing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, which ClaimsTo provide a roadmap to reach net-zero carbon emissions by mid century The Arguments in oppositionThese are based on the dollar cost and do not consider the human suffering or the global devastation caused by the failure of the federal government to act.

That in December Congress passed a $768 billion defense bill despite the end of the war in Afghanistan should upend any suggestion that the bucks aren’t there to protect the public from the very real threats of global warming. The fossil fuel industry continues to thrive. subsidizedOur tax dollars are used to release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. There is no accountability for the environmental destruction.

Orange County was reminded of the environmental damage that fossil fuels can cause last October. Huntington Beach was contaminated by 25,000 gallons crude oil after a ruptured pipeline. Beach access was cut off for a week. A 20-mile stretch of coastline was also closed to commercial or recreational fishing for more than two months. December IndictmentThe failure to act on repeated leak alarms raised hopes for some accountability from the three oil companies.

There are also reasons to believe that more members of Congress will be looking for accountability. Bipartisan Legislation directed at producers or importers of fossil fuels, which imposes a fee on the carbon content of the fuels, was reintroduced in the House last April with 93 cosponsors, including three from Orange County—Katie Porter (45th District), Lou Correa (46th District), and Mike Levin (49th District).

The fee would begin at $15 per ton carbon dioxide emissions and increase each year to maintain pressure on energy sector to switch to non-polluting sources of energy. Dividends would be given back to the public for the collected fees.

See Also
Keeping climate change crisis upfront

It also gives hope that the nation will become more climate-conscious and work on strategies to slow global heating. California became the first state in the country to begin a global warming strategy on January 1. MandatorySeparate food waste from general household garbage to reduce methane gas emission by landfills

In the spirit of the environmental maxim “think globally but act locally,” I’m excited to receive my new green food/yard waste bin and do my small part. This maxim is hollow when compared to the sheer number of climate actions required to preserve a livable planet for future generations.

It’s urgent that we convince world leaders, politicians, and corporate heads to prioritize both thinking and acting globally.


Protect local journalism – please subscribe to the print edition of the Fullerton Observer.While our online edition is free, we rely on print subscriptions from our readers.  An annual subscription costs only $35 per year. It only takes a minute – Click Here to Subscribe. We are grateful for your support of the Fullerton Observer. Click here for a printed copy.


View Comments (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.