© copyright 2007 Betsy L. Angert

Please Ponder the Inconvenient Truth Trailer.  As you view this video, reflect on the trauma of today’s tornado in Florida.

Please indulge me, allow me to make a comparison that may seem obscure to some.  Surely, the Bush/Cheney clan has yet to grasp what others and I have said for years.  Humans are harming the balance of nature!  We can choose to deny this.  Citizen of the world can see them selves as separate from nature; however, we are one.  A report released today by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations, validates this “claim.”  I offer this analogy in hopes that a personal realization may make the point more profoundly.  

Weight loss may be equated with global warming.  Those of us that have lost tonnage know that for years, months, or weeks few notice the pounds dropping away.  We are aware of the subtle changes because we choose to be.  When we work to be sensitive to the mind/body connection, when we work to honor each of these separate entities as one, we become aware of the nuances that surround change.  

Long after we have lost substantial poundage, people begin to perceive what was occurring for quite some time.  They hesitantly say, ‘Haven’t you lost weight?’  They ask for they are still not certain.  They wonder if what they think they see is what is truly happening.  Meanwhile, those of us that are aware wonder, what took them so long?  Twenty of forty pails of blubber are gone and they are just beginning to notice.  The same is true of global warming.  I feel certain, for decades, the glaciers understood they were shrinking.  Polar bears were attuned; there was a definite reduction in resources.  All entities that live off the land grasped the Earth was in crisis.  Only those confined to their cushy, comfy lives had no complaint.  The self-aggrandized humans remained calm as all other beings suffered feeling the planet’s pain.

Finally, when the world can wait no longer humans are beginning to acknowledge that maybe they are part of the planet.  Mankind has an effect on the Earth; in fact, s/he is ‘very likely,’ the cause of global warming!

Today, the airwaves are flooded.  Two stories are on the minds of many, the tornado in Central Florida and the newly established “fact,” long denied by the Bush/Cheney clan, humans ‘very likely’ the cause of climate change and the ever increasing storms.  Conveniently, for the neoconservative tribe, confirmation is not certain.  The term ‘very likely’ allows polluting corporations, the public in their massive Sports Utility machines, and homeowners, ensconced in lifestyles dependent on burning fossil fuels to dismiss the claims that they might be responsible for the devastation we witness all around us.

Those that want to believe the onus is on Mother Nature still can.  Humankind can continue to claim they are not to blame for the havoc we see throughout the planet.  Weather conditions ebb and flow; this is simply part of the natural cycle.  Nevertheless, I think today’s news may take us closer to the Inconvenient Truth Humans have a hand in what occurs in their habitat.

Granted, we can continue to live as we have done and deny the certain correlations.  The Bush/Cheney clique has done so since they were first given the opportunity to do so.  Their subtle shifts in policy accelerated the deficit on a massive scale.  Companies were condoned for carelessly ignoring environmental needs.  However, just as with weigh loss, if we allow the process to continue much damage will be done.  Some of it cannot be corrected.  If we choose to be unaware and accept what we do not wish to detect all will worsen.  When a thin person becomes dangerously thin, eventually, they die, just as our planet is.

While many have shared such facts before, me among them, little has improved.  Nevertheless, I wish to write to our Administrators again.  I doubt they care what the common man such as I thinks or feels.  They have expressed as much when speaking of “surge.”  They will “move forward” with little regard for the thoughts of others.  Bush/Cheney declare control is in their command.  Protests from Congress and citizenry fall on deaf ears.  Still, one can try.

Dear Perpetrators, President George W. Bush, and Vice President Richard [Dick] Cheney . . .

I struggle to begin.  While I think every human is to blame, as executors of the largest superpower, I place much of the onus on the two of you and of course, on your cronies.  I acknowledge and accept that the lifestyle sustained by Western cultures did not begin with the Bush/Cheney conglomerate; nevertheless, prior to your taking office, gains were made to restore a natural balance.  Since this Administration took the rein, that is what we have seen, torrential rains, winds, hale storms, and hurricanes.

Flooding has devastated many parts of the country.  Snowstorms are abundant.  Icy downpours deluge the terrain.  Ice caps are melting.  Tornadoes are the tempest that awaits homeowners everywhere.  Today, there is Florida.

On Christmas Day Florida felt nature’s surge and unlike the policy that “protects” Iraq, troops and dollars were not sent here.  The newly placed governor of this state, Charlie Crist, not your brother Jeb, wrote you of his concern only two days ago.  Cable News Network journalists spoke of this as they hurriedly rushed to report on the current conditions in Florida.  Just after the February 2, 2007, tornado tumult struck Central Florida the nation learned of your priorities.

Tony Harris: Jeanne, I think that’s interesting.  We take a look at these pictures in the air, and we can see quite clearly, and, in our own mind, it certainly is a federal disaster that we are witnessing.  But you are right to point out that there is a whole process that has to play out here before the federal government declares it as such and makes funds available.  ??

Jeanne Meserve, CNN Homeland Security Correspondent: That’s absolutely right.  There’s a very clear-cut process, which has to be followed.  There is a great anxiety on the part of federal officials not to step on the feet of Florida, but, on the other hand, if Florida is saying this is a major disaster, we want your help, they hope that the federal government will then apply it.  That doesn’t always happen.  apparently.  Someone handed me a letter written by the governor of Florida to the president on January 30th of this month, appealing the fact that after four — excuse me, tornadoes hit Florida on Christmas Day, the governor had requested a major disaster declaration for the state, and they haven’t gotten that yet.  So, they’re still waiting for that.

Life was no better under Jeb; perhaps it was worse.  Hurricane Wilma came and Florida was virtually ignored.

It seems that victims of Katrina received all the money and attention.  However, that too proved to be untrue.  Corporations capitalized on this catastrophe.  Oh, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, I know you have friends in high places.  I would not wish to think that you catered to their needs and denied compassionate concern for the people you swore to represent.

Katrina Watch
September 19, 2006
A state judge in Baton Rouge has determined that Bourget’s, the politically connected custom motorcycle shop that has sold almost $120 million of trailers to FEMA, does not have to pay a fine for selling travel trailers without a license, according to attorneys who have read the judge’s unsigned ruling.  The Times-Picayune reports that the decision also appears to let Bourget’s off the hook for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in Louisiana sales tax, the attorneys said.

May 9, 2006
Through a partnership with a smaller, minority-owned company, a multinational firm with ties to the Federal Emergency Management Agency has landed four re-bid deals that could be worth $400 million, federal records show.  The Times-Picayune reports that the contracts were awarded to PRI/DJI, a joint venture between Del-Jen Industries and the Asian-American-owned PRI Inc., therefore qualifying under the terms of a federal program for disadvantaged businesses.  However, Del-Jen is a wholly owned subsidiary of Fluor Corp., which held a mammoth FEMA disaster relief work contract that was up for re-bidding when Katrina hit.  FEMA then broke that contract up and awarded four $500 million deals for temporary housing work, but later agreed under pressure to re-bid them.  PRI/DJI’s success has angered competitors who say it’s outrageous that one partnership — especially one linked to the disaster relief giant — would win four of the 36 contracts awarded when no other company appears to have landed two.  FEMA insists the process has been aboveboard.

George and Dick, if I may be so bold to speak to you simply.  I recall plain speaking is your preference.  It began with what is still not fully disclosed.  The Energy Task Force committee chaired by you, Dick.  An influential magnate, such as yourself, might be expected to have powerful connections, and you do Mister Vice President.  Many of your friends and followers are found in the energy field.  As Vice President, Mister “helpful” Halliburton Richard Cheney realized he could make friends and influence enemies.  Thus,

In the spring of 2002, under order from a federal judge, the U.S. Department of Energy released to National Resources Defense Council [NRDC] roughly 13,500 pages relating to previously secret proceedings of the Bush administration’s energy task force.  (President Bush formed the task force in early 2001 to develop a national energy policy, with Vice President Cheney at the helm.)  Even though the government heavily censored the documents before supplying them to NRDC, they [the papers still] reveal that Bush administration officials sought extensive advice from utility companies and the oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy industries.  [Then they] incorporated their recommendations, often word for word, into the energy plan.

It is a challenge to accept that those that profit from exploitive practices will serve our environment well.  When businesses speak on behalf of the public the policy must be questioned.  Economics 101 dictates, when corporations benefit the consumer likely suffers.  It would be nice to imagine that these two groups would or could work in tandem; however, rarely does this occur.  

Thus, you may recall from your studies at Yale, Harvard, and the University of Wyoming, supposedly a system of checks and balances was established in this nation.  The government is an institute working in the people’s interest.  It is designed to function of, by, and for the people.  Commoners are considered the foundation.  However, this principle is often ignored.  Companies, in a Capitalist society, work on their own behalf.  Consumers are only a means to a lucrative end for entrepreneurs.

Perhaps, this is where America went wrong.  We hired, elected, or more accurately selected a businessman such as the two of you to serve us.  Citizens might have known that commerce and Corporate moguls supply only what meets their demand.  Too often, the interests of the Band of Bush Renegades, conflicts with the wellbeing of others, the masses.  What works well for the Super-Rich frequently leaves those of lesser means behind.  Such is the current situation.  The abundantly affluent are ruling the infinitely impoverished.

Nevertheless, that is our circumstance.  The results are revealing.  Immediately after the George W. Gang came into power changes were made.  Less than two months after taking office you, Misters Bush and Cheney saw fit to alter environmentally friendly policies.

Bush withdraws new arsenic-in-drinking-water standard
March 20, 2001

The Bush administration announced it would withdraw a new standard for arsenic in drinking water, choosing the interests of the mining industry and some small water suppliers over protecting the health of millions of Americans.  EPA’s final arsenic standard of 10 parts per billion (ppb) would have lowered allowable levels of arsenic in tap water from the current standard of 50 ppb, an outdated standard established in 1942.  The 10 ppb standard was the result of more than a decade of public hearings, scientific reviews, and planning with health experts and industry representatives.  A few years ago, the World Health Organization and the European Union implemented a 10 ppb standard.  It would cost 90 percent of Americans living in areas with high levels of arsenic less than $3 per month to clean up the contaminant in their water supplies.

On April 18, the Bush administration called for new studies on the impacts of arsenic standards ranging from 3 ppb to 20 ppb.  The move will mean at least a year’s delay in reducing levels of this cancer-causing poison, and may mean EPA will seek an unacceptably weak new standard.

This proposal was quickly retracted; however, it was one of many blunders never rescinded, only strengthened.  For a time, globally countries were working together to reduce toxins in the air, the water, and on land.  The Kyoto treaty was signed.  The Kyoto Protocol was negotiated and signed in accordance with the principles established by the United Nations Framework Convention.  In 1992, Climate Change was considered a vital issue.  Former President and father to the current, George Herbert Walker Bush signed said treaty and the senate ratified the plan.

The Climate Convention requires all countries, including developing countries, to establish programs to address greenhouse gas emissions and to report on progress.  The 1992 treaty also requires developed countries such as the United States to take the lead in limiting greenhouse gas emissions.  In particular, the 1992 treaty commits the United States and other developed countries to establish programs designed to return greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels.  Current U.S. emissions are about 15 percent greater than they were in 1990.

It makes sense that a nation that comprises one sixth of the world population; yet uses one quarter of the resources would work to set an example.  However, President Bush we know that you do not wish to enforce suffering.  I recall you also stated this is why you do not want Americans to sacrifice during a time of war.  You prefer that people prosper.  Therefore, the nation plunges into debt as billions are spent each week on a protracted war.  Mister Bush, I have heard of your benevolent desire to put money into people’s pockets.  You passed tax cuts to empower individuals.  However, sadly, the infrastructure crumbles.

Perchance, more is effected, as we, in the United States cause great climate change.  Chaos abounds.

Bush Administration Errs on Kyoto Global Warming Agreement ?Opposing the international climate treaty the Unites States signed in 1997, President Bush and members of his administration have made misleading and erroneous comments.

In March 2001, after reneging on a campaign pledge to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, President George W. Bush announced his administration’s opposition to the Kyoto Protocol, the 1997 international accord setting limits on greenhouse gas emissions.  In renouncing the protocol, the president and members of his administration have used a number of seriously flawed arguments.

 Please refer to this article for a detailed accounting of the fallacies that pass for facts.  Misters Bush and Cheney I cannot help but notices that the economic needs of entrepreneurs play a major role in your rulings and reactions.  Might I introduce you to the concerns of citizen and of the creatures that inhabit this planet.  People, the little plants, animals, and us make your life possible.  Without us, there would be no one to buy the products you and your friends produce.  Without the plants and animals there are no resources.

Effects of global warming already being felt on plants and animals worldwide

Global warming is having a significant impact on hundreds of plant and animal species around the world — although the most dramatic effects may not be felt for decades, according to a new study in the journal Nature.

“Birds are laying eggs earlier than usual, plants are flowering earlier and mammals are breaking hibernation sooner,” said Terry L. Root, a senior fellow with Stanford’s Institute for International Studies (IIS) and lead author of the Jan. 2 Nature study.

“Clearly, if such ecological changes are now being detected when the globe has warmed by an estimated average of only 1 degree F (0.6 C) over the past 100 years, then many more far-reaching effects on species and ecosystems will probably occur by 2100, when temperatures could increase as much as 11 F (6 C),” Root concluded.

Climatic and biological changes
In their Nature paper, Root and her colleagues analyzed 143 scientific studies involving a total of 1,473 species of animals and plants.  Each study found a direct correlation between global warming and biological change somewhere in the world.  For example, several studies revealed that, as temperatures increased in recent decades, certain species began breeding and migrating earlier than expected.  Other studies found that the geographical range of numerous species had shifted poleward or moved to a higher elevation — indicating that some plants and animals are occupying areas that were previously too cold for survival.

Were these biological and behavioral changes isolated events, or did they reflect a worldwide pattern consistent with global warming?  After exhaustive statistical analyses of all 143 studies, Root and her co-authors concluded that global warming is, in fact, having a significant impact on animal and plant populations around the world.

“Our study shows that recent temperature change has apparently already had a marked influence on many species,” they wrote, noting that a rapid temperature rise in combination with other environmental pressures “could easily disrupt the connectedness among species” and possibly lead to numerous extinctions.

Then there is the study released only this morning.  Certainty for the influence of humans seems a foregone conclusion.

Panel Issues Bleak Report on Climate Change
By Elisabeth Rosenthal and Andrew C. Revkin

PARIS, Feb. 2 — In a bleak and powerful assessment of the future of the planet, the leading international network of climate change scientists has concluded for the first time that global warming is “unequivocal” and that human activity is the main driver, “very likely” causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950.

They said the world is already committed to centuries of warming, shifting weather patterns and rising seas, resulting from the buildup of gases in the atmosphere that trap heat.  But the warming can be substantially blunted by prompt action, the panel of scientists said in a report released here today.

The report summarized the fourth assessment since 1990 by the group, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations, sizing up the causes and consequences of climate change.  But it is the first in which the group asserts with near certainty — more than 90 percent confidence — that carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases from human activities have been the main causes of warming since 1950.

In its last report, in 2001, the panel, consisting of hundreds of scientists and reviewers, put the confidence level at between 66 and 90 percent.  Both reports are online at http://www.ipcc.ch.

If carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere reach twice their pre-industrial levels, the report said, the global climate will probably warm by 3.5 to 8 degrees.  But there would be more than a 1-in-10 chance of much greater warming, a situation many earth scientists say poses an unacceptable risk.

Many energy and environment experts see such a doubling as a foregone conclusion sometime after mid-century unless there is a prompt and sustained shift away from the 20th-century pattern of unfettered burning of coal and oil, the main sources of carbon dioxide, and an aggressive quest for expanded and improved nonpolluting energy options.

Even an increased level of warming that falls in the middle of the group’s range of projections would likely cause significant stress to ecosystems and alter longstanding climate patterns that shape water supplies and agricultural production, according to many climate experts and biologists.

My fear is now that we are noticing what is, the speed of the slide will be far faster than predicted.  Consider the person loosing weight.  The progression from pleasingly plump to perfect is slow.  However, if a person continues to lose weight once they have reached an optimal mass, the transformation is swift.  A healthy hunk can become thin as a rail in no time.  Glaciers and ice caps are as people.  The decent from a firm and full frozen landscape to a terrain mapped by racing rivers and streams is rapid.

Therefore, I plead; I beg.  Mister Bush you may not have ever struggled with a weight problem.  My dieting analogy may be beyond you.  Perchance Mister Cheney knows of where I speak.  Might the heavier persons in your life assist in your understanding?  President Bush, Vice President Cheney before it is too late, please look at what has happened, what occurs today.  Remember the devastation of yesterday and yester year.  Please begin to acknowledge your role and forego openings such as “humans ‘very likely’ cause climate change.”  Accept that we do.  

Before it is too late, let us act together as one.  I ask you to acknowledge that what we refuse to see will not serve us well.  Let us look at our environment as a whole.  We are part of the world we inhibit.  May we honor it.  If we do, I trust it will respect us.  We are reaping as we sowed.  Let us propagate practices that help the Earth to grow and we with it.

People in central Florida, our hearts are with you.  I only wish we had helped you before there was Massive Damage in Central Florida from Tornado(s)

References for Global Climate Change . . .

  • Storms Hit Florida, Killing at Least 19, By Bill Brubaker.  Washington Post.?Friday, February 2, 2007; 5:42 PM
  • pdf Storms Hit Florida, Killing at Least 19, By Bill Brubaker.  Washington Post.?Friday, February 2, 2007; 5:42 PM
  • Panel Says Humans `Very Likely’ Cause of Global Warming. By The Associated Press. February 2, 2007.  Filed at 8:43 a.m. ET
  • pdf Panel Says Humans `Very Likely’ Cause of Global Warming. By The Associated Press. February 2, 2007.  Filed at 8:43 a.m. ET
  • Report: Humans ‘very likely’ cause global warming.  Cable News Network.  February 2, 2007
  • The Cheney Energy Task Force .  Natural Resources Defense Council.
  • Bush Administration Errs on Kyoto Global Warming Agreement  Natural Resources Defense Council.
  • Jeb Bush accepts blame for slow aid efforts, Some relief centers out of supplies; `don’t blame FEMA,’ governor says.  MSNBC News.
  • Florida Victims of Wilma Largely Forgotten.  National Low Income Housing Coalition.
  • CNN NEWSROOM, Jackson Place Center Evacuated; Florida Hit By Storms.  Cable News Network.  Aired February 2, 2007 – 10:00   ET
  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • An Inconvenient Truth – Trailer.  YouTube.
  • Katrina Watch.  The Center for Public Integrity.
  • Panel Issues Bleak Report on Climate Change, By Elisabeth Rosenthal and Andrew C. Revkin.  The New York Times.  February 2, 2007
  • pdf Panel Issues Bleak Report on Climate Change, By Elisabeth Rosenthal and Andrew C. Revkin.  The New York Times.  February 2, 2007

    Betsy L. Angert
    BeThink.org or Be-Think

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