I know we are still obsessing about the election this last Tuesday, and there are may good reasons to do so. But in the meantime the world keeps changing, and not all of those changes are good ones. Climate Change, for example, a subject considered so verboten in American politics that not one question was asked about it in the Presidential debates.
However, fortunately, not all the people of the world have been taken in by the hucksters that define the climate denial movement. And this weekend, a mass movement will take to the streets to demand action on climate change. Who are these people? They call themselves The Arab Youth Climate Change Movement and they aren’t waiting for Americans or Chinese or anyone else to make up their minds that action needs to be taken on climate change. Like the Occupy Movement they are taking matters into their own hands, rather than sitting on them like so many of our world’s political figures:
This weekend we will see the birth of the Arab Youth Climate Movement. Considering the enormous challenges they face on a day-to-day basis, its very existence sends a powerful message to leaders not only in the region, but worldwide: tackling climate change is a priority.
… In more than a dozen countries across the region they have organized a variety of public events; ranging from street art fairs in Beirut to marches in Gaza, a rally in Cairo and a conference in Tripoli.
These young activists are calling on their governments to pledge emission cuts, and are pressing the government of Qatar, as the host country, to secure a strong outcome from the international talks. Doing so would begin to change the region’s current reputation for obstruction when it comes to dealing with climate change.
And they are showing considerable courage in doing so. Already some activists in Arab countries have faced violence with one Tunisian organizer hospitalized after getting brutalized in clashes with local authorities. Yet, here we sit in America, a nation that suffered three climate related disasters this year: Western wildfires, the most severe drought since the Dust Bowl era, and Superstorm Sandy, and no one, not politicians and not activists, are organizing anything comparable in the United States. Instead, we are being shown the way by people that Fox News has told us to hate and fear: young Arabs, men and women both. We should be ashamed that the so-called greatest nation on earth, the land where the leading climate scientists live and research is being conducted, are so far behind the curve as a nation on this critical issue to humanity.
And by critical, I mean more critical than previously imagined. Just this week, the journal Science published a study by scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, or NCAR, for short, that indicates the best computer models for predicting humidity in the tropics and subtropics are also the models that predict the largest and fastest increases in global temperature rise from human activity.
NCAR scientists John Fasullo and Kevin Trenberth, who co-authored the study, reached their conclusions by analyzing how well sophisticated climate models reproduce observed relative humidity in the tropics and subtropics.
The climate models that most accurately captured these complex moisture processes and associated clouds, which have a major influence on global climate, were also the ones that showed the greatest amounts of warming as society emits more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.
“There is a striking relationship between how well climate models simulate relative humidity in key areas and how much warming they show in response to increasing carbon dioxide,” Fasullo says. “Given how fundamental these processes are to clouds and the overall global climate, our findings indicate that warming is likely to be on the high side of current projections.”[…]
“Because we have more reliable observations for humidity than for clouds, we can use the humidity patterns that change seasonally to evaluate climate models,” says Trenberth. “When examining the impact of future increases in heat-trapping gases, we find that the simulations with the best fidelity come from models that produce more warming.” […]
“In addition to providing a path forward and focus for improving models, results strongly suggest that the more sensitive models perform better, and indeed the less sensitive models are not adequate in replicating vital aspects of today’s climate,” write the authors in the paper.
Got that climate change deniers and skeptics. The best computer models we have say our climate will warm at a pace much faster than current projections. The older models were, in effect, way too conservative. Thus, the consequences of that increase in global warming will result in more super storms like Sandy, more severe droughts, more heat waves, and greater loss of life, economic losses, less food production, water shortages, etc. than we previously believed. In short, the evidence is pointing directly to a more dangerous situation for our planet’s climate and for humankind’s ability to cope with those changes, not less.
I salute the organizers of the The Arab Youth Climate Change Movement for taking the lead in demonstrating that they want their governments to take climate change far more seriously than the nations of the world have done so far. They understand we do not have time to spare in taking action, nor we do not have time to waste in fruitless debates with a minority of corrupt charlatans, paid lobbyists for energy interests, and fools who get their information on this topic from the the worst, most biased and most corporately controlled news media on the planet – i.e., the one that resides right here in the US of A.
So my advice to you, President Obama, as you prepare to govern this nation for four more years, is to listen to the voices of these young Arab men and women, who show more concern for our planet than most politicians in America have done for the past thirty years.
And for all you Americans, young and old, who want to make a difference, take a page out of the book of your Arab brothers and sisters. The world that climate scientists predicted would hit us in twenty to thirty years, the world of food and water shortages, droughts, heat waves and and super storms like Katrina, Irene and Sandy, that have already cost us thousands of lives in the United States alone, and hundreds of billions of dollars in economic damage, has arrived ahead of its time. If things are this bad now, imagine how much worse the consequences of failing to act on climate change now will effect your daily lives, not in some distant future, but within five, ten and twenty years. Unless, that is, you, too, like the young people of the Middle East, take this issue away from the dithering, corrupted, timid politicians and make it your own.
We are citizens of the the United States, but we are also citizens of the world, and we will all suffer, not just the poor in distant lands, but you and I, from a failure demand action and seek solutions. The time for delay is long past. The time for leadership and change is now. If the politicians won’t lead, than we must.