As the presidential campaign in the US staggers to its conclusion, I think we can fairly sum up the positions of the respective political parties on the climate crisis in the following way.
Republican: It might be real. It might not be. It might be the Chinese. Middle Ages. Grant-sucking lab rats. But, if it is real, it isn't worth doing anything about because sooooo much money.
Democratic: It's real. It's happening. You hate science. Here are some solution-like proposals that prove that we know it's real and that it's happening and that we love science with a love undying. And you hate science.
Meanwhile, back in The World, the Great Climate Change Hoax is piling up an impressive record of destroying the lives of many species, including our own. For example, as The Guardian points out, a big piece of Madagascar is being slowly depopulated.
Some 20 percent of households in the affected areas are now experiencing emergency levels of hunger, according to the latest food survey. "Emergency" is phase four of a five-point scale used by food agencies, where five is famine. Chris Nikoi, regional director of the World Food Programme, said: "What I saw in the south of Madagascar earlier this month alarmed me."… These are people living on the very brink. Many have nothing but wild fruits to eat. We must act together now to save lives," he said in a statement. Many households have resorted to begging, selling their land or possessions, and eating vital seed stocks in order to survive, the UN agencies said. Food stocks from the last harvest ran out in August and the next harvest is not due until March.
Farmers are eating their seeds because their crops have been lost to drought.
Some 90 percent of Madagascar's population lives on less than USd2 a day, and almost half of children are chronically malnourished or stunted—which results in them being short for their age—the agencies said. Many children in the south have been taken out of school to look for work, food, wood and water during the crisis. "We can and must do better for these children," said Leila Gharagozloo-Pakkala, regional director for eastern and southern Africa at the UN children's agency Unicef.
This is an extinction-level event, albeit on a small scale. There's another one going on in China. Massive parts of that massive country are turning into deserts, as The New York Times explains.
Nearly 20 percent of China is desert, and drought across the northern region is getting worse. One recent estimate said China had 21,000 square miles more desert than what existed in 1975 —about the size of Croatia. As the Tengger expands, it is merging with two other deserts to form a vast sea of sand that could become uninhabitable.
People live in the places that are becoming desertified; the Great Climate Change Hoax may be drying up parts of the planet, but the process is lush with new words and phrases for us to learn. "Ecological migrants" is another one.
Jiali lives in an area called Alxa League, where the government has relocated about 30,000 people, who are called "ecological migrants," because of desertification. Across northern China, generations of families have made a living herding animals on the edge of the desert. Officials say that along with climate change, overgrasing is contributing to the desert's growth. But some experiments suggest moderate grazing may actually mitigate the effects of climate change on grasslands, and China's herder relocation policies could be undermining that. Officials have given Jiali and her family a home in a village about six miles from Swan Lake, the oasis where they run a tourist park. To get them to move and sell off their herd of more than 70 sheep, 30 cows and eight camels, the officials have offered an annual subsidy equivalent to USd1,500 for each of her parents and USD1,200 for a grandmother who lives with them.
Desertification is a worldwide problem; it shouldn't be necessary to remind people that the US has deserts, too, and that they're expanding as well. It happened once before, producing devastation and John Steinbeck novels. The next time it happens, it will happen in an era of profound ecological damage that by then may be irreversible.
So all this is going on as the US elect a president in a political system that so far has proven unable—and, sadly, unwilling—to confront the crisis head-on. It's a strange, huge issue that was barely mentioned in the four debates involving the people on the two major national tickets. Elsewhere on the nation's ballot, they find incumbent Senator Ron Johnson, Republican of Wisconsin. Johnson, never the brightest bulb in an increasingly dim chandelier, unburdened himself of some opinions on the crisis, and let us never say that Ron Johnson is a glass-half-empty kind of guy. From The Seattle Times:
He said in a Monday radio interview on WHBY in northeast Wisconsin that "mankind has actually flourished in warmer temperatures." Johnson said—in his words—"How many people are moving up toward the Antarctica, or the Arctic? Most people move down to Texas and Florida, where it's a little bit warmer." Johnson is in a tough re-election contest with Democratic former Sen Russ Feingold, whom Johnson beat in 2010. Johnson says people "obviously" affect the environment but "let's not shoot ourselves in the foot with policies."
Folks shooting themselves in the foot with guns? Price you pay for freedom. Johnson's cool with that. But not with "policies." Those are deadly. I wonder if Johnson would swing for a 30-day waiting period on "policies."
From: Esquire US