By Ted Glick
It is not just another topical issue. There is very broad agreement within the international scientific community that if we do not make a drastic shift from the use of fossil fuels to the use of clean and renewable energy, we are destined for a truly apocalyptic future.
I have been in the environmental movement since the first Earth Day in 1970, which I attended when I was living in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. For many years I have followed the news and read articles on the dangers of global warming. In 2002 during my election campaign for the Senate with the Green Party of the USA (Green Party USA), this was one of the key issues. Among other things, we distributed more than 100,000 brochures that primarily highlighted this position: Moving Toward Energy Independence. Roll back global warming and create jobs through an emergency program for solar, wind and other renewable sources.
But the truth is that while I have been doing what I can within my political and personal responsibilities, I have considered it as one of a number of fundamental issues such as racism, corporate exploitation, sexism, war, social security , workers' rights, etc ... I have not felt that it will need a special priority.
However, this has changed at the beginning of this year. My main purpose for the new year is to get more directly involved in helping create a mass activist movement as soon as possible to combat climate change, or rather catastrophic disruption to the climate.
It is not just another topical issue. Among the likely consequences:
- The Hadley Center, a major climate research laboratory in Great Britain recently declared that "by 2040 most of the world's forests will begin to die"  - The near disappearance of Arctic sea ice "The cap is almost a 40% thinner than 40 years ago. " . "Climate change is likely to exacerbate poverty and hunger around the world ... people who depend heavily on agriculture, livestock, fisheries or forestry will see their resources destroyed."  - We will see heat waves worse than last summer in Europe, which killed 35,000 people. - Hurricanes, tornadoes and other violent storms will be more frequent and devastating. In May 2003 there were 562 tornadoes in the US, surpassing the previous monthly record of 399 in 1992 by 163.- "Yesterday the results of an outstanding study were revealed that showed that more than a million species will become extinct during the next 50 years as result of global warming. "  - New research carried out in Australia suggests that the amount of water reaching rivers will fall four times faster than the percentage of precipitation reduction in dry areas. This, together with the disappearance of the glaciers, heralds the end of irrigated agriculture. "- The disappearance of glaciers and Arctic ice can cause a stoppage of the Gulf Stream" that bathes the United Kingdom and north-west Europe with warm water coming from the Caribbean. " And as the Gulf Stream is the engine that powers what is called" The Great Ocean Conveyor ... a meandering stream of swirling water flowing through the oceans of all the world. "" There is a possibility that a disruption in the Atlantic currents could have implications beyond a cooling of the United Kingdom and north-western Europe, perhaps generating dramatic climate changes throughout the planet. " This is much more than “another important issue.” It is difficult to describe other than as the key issue of our day. What could be more basic than the survival of life on the planet as we know it today?
We will not be able to change a world of inequality, racism, war and poverty for a world of social and economic equality if we, pro-justice activists - ALL of us, not just those who are part of environmental movements - do not make it a priority and We are building a powerful, visible, broad-based and unified movement in the US that will make the rulers and their parties respond to this issue. 2004 is the year to do it. A campaign like this is innate to those of us who understand the close relationship between the Bush court and the oil and coal companies and who are working to attract a large and large vote for democracy, peace and justice in November.
The American population is with us. "A poll conducted in 1999 showed that 62% of the public preferred renewable energy to conventional sources… The Sierra Club showed in a similar poll that 80% supported change . We need an urgent, multi-tactical campaign and sophisticated to save life on earth, one that includes anything from door-to-door campaigning, full-page ads in major newspapers, to a huge march in Washington to pressure congressmen, even with non-violent sit-ins in their offices if it were This campaign could begin by transforming public opinion into concrete laws to transfer our taxes from the subsidy on oil, coal and nuclear energy to an emergency program to move quickly to the use of clean and renewable energy sources and to save energy by properly conditioning our houses and buildings.
It is also a large-scale job creation program. It provides a serious debate against the policy of war and expansion of the empire with the aim of controlling the oil of the Middle East.
It is an "anti-terrorism" program because it can lead us towards energy independence and out of the Middle East. It can help lay the foundations for an international plan to transfer clean energy to poor countries. "Virtually all developing countries would like to start producing solar power; virtually none can afford it. Funding [of $ 300 trillion annually] could be raised from the introduction of a small tax on international currency transactions, totaling $ 1.5 trillion a day. A quarter penny-to-the-dollar tax on those transactions would produce about $ 300 billion a year to build wind farms in India, solar plants in El Salvador, fuel cell factories in South Africa, and large hydrogen farms. Powered By Solar Power In The Middle East ". 
Perhaps Earth Day next April could become the public launch pad for this campaign rather than an opportunity for polluting corporations to "swallow the ecological crisis and vomit it up as a public relations opportunity" according to the activist. Vermont Environmental, Doyle Canning.
We have to act as if the possibility of a decent future for our children and their descendants depends on what we do this year and the next. Because it really does depend on it.
* Ted Glick is the National Coordinator of the Independent Progressive Policies Network, although these ideas are uniquely his.
Translated by Eva Calleja and revised by Alfred Sola
1 Ross Gelbspan, interviewed in the February, 2003 Z Magazine [back]
2 Bill McKibben, "Some Like It Hot" in the July 5, 2001 N.Y. Review of Books [back]
3 The United Nations Environment Program [back]
4 Steve Connor, "U.S. Climate Policy Bigger Threat to World Than Terrorism", January 9, 2004 The Independent [back]
5 George Monbiot, "With Eyes Wide Shut", in the August 12, 2003 Guardian. [to return]
6 Bill McGuire, "Will Global Warming Trigger a New Ice Age?", November 13, 2003 The Guardian [back]
7 Brad Lemley, "The New Ice Age" September, 2002 Discover [back]
8 Bill McGuire, "Will Global Warming Trigger a New Ice Age?" November 13, 2003, The Guardian. [to return]
9 Sidney J. Gluck, "The Necessity for a New Energy Policy" [back]
10 Ross Gelbspan, "Rewiring The World´s Energy", December 21, 2003 The Boston Globe. [to return]
Original title: Global warming
Author: Ted Glick
Source: ZNet Commentaries, 13-1-2004