THE OSWALD HANCILES COLUMN

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Joe Biden+40: What about us?

What about apathy?

(What about us?)

…What about nature’s worth?

(Ooh, ooh)

“…(What about us?)

What about elephants?

(What about us?)

“…What about crying whales

(What about us?)

What about the children dying?

(What about us?)

Can’t you hear them cry?

(What about us?)…”

  Excerpt from the lyrics of Michael Jackson Earth Song

 

On April 22nd and 23rd, (2021), the United States hosted a two day Leaders Summit on Climate Change with the intent to underscore the urgency – and the economic benefits – of stronger climate action  and a key milestone on the road to the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) this November (2021)  in Glasgow” (United Kingdom). (SOURCE: Earth Day 2021 World Leaders Come Together for U.S. Summit on Climate Change. – COY16 [ukcoy16.org]). The right note on the EMERGENCY of Climate Change was struck. But, for keen listeners like me, the President Joe Biden’s  virtual meeting reeked of Orwellian Double-Speak.

 

The Chairperson of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council,  Peggy Shepard, spoke the most soulful words at the virtual conference: “As  Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai said: Today we are faced with the challenge that calls for a shift in our thinking, so that humanity stops threatening its life support systems.  We are called to assist the earth; to heal her wounds and in the process heal our own; to embrace creation in all its diversity, beauty and wonder (Wangari Maathai was a Kenyan environmental and women’s rights activist). In using the African  Wangari quote, Peggy Shepard implicitly  articulated the cries of the world over 3 billion poor people that eke a living on nature whose lives would be dramatically worsened if man-made Climate Change is not radically checked by the world wealthiest nations that since the advent of the Industrial Revolution have been spewing noxious gases into the atmosphere causing temperatures to now rise to scary 1.2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

 

Peggy Shepard spoke of game changing innovations climate-smart agriculture; and technology to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Which nations have the capacity to develop these technologies? Who is going to OWN the companies that would create them? Of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies, No 1 and No 9 are owned by companies of the United States Walmat, valued at $524 billion (please, that is half a TRILLION dollars), and Amazon, valued at $281 billion. Companies No 2, 3, and 4 are CHINESE-owned companies, valued at average of $400 billion!! (China is the largest emitter of CO2 into the atmosphere – 30%; and the United  States’ 14% puts it at No 2 worst emitter of CO2 gases into the atmosphere). The other Top 10 companies are from Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Germany, United Kingdom, and Japan.  None from Africa!! Among the richest companies on earth, China has 125 of them, the United States has 121 of them.

 

Brenda Mallory, Chair of the White House Environmental Quality Council, like an African political appointee, started by highlighting “Joe Biden’s core beliefs”… that “Every single person has a fundamental right to drink clean water; to breathe fresh air”.  Speaking to all humanity on planet earth, was she talking about Joe Biden’s concern that the United States low figure of 99% having access to clean drinking water would be upgraded to match that of Monaco, Singapore, Iceland, New Zealand, etc. where 100% of people have access to clean drinking water? Or, to us in Africa, where the highest figure for access to clean drinking water is Morocco, where 70% of the people have that access; or, one of our most prosperous countries in West Africa, Ghana, with only 36% having access to clean drinking water; Nigeria, the largest economy in Africa (a GDP of about $500 billion, in a population of 220 million, with 60% of whom live in poverty), with 20% having access to clean drinking water, or, Sierra Leone, with just 9% having access to clean drinking water?

 

Another Double-Speak by Jennifer Granhold (the 16th Secretary of Energy in the United States), who also articulated the cardinal approach of the US government on the Climate Change emergency THERE IS A LOT OF MONEY TO BE MADE, FOLKS!!  that “high quality middle class jobs” will be created; there is MONEY to be made “to commercialize carbon capture; there is MONEY to be made in “innovations to bring down the cost of batteries in solar power industries  Then, another Orwellian Double-Speak: with the spirit  and tenor of  civil rights leader of the 1960s, Rev. Martin Luther King Jnr., Jennifer Granholm said “We have to ensure that reliable clean energy reaches people in most populated valleys; people in the remotest mountains; the hottest deserts; in tundra regions”. She appealed to the world to raise our collective ambitions and to “push back our fears and doubts.  Inspiring!! But, in typical Orwellian Double-Speak, she didn’t say that what she had said is near impossible within the current global capitalist system which is the main culprit for the emissions of noxious gases into the atmosphere causing man-made  Climate Change.

 

The United States has a GDP of about $23 trillion annually; and China $16 trillion but, US’ 331 million people have a GDP per capita of $63,416 to China 1.4 BILLION people having a GDP per capita of just $10,000. Juxtapose those figures with the GDP of South Africa which is $12 billion, Nigeria $5 billion, Sierra Leone $1.7billion.  Do your maths: how many times would Sierra Leone GDP of  $1.7 billion go into the US’ GDP of $23 trillion? 

 

Speaking as if at a political rally to be elected President of the United States, Jennifer Granholm stirred his audience: “There is an old proverb: when the winds of change blow, some build walls, others build wind mills… So, fellow wind mill builders, lets push back  on doubt and fear”.  It was an oblique slam of former US President Donald Trump’s mantra of building a wall in the US southern border to prevent migrants from troubled southern America entering the affluent United States.  Trump’s campaign slogan of “Make America Great” really meant in the global context … ‘F…k the Rest of the World and Let Them Eat Dirt, as Long as the US is Great’. A major cause of Climate Change is the gluttony of the United States, and the wealthiest nations of the earth.

AMERICANS ARE EATING THE WORLD TO DEATH

 

More of  the psychology of macho than as a survival need, Americans consume more meat than the human body needs. Result? “A key problem is that microorganisms in the guts of cattle emit millions of tonnes of methane every year. A typical cow releases 100 kilograms of methane a year and the world has about a billion of them. Since methane is a greenhouse gas, this exacerbates global warming”. Cow rearing “destroys forests by taking land for pasture or to grow feed – and this deforestation also contributes to greenhouse gas emissions”. (SOURCE: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2149220-grass-fed-beef-is-bad-for-the-planet-and-causes-climate-change/#ixzz6uslUPEpE)

 

“A recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) states… (that) “about 25 percent of climate change today is fueled by agriculture and factory farming, according to Johnathan Foley, executive director of Project Drawdown, a coalition of researchers and scientists who are working on climate change solutions…”

(SOURCE: How our diets impact climate change —Aug. 12, 2019, By Julie Compton. https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/how-our-diets-impact-climate-change-what-we-can-do-ncna1041301)

 

Americans and Europeans are destroying the world by eating too much meat, and destroying themselves in the process. “One-third of (citizens of the United States) or 78.6 million of them, are classified as obese,  according to a paper published in 2014 in The Journal of the American Medical Association… The average rate of obesity across Europe is one in six adults, or 17 percent of the population”. (SOURCE: Obesity in America Compared to Europe, Livestrong.com; By Michelle Fisk).

 

 

Former Mayor of New York city in the United States, Michael Bloomberg (8th in FORBES list of richest people on earth, worth $60 billion) who had rallied United States cities against former US President Donald Trump’s pulling out of the 2015 Paris Accord – “we are still in the Paris Agreement” was his rallying cry – challenged humanity at the virtual seminar to show “leadership”; and pointed out the weaknesses of the majority of nations of the world that have been saying, “We are ready to do more. We want to do more.  We need help. We need more funding. We need more authority. We need more regulations”.

 

John Kerry,, former US Senator of Massachusetts (1985 to 2013), former United States Secretary of State, former Democratic Party presidential candidate in 2004, a ‘poor man’ worth just $240,000,000, spoke glowingly of MONEY: on the “trillions of dollars economy opening before our very eyes” in investing in green industries; and, in Orwellian Double-Speak again, bemoaned the reality of countries that “contributed so little to the crisis but have to deal with so much of the consequences”, already “experiencing impacts of …floods, hurricanes, droughts”; with with “lack of capacity…lack of resources. 

 

WE CANNOT FOOL NATURE

 

Joe Biden Climate Change czar, John Kerry, spoke like now famous Swedish teenage Climate Change activist, Greta Thunberg,  when he said  at the virtual conference that all the science points to an existential threat for humanity, but,  We are not behaving as if we are facing an existential threat.  Greta Thunberg herself was derisive of the Leaders Summit, saying, While we can fool others and even ourselves, we cannot fool nature, and physics

TRUMP: THE  ELEPHANT IN BIDENS CLIMATE CHANGE  MEETING

Joe Biden did not invite former United States President to the Leaders Summit on Climate Change. But, Trump was there the elephant in the room.  Trump got 74,222,958 (46.8%) of the votes to Joe Biden 81,282,098 (51.3%) votes in the 2020 US presidential election; and Donald Trump as President had called Climate Change a “hoax”; and Trump still has enough sway over tens of millions of Americans and their representatives in the US legislature, enough  to scuttle any radical….realistic…approach by Joe Biden to Climate Change. Fearful of a domestic rejection, and Republican backlash, hear Joe Biden: That why, when people talk about climate, I think jobs.  Within our climate response lies an extraordinary engine of job creation and economic opportunity ready to be fired up…

 

Joe Biden and his wealthy friends in the US, and the West, are playing politics with Climate Change. They lack the moral authority  and courage to provide the necessary transformational leadership to prevent  global temperatures rising to a projected 2 degrees to 4 degrees above pre-Industrial level, and the concomitant  Armageddon. Climate  Change is the continuum of the European conquest of the Americas and nearly all the Southern  Hemisphere lands, and the genocide on the indigenous people; the over three hundred years of the Atlantic Slave  Trade; European colonization of Africa; the rigged post-World War 2 economic and financial systems foisted on the developing world; the racism integral in the global systems – there must be a reset on these thoughts as systems for Climate Change to be mitigated. 

As in one of my ideas for a video documentary, five billion humanity in the developing world have to rise up now, RESURRECT  MICHAEL JACKSON, and sing relentlessly “What about us? – or suffer excruciating pain as floods, droughts, hurricanes, heat waves, famines¦ and premature death would afflict them in Apocalyptic scenarios.

I pause,

Oswald Hanciles, The Guru Founder and CEO of the SLAVE SHIP-FREEDOM SHIP Movement

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