[dropcap]A[/dropcap]s I gear up to re-visit this web project, I’ve decided to make it much more personalised. Thus, It will reflect some of my everyday meanderings, ponderings, and will also reflect some of the work that I am doing. I’m a frequent poster on Tumblr, which also will be featured on the site. Taking advantage of my three-day “hurrica-tion”, working diligently on my dissertation proposal, I too listened anxiously to the reports (and memes) come in. I also made a Hurricane Sandy play list on Spotify.
Many of my fellow New Yorkers might have noticed the giant hurricane that washed into the city. We are only just starting to grasp the severity of the damage. Moreover, some monumental problems have become obvious, i.e.:
2) There are REAL wealth disparity in New York, and it was disgustingly obvious.
3) What is going on with the nuclear plants around NYC? We need to be better informed.
4) Mitt Romney wants to shut down the Federal Disaster Agency, FEMA? What the? Without this aid we would all be in deep do-do right now…
5) Sandy is going to cost a whole lot of money.
6) Disney had been waiting for the perfect distraction to make its announcement that it had bought LucasFilms/ Star Wars.
7) We are wrecking our environment, and it’s fighting back. Climate change isn’t even debatable. It is happening. We have thinned the atmosphere, injected pollutants into our Earth, and as a result, scientifically, we have proven that it is destroying us. Our planet is getting hotter. According to NASA:
The role of human activity
In its recently released Fourth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group of 1,300 independent scientific experts from countries all over the world under the auspices of the United Nations, concluded there’s a more than 90 percent probability that human activities over the past 250 years have warmed our planet.
The industrial activities that our modern civilization depends upon have raised atmospheric carbon dioxide levels from 280 parts per million to 379 parts per million in the last 150 years. The panel also concluded there’s a better than 90 percent probability that human-produced greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have caused much of the observed increase in Earth’s temperatures over the past 50 years.
They said the rate of increase in global warming due to these gases is very likely to be unprecedented within the past 10,000 years or more. The panel’s full Summary for Policymakers report is online at http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_spm.pdf.
Why are we doing this to ourselves? My guess is that it has something to do with someone, somewhere being greedy, and wanting to make more money. The goal of large corporations is to make as much money as they can. As long as it is not cost-effective for them to care about the environment, they won’t. In today’s capitalist system, the only way to regulate that is by regulating industry—that is to say, make the fines so high that it will be to industry’s (financial) benefit to not pollute.
I’ll just say it… the White Elephant in the room… capitalism isn’t working quickly enough to save our planet from more ecological disasters. If it is never in the best interest of the companies to watch what they do to the planet (remember, the cost of investing in green technology has to be less than producing pollutants in a perfect capitalist system). That means we have to regulate multinational corporations (ahem, remember that Kyoto Protocol the U.S. never signed?) For this to work in our current capitalist system, the fine for polluting has to be higher than the money saved by not polluting. It’s simple economics.
It has taken us 250 years to activate this climate change. Our current capitalist system is not moving fast enough to make these changes. Our current capitalist system will only make those shifts when it is in the benefit of those corporations to make those changes. We need stronger regulations and a dismantling of a system that is destroying our world.
What I’m trying to say is: Recycling your aluminiums, plastics, paper, and using less electricity is not enough. Sure, it makes us all feel like superior human beings for recycling, but it doesn’t actually do anything. Force industry/government to change.
That said, my hurrication will last another day. Thanks capitalism and offending corporations for wrecking my public transport for weeks to come, burning down a LOT of homes in Queens, and threatening my life generally. At least I got a few days off.
Back to listening to listening to my hipster music, and drinking my chai lattes.