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Thursday, October 29, 2020
The author was part of a group that shared the 1995 Nobel Peace Prize for their work in organising the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs. He is Associate Professor Emeritus at the H.C. Ørsted Institute, University of Copenhagen. He was chairman of both the Danish National Pugwash Group and the Danish Peace Academy, and he is the author of numerous books and articles both on scientific topics and on broader social questions. His most recent book is Civilization’s Crisis in the 21st Century.
OSLO, Nov 10 2016 (IPS) - By sabotaging Bernie Sander’s primary campaign, the Democratic National Committee seems to have committed suicide and destroyed the Democratic party. USA’s mass media were also responsible for the stolen primary, and for Donald Trump’s election to the US Presidency.
But faced with a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, they chose Trump, who seemed to promise something other than the arrogance that they had been experiencing at the hands of the Beltway establishment.
Donald Trump’s worst characteristic is his denial of anthropogenic climate change.
The participants in the current UN climate talks in Marrakech are extremely worried about the effect that his election will have on the viability of the Paris climate agreement.
In his campaign speeches, Trump has stated that, if elected, he would pull the United States out of the Paris agreement.
The problem with mobilising public opinion on the climate issue is that the worst effects of a disastrous increase in global temperatures lie in the distant future; but to avoid them, action must be taken immediately.
The huge subsidies currently given to fossil fuel companies must be abolished, or, better yet, shifted to the support of renewable energy.
In the long-term future (in several hundred years) climate change threatens to produce ocean level rises which will drown most of the world’s coastal cities, and which will wipe out countries such as Bangladesh and Holland.
At the same time, increases in temperature will make large parts of India and Africa uninhabitable.
Hope that catastrophic climate change can be avoided comes from the exponentially growing world-wide use of renewable energy and from the fact prominent public figures, such as Pope Francis, Leonardo DiCaprio, Elon Musk, Bill McKibben, Naomi Klein and Al Gore, are making the public increasingly aware of the long-term dangers. Short-term disasters due to climate change may also be sufficiently severe to wake us up.
We must work with dedication to save the future for our grandchildren and their grandchildren, a future, which we share with all other living creatures on earth. We must accept our responsibility for the long-term future of human civilization and the biosphere.
The statements and views mentioned in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of IPS.
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