Citizen Action Monitor

Who to blame for a drowned Houston and a drenched Windsor?

There’s more than enough blame to go around. — My letter to the editor of the Windsor Star.

No 2043 Posted by fw, August 30, 2017

Today I sent a letter, copied below, to the editor of The Windsor Star. The content is largely drawn from posts recently featured on my blog, Citizen Action Monitor.

Here’s a photo of yesterday’s flooded thoroughfare in Windsor, which appeared in today’s Star.

The downpour began early morning, continued until late afternoon, and was off and on until mid-evening. Although the amount of rain that fell was variable across the city, reaching 6.69 inches in one central location, it was a heavy drenching for Windsor – barely a trickle compared to the flooding in Houston.

I was prompted to send the letter as a not-so-subtle hint that the Star needs to improve its coverage of climate change, and, in particular, the fact that: “… our core problem is not climate change, it is ecological overshoot caused by our dogged pursuit of unsustainable economic growth.

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Superstorm deluge — Letter to the editor of the Windsor Star, by Frank White, August 30, 2017

Who to blame for a drowned Houston and a drenched Windsor?

Mother Nature, for changing the jet stream that created Harvey? Or is She just another victim of decades of wilful human ignorance? How about God — are we being punished for our sins of climate change omission and commission? How about the denialist fossil fuel industry for hiding the truth about the connection between oil, gas and coal extraction and burning, and the catastrophic increase in carbon emissions? Or political leaders who ignored decades of scientists’ warnings, proclaiming, falsely, that emissions can be cut at the same time that pipelines are built to stimulate tar sands production?

Or what of the mainstream economists who, after the 2008 global financial crisis, persuaded policymakers to jumpstart the economy with a fast-as-possible return to our back-to-business model of growth at all costs? Keep ‘em shopping. And let us not overlook the role of mainstream TV and print news for their intentional or unintentional acts of omission and commission, effectively contributing to public ignorance.

There’s more than enough blame to go around.

Belatedly, there is a growing awareness that our core problem is not climate change, it is ecological overshoot caused by our dogged pursuit of unsustainable economic growth. Thankfully, a decades-long decline of unrelenting capitalist-driven growth is giving way to a new theory of economics to fit the real world, one based on a rethinking of human prosperity without growth.

Whether by a citizen-led transition to a post-carbon economy, or relentless global economic stagnation, we can say goodbye to the era of endless growth neoliberalism.

Yours truly,

Frank White, etc.

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