Below is the text of the flyer we will hand out at parades and festivals during 2016. Click on the highlighted links to get documentation or background information.
Should the 1% Run America as we face the Climate Crisis?
Economic inequality has been growing since 1980. The richest 80 Americans now control more wealth than 150,000,000 of us.
Inequality in wealth creates inequality in power. The richest, the plutocracy, control the major corporations and banks. They spend 100$ of million$ in ‘campaign contributions’ to get “access” to politicians. They control our mainstream media, our elections and many elected officials. They call the shots.
We know how that power inequity hurts us in our pocketbooks. But today please think about how economic inequality impacts the way America deals with the biggest threat that humanity now faces: Climate Change.
Fossil Fuels; oil, coal, and gas have been the major drivers of modernization and industrialization. They heat, cool, & light our homes & workplaces, refrigerate & cook our food. They have brought us skyscrapers, cities, highways, air flight, entertainment, comfort, speed, and modern medicine.
But by 2016, the burning of fossil fuels, along with industrialized agriculture, has caused a climate crisis that threatens to destroy the very civilization that it created. Are we ready to make the changes necessary to preserve a livable planet for ourselves and our grandchildren?
Human-caused climate change is not only real, it is happening already around the globe and across the United States. It is causing droughts, famines, floods, heat waves and forest fires, which will increase in frequency and severity. It is costing human lives and billions of dollars. It contributes to wars and to the displacement and migrations of people.
If we, the people, are ready to make the necessary changes, what about the fossil fuel industry? Can those companies stop extracting oil and gas and coal from the earth when they are still earning billions by doing so, and being paid subsidies from our taxes too? Will our own government act in time to force industry to change? Right now, 182 members of Congress are Climate Change Deniers, even in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus and overwhelming evidence. That’s because they take huge campaign donations from the industry or its allies. If we leave it to industry, bankers and Congress, we are doomed. Only widespread and powerful action by many citizens has a chance to force the change we need to stop this runaway disaster.
Renewable energy; solar, wind, and geothermal, COULD supply most of our energy needs soon, but only IF there were a massive investment in those technologies along with massive conservation efforts, and massive research into energy storage (batteries.) Neither government nor industry is making those investments yet. In fact, the oil industry is investing billions in NEW fossil fuel infrastructure, like pipelines,* which will lock them (and us) into an oil-based economy for decades to come. The natural gas industry is promoting gas as a “bridge fuel” even though we now know that the methane that leaks from their wells is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
The mainstream media carried and inflated the false “debate” about the reality of human-caused climate change, because that narrative pleased their major advertisers which included, not just oil, gas, and coal companies, but major banks and financial institutions that are heavily invested in those industries. Even now, the mainstream media is doing a terrible job of informing the American people about the climate crisis, its urgency, and its implications.
In fact, most multinational corporations are continuing business as usual, as if nothing is happening. That’s because they know that the climate crisis will require an end to their business model which requires constant growth, ever increasing profits, and a de-regulated economy. We need to re-think capitalism itself because it is not sustainable, at least not in its current form.
We need a World War II size mobilization to meet the challenge of the climate crisis. We need to re-design our cities, retrofit our homes and buildings, change our energy sources and systems and our modes of transportation, and find new, sustainable ways of meeting human needs. Neither government nor industry will initiate these changes without an enormous outpouring of citizen demand for action. It is up to us, the ordinary citizens, the 99%, to turn our nation around and demand that we prepare ourselves for the Climate Crisis in time to avert the worst of Climate Catastrophe.
Please help make this happen.
More background about pipelines in the American Midwest.
Maps of Enbridge pipelines in Illinois.