(12r) Climate change - so much more than only a change in the climate

Again a climate march

Sunday, 27/01/2019. Another march in favour of actions to halt climate change. As the month before, the weather was terrible but still the number of people who turned up was amazing, about 70.000 because people are sick of excuses from certain politicians and powerful leading figures in industries who slowdown necessary investments in newer and cleaner energy but also in less energy-demanding products, investments that will create work. And thus, instead of only complaining without doing something, people go out and show they agree with politicians who take actions to encourage them to continue. Of course, on condition everyone and certainly the rich contribute and not only the masses of ordinary people so they impoverish while the wealthy become even richer; then indeed we may fall together. Although climate change skeptics say it's only a natural cycle and humans are not to blame.

Indeed, some politicians still don't seem to understand the urgency to prevent the climate change consequences. And yes, while for instance in Belgium only one nuclear reactor functioned at a certain time this winter because about 6 were out service due to problems, it didn't result in the predicted energy shortages because already many equipment produce green energy while other products use less energy and houses are better insulated thus loose less energy. And thus now a plan of actions are needed so we decrease our fossil fuel dependency as the clean energy economy kicks in.

Many people were showing support for politicians who want to introduce climate change actions

More than only direct climate change consequences

But, it is not only that the climate may change here in Europe as many wouldn't mind a warmer climate in the cooler areas of the planet and thus don't bother (although I'm not sure people in Spain, Greece, southern France and elsewhere want even hotter summers). It is also about more conflicts when food prices increase after yields are destroyed because it rains too much or it is too hot and dry. And hunger means local conflicts and thus increased migration to the richer countries so that countries that polluted most during the past century (indeed, the cooler areas of the planet) are now desperate to close their borders for refugees. And thus we allow that countries (such as Libya) prevent that refugees cross the Mediterranean Sea, even when we know people try to escape the hell of among others that country; in future we may send people back where they risk imprisonment and even death. Migration is also the reason why President Trump wants to build his wall to keep Latinos out the US.

Further, we give billions of euros to Turkey to keep refugees out the EU so he is a hero for many who escaped the horrors in their own country. However, now the Turkish president seems to use that money to fight against the Kurds who were our ally against psychopath Assad and Isis but this ally now seems to be sacrificed to please President Erdoğan while Assad may be allowed to remain in power as he's winning the war with the help of Russia. Thus, the end of the war means Syrian refugees may be sent back (to join Assad's army?). I think these billions could have been used to help the refugees while now the money is gone and refugees are still coming. In a global crisis people need to help each other such as we need to stop buying food in developing countries so they can eat their own food while we eat ours, so everyone supports their own farmers. Further, society should invest money so farmers can ánd produce food that is affordable ánd leave some parts of the land unused so it can recover while this also support nature. But, we stopped most support to our food industry while we saved banks that we can't eat (I think we should refund savings when banks collapse so people can save their money in good banks while badly managed banks fail whereby investors loose money and thus will be forced to demand that companies are well managed).

Politicians also condemn people who help people to escape war zones (while I think this may be used more in future to help people in countries where dictators disrespect human rights), with the arguments:
  • we should not select on religion when only Christians were saved (indeed, we should try to save anyone who is in danger but that task would be too big while Christians probably had a bigger risk in a Muslim country. We should also destroy mad leaders who use weapons of mass destruction instead of tolerating their use because the result is more troubles. But, I accept that certain powerful countries protect these leaders as they think it increases their influence while it should be that, when they protect countries that breach U.N. conventions than this should weaken their influence in the U.N. (indeed, veto rights should not exist so countries need allies to block decisions)) and
  • the U.N. should be involved who are better in helping migrants (but again and again the U.N. proves to be powerless in its protection of the vulnerable such as in Yugoslavia, Rwanda and Syria to name only three countries while Russia and probably China, as important permanent members, often veto actions to protect criminal leaders while they may brief their corrupt allies of possible actions) and
  • people who take people out war-riven countries are called people smugglers who abuse people and I'm not blind for this argument because, indeed criminal organisations exist that abuse people but it would be different if countries try to rescue people instead of blocking them (also Hitler used this argument when he declared that people who tried to save Jews were people smugglers for which punishment was death. But, when indeed certain people enrich themselves on the misery of others (as may have happened in Belgium) than this should be investigated and if needed those persons should be severely punished for violation of human rights) and finally
  • politicians say also other countries should take responsibly and not only their own country (while I think that, if some countries don't take their responsibility to help refugees who escape war than this should not be used by others as an excuse to neglect their own responsibility towards others. But yes, when refugees arrive we should explain that, if they don't like the western way of life (such as LGBT and women rights) than they can return to the country they escaped; yes, I'm realistic enough to understand some refugees may misbehave and thus need education).

Because too much immigration makes people angry, even evil. The migrants complain they have too little support and have to sleep on the streets while they see all the richness around them. The locals who see too many people from different backgrounds who also want work and are prepared to work at lower wages although they don't need to learn first a foreign language. Politicians who no longer know how to respond and try to close the borders. An example are LGBTs and women who fear attacks when Muslims from conservative countries arrive in liberal countries.

Right-wing (religious) leaders know but deny in public

No, climate change is not only about the climate but also about its consequences. Ask religious right-wing leaders and their political allies, from Judaism, Christianity and Islam who tell their followers God is angry because we gave human rights to everyone, including those who don't break laws (although laws can be wrong when they breach human rights). Indeed, right-wing Christians support people such as US's, Brazil's, Hungary's, Israel's and other leaders who want to restore their own old religions while they oppose other religions and pretend to deny climate change as they think it will benefit them while this further alienates people because people are no longer stupid followers and they are encouraged by many leaders of whom many no longer accept moral injustice preached by religious people and thus allow that people criticize religions. Indeed, these powerful Christian right-wingers are as mad as those they call dangerous Muslim fundamentalists as they too don't want a good functioning multicultural society but instead prefer a return to the past, i.e. a Christian society in which people do as the leaders command. Many internet posts are about troubles and the coming of a messiah after a troubled time that resembles what social climate scientists predict when food becomes rare.

More hysteria needed

As someone said on the Flemish radio, hysteria is mostly not needed in our society although certain leaders try to bring hysteria into the world by continuously blaming refugees and people from other religions and those without religion and thus the targeted groups become angry.

But, he continued, we should be more hysterical about climate change and poverty as this can only exist in an unequal and unfair society. Indeed, these two issues are the main reasons why things are becoming a mess and why polarization in the world probably will continue to increase as certain people don't want to loose some of their own powers and wealth but demand that the masses bring sacrifices. Indeed, revolutions often happen during times when the climate changes and when societies become too unequal. Therefore, it is in everyone's interest that a balance exist so that, even in times when the climate changes, people support each other as much as possible while in an unfair society, things may go wrong even without climate change when e.g. the rich fear the majority. Then paranoia rules and people become mad. Brexit is one example whereby sufficient number of people voted out as they turned into themselves so also the wealthy suffer the consequences.

People's power

Thus, people start to protest as they notice climate scientists seem to be right with their predictions. But, why don't they go into politics? Because, at this time it is useless as the rich (supported by many) will not agree with less wealth by paying more when after reforms the tax reductions are mainly intended to help those who need them. Many people will also not vote for those who say we need to help refugees. Only when doing nothing may be worse than doing something such as an intervention to stop psychopaths who use weapons of mass destruction but also convince those who plan to develop them not to do so, only then will people accept that we must help the poor and powerless while the rich don't need much help but also benefit from a stable society. Now it's the opposite whereby the rich have many tax reductions while the poor have little to declare and thus to pay fewer taxes. An example is that poor people are less likely to receive a mortgage to buy a house and thus can't use this to reduce their taxes.

Green cars enforcement - an example

Enforce a change

An example are clean cars that are still too expensive for most people while there are too few in numbers. Thus, the wealthy can buy with their own money their own clean car and this will be compensated with lower energy bills. Further, when companies want to give employees a new company car, mainly hybrid/electrical cars should be allowed by taxing more new fossil fuel company cars. Further, taxes for older fossil fuel-driven company cars should gradually increase and paid by the companies (thus no tax reductions) whereby taxes climbs faster for more polluting company cars than for cleaner ones. Further, people also talk about alternatives for company cars such as money to cycle home or the use of public transport (that needs to be good). And thus, when car manufacturers notice that old cars will become unsaleable, than they will invest more in clean cars and stop to invest in the production of the current ones so slowly more clean cars will be introduced while a transition period exists so older cars can gradually be replaced by cleaner ones. Of course, it should not be possible that the already produced fossil fuel driven cars are sold in other parts of the world as than pollution continues; no, the engine of fossil fuel driven cars should be replaced with a hybrid/electrical engine or the car can be dismantled to reuse its material to build a new one. And, as more clean cars are sold, car manufacturers earn more so they can invest to increase production so more cars are built and their price starts to decline so more people can buy a clean car. Of course, only ambition can move us forwards while the absence of ambition to have access cleaner future results in standstill.

And, instead of increasing taxes on older polluting cars that are mostly owned by poorer people so they are punished, sufficient subsidies should be given to the poorest so they too can replace their old car with a newer one that pollutes less. Not only receive poor person help instead of an increased bill that makes it even less likely they can afford a new car, everyone benefits from cleaner air, including the rich.

Clean car ambition - not only good against climate change but also for clean air

Finance the system

The financial aspect can be a problem because, more clean cars on the streets means fewer cars need fossil fuels while taxes on fossil fuels are a major revenue for governments. Still, it shouldn't be too negative.
Indeed, during the transition period, tax benefits for company cars decrease while gradually taxes increase on fossil fuel driven company cars so revenues increase.
However, after a while most company cars will be clean and thus taxes on dirty company cars will end. That is, I think, the moment when taxes on polluting cars from ordinary people should be introduced and here too taxes should depend on how much the car pollutes because by now, car manufacturers should produce larger numbers of cheaper clean cars (or they remain unsaleable) while, in case the industry is not ready than people will complain as they will have to pay higher taxes and thus the masses will force car manufacturers to build affordable clean cars. As mentioned above, poorer people should receive help to buy a clean car as otherwise they may not be able to replace their old polluting car with a new one.
Further, everyone should pay basic taxes to maintain the streets as everyone uses them but, I think that people who drive cars should pay additional per time they use the car (and thus not a certain fixed cost per month) so people who drive more pay more compared with people who have no cars; indeed, cars damage streets more than pedestrians or cyclists do and thus it is justified to ask car users to pay more and thus it is not a tax. And paying for the use of cars should also reduce the numbers of drivers and thus reduce traffic jams.
Finally, a good tax system whereby everyone pays 0% taxes up to a certain amount after which increasing taxes for each higher level people earn (but still in moderation as I'm in favour of low taxes if possible). And thus, when everyone pays the taxes they should pay and who doesn't is penalized, revenues for governments increase to help finance the transition period. Finally, the introduction of new systems cost money, the price towards modernization but this should not stop progress as it pays itself back in future such as cleaner air and thus fewer people with health problems but also less damage due to the predicted heavy future weather. And as it's a gradual convergence, people working in the fossil fuel industry can continue for a short time while the new generation, the children who protest today for a clean planet will study for this new economy and don't waste time on a past economy. But if no date has been set than the younger generation will still study how engines on fossil fuel are designed (although we shouldn't loose this knowledge). Scientists and engineers are even investigating the possibility to take moisture from the atmosphere and use the sun to convert the moisture into energy for the car.

When a deadline is set to introduce clean cars, it becomes also profitable for cities and towns (in collaboration with the private sector) to invest in a power system for these clean cars, mainly via renewable energy whereby many cars are charged during the day when most people work. Of course, people who charge their cars need to pay a small cost so private companies and cities get a return for their investments.
I think a good place to start to place chargers is parking near train stations where cars are parked during the day (thus when there is daylight) while the owners use public transport to travel to and from work. Some people say it can't be done although London manages since many years to transport people via hybrid and even electric buses and thus it should also be possible for smaller vehicles. Indeed, when people have the ambition to create a modern clean future, only then is it possible. And yes, it may not be possible yet to have a completely CO2 free society but we should not try to remove all production of CO2 as long as most of what is not fossil produced but e.g. by burning wood from fallen trees or production of fuel from plants (remove too much CO2 from the atmosphere and temperatures will drop).

And clean cars mean less streets need to be covered to reduce pollution levels (although this can be done at dangerous places to separate pedestrians and cyclists from traffic) so many millions of euros can be spend to help people buy these clean cars.

More than only climate change

But, it's not only about climate change but also about the protection of animals, plants and landscapes so not only the current population can still enjoy them but also future generations. Because, what do many get from always wanting more wealth? Indeed, mental illnesses and burnouts because it is never enough what we have and it should always be more and faster, an unsustainable lifestyle at a very big cost: the future of our planet. That's why I also write that westerners who go to developing countries to kill endangered animals should know that imprisonment should be their faith.

Personal note

For me, unfortunately but I live in Belgium, a country where compromise after compromise needs to be found, again and again because each region (with their own language) wants to do things differently than the other regions. I'm against countries that don't seem to work and where many complain but lie when they say they live in paradise. Indeed, some politicians in Belgium use each other to block certain actions, claiming different actions in each region are impossible to achieve in such a small country and thus they bully each other unless the other agrees with something for something. Therefore, I believe only a dictatorship can force similar actions on the three regions, either in favour of climate actions or to halt them but I may be wrong. Still, some Belgiumists who already say that certain regional authorities need to return to the federal level in order to have an efficient country (while, ones people taste freedom that is difficult to reverse). Therefore, let those who love searching for compromises enjoy Belgian politics. I'm not one of them. I even think that, when regions are apart they may reach solutions quicker than when they are forced to find compromises, just as in a bad marriage where partners enjoy finding things that hurt the other and many don't even bother the fights hurt their children. Further, my health doesn't allow a step in politics as I'm not always able to control my fury.

In addition, unfortunately but I believe little can be done to stop the climate change as too many thresholds have already been past although we should continue to campaign for a future better world. And while climate change is not good such as increased migration, it may help to bring a more equal society, nearly a start zero whereby the wealthy learn they need to use their money to invest in society and not to enrich themselves while religious fundamentalists may be stopped and nonreligious extremists weakened until the latter may strengthen again in a future time. Indeed, sometimes we need to hope that the predictions of holy books are correct so the division in society will one day end and thus there is a good ending.

As always, these are incomplete thoughts and input from others is always welcome to move forward towards a cleaner and better society.


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