October 27, 2016 the UN General Assembly considered resolution L-41, a document designed to abolish nuclear weapons globally. The final vote was 123 (of 195) countries in support with 38 in opposition. There were sixteen abstentions. The USA opposes abolition.
Earlier this year our organization, the Rockefeller Family Fund (RFF), announced that it would divest its holdings in fossil fuel companies. We mean to do this gradually, but in a public statement we singled out ExxonMobil for immediate divestment because of its “morally reprehensible conduct.” (NY Review of Books, p.31)
While living in Ossining, NY during the 1960’s, I listened to my friend Jim Beach from Tarrytown, NY give honest political reports about events each evening on Radio WHUD (Tarrytown is a city on the Hudson River 25 miles north of New York City). One day Jim received a phone call from a man in Cleveland who said “Your political comments would no longer be needed.” Jim and I were somewhat shocked to discover his astute progressive political observations would be replaced by a corporate takeover.
The Kyoto protocol was an early effort to confront our global reality of planetary warming accompanied by the steady rising of ocean levels. Even rural people without University degrees who struggle to survive in developing nations know without doubt Earth is heating up.
November 2016 brought a blanket of global fear for people of color, environmentalists (don’t we all want pure air, water, food?), political progressives and maturing youths born in the 1970’s. Never in the history of our immigrant nation have researchers noted two more unpopular leading candidates.
It is certain that Pope Benedict made Vatican City “carbon neutral” by placing solar panels on buildings there. Vatican City is the first city-state/nation to achieve that status. 195 countries will eventually follow into the solar age.
“Two researchers from ORNL, Curtis Travis and Sheri Hester, have just published a new study of chemical contamination of planet Earth and confirmed what many people already knew: the entire surface is polluted.”
...in June 23, 2014 Dayton University became the first Catholic institution to declare divestment from fossil fuels. By April 2016, 515 educational, civic and financial institutions had joined in the pledge to divest from fossil fuels.
Doubtless, the remnant on Isle de Jean Charles and other vanishing coastal communities in Louisiana will agree as their vanishing world floats into the ocean.
Debates among potential candidates for the Oval Office in 2016 are noted more for embarrassing elementary insults and childish playground fighting rather than rational discussion over how to alleviate climate change or curtail global threats of looming nuclear warfare.