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Who is standing in the way of action about climate change?

It now seems almost beyond any doubt that we are all experiencing climate change in one way or another. Yet, there is little or no action on the part of governments to counter or even take positive steps to address the issue. Why? It's a question posed in this piece from Inter Press Service.

"Current emission reduction commitments by countries are not nearly enough, likely to result in emissions of about 55Gt in 2020, studies estimate. Despite knowing this and knowing 11 of the last 12 years were the warmest ever measured, countries refused to increase their reduction targets at the most recent United Nations climate conference in Doha last December.

An extremely wealthy and powerful fossil fuel industry is behind this political failure to act. Just like the tobacco industry before them, the fossil energy industry spends hundreds of millions of dollars on misinformation about climate change and lobbyists to fight against any action to reduce fossil fuel use.

Their only interest is increasing their profits through increased sales of coal, oil and gas.

The fossil fuel industry could transform itself into good corporate citizens through the provision of green energy services that our societies need. But they have refused to do so over the past 20 years despite making promises to do so.

Survey after survey show the public wants action on climate. And since no one wants their children to live in a catastrophic four-degree C superheated world, the failure to take serious action on climate is a clear and absolute failure of democracy.

The only way this will change, and the only way to get action, is if people take responsibility for the future and march on their capitals demanding action, refusing to leave until there is. To get action we all must act.

Time is short. There are just 24 months to 2015 when emissions need to begin to decline. There are no other options left but to march in the streets. The environmental organisation 350.org is organising one such march Feb. 17 in Washington D.C.

Dozens more marches are absolutely essential. It is time to act. It is time to march."

 

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