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Elio Delgado-Legon: I am a Cuban who has lived for 80 years, therefore I know full well how life was before the revolution, having experienced it directly and indirectly. As a result, it hurts me to read so many aspersions cast upon a government that fights tooth and nail to provide us a better life. If it hasn’t fully been able to do so, this is because of the many obstacles that have been put in its way.

Climate Change: a Scientific Reality

August 27, 2017 |

Elio Delgado Legon

Climate change. Photos: nasa.gov.

HAVANA TIMES — If any subject in the world were to be looked at through a single lens, the scientific lens, putting political ideologies and Capitalism’s economic beliefs aside, this would be the subject of climate change.

Many years ago, scientists began to warn us about climate change which was drawing near, as a consequence of man’s actions, only worried about financial returns, without taking measures to reduce the damage they cause to nature, just because these measures implied an expense and reduced profits.

Many countries, including Cuba, have taken this issue very seriously and are taking measures to reduce the effects of this phenomenon, which is now inevitable and different signs are becoming apparent, such as an increase in the global atmosphere’s temperature, long periods of drought in some places and intense rain with floods in others, great hurricanes and typhoons.

Rising atmospheric temperatures could bring about and are leading to polar ice caps melting and sea levels rising as a consequence, which could lead to island nations disappearing and many cities built on low coastal shores sinking underwater.

The United Nations has been trying to reach an agreement with all of its member states for years now, so that much-needed measures could be taken so as to prevent temperatures rising above two degrees centigrade and if possible, that it doesn’t reach this figure so as to prevent great natural catastrophes.

So as not to mention previous protocols, which had very little or no weight when it came to tackling climate change, I will only mention the latest efforts with regard to this issue, which was the meeting in the capital of France and resulted in the so-called “Paris Agreement”, which was signed by all attending countries, including the most polluting, which are the most developed nations, of course.

The Paris Agreement doesn’t stipulate the maximum that needs to be done in order to stop global warming, but it does outline positive steps towards achieving this. The United States, currently the second most polluting country in the world, took some measures during President Barack Obama’s government; however, the current US government under Donald Trump has reversed any progress made and has announced its withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, a condemnable attitude, in both political and scientific terms, as the survival of humankind is on the cards.

It’s not just me saying it, scientists are saying this themselves and to prove so, I will quote biologist Reese Halter, who has stated the three main factors that will lead to mass extinction on Earth: human beings, their greed and fossil fuel use, and says: “Each year 5.6 trillion dollars globally is being spent subsidizing the biggest, wealthiest polluters – the fossil fuel companies.”

Halter offers some figures which should make all world politicians sit down and take a long and hard think: between 1970 and 2014, 50% of all wildlife has disappeared. “Now we are being told that by 2020, in three years, 66% of all of the planet’s wildlife will be lost. In 2020! We have a huge problem.”

We’re destroying all life. There’s a crisis of epic proportion. Let’s save nature, please!”

Finally, with regard to US budget cuts in environmental matters, Halter expressed his perplexity: “Water is used for our food and people to drink. Why are coal corporations polluting the water that is the life blood of Earth? And should we remove the Clean Water Act? What the frack!”

This biologist’s anger and impotence in the face of US government policy, which ignores scientists’ appeals and warnings that life on Earth is disappearing, and that we human beings won’t be exempt from this, can clearly be seen in these words.

It would seem like a joke, but it’s our sad reality. The Natural Resources Conservation Service at the US Department of Agriculture has banned its employees from using the term “climate change” and has instead replaced it with the concept “weather extremes”, as if they can exorcize this serious danger that humankind faces by not mentioning it. This is the ostrich’s way, who buries its head in the sand in the face of danger.

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  • Michael Ritchie

    If Climate Change is such a reality and Trump’s actions toward Paris Agreement so condemnable, why is the Castro regime extending open arms to the US cruise ship industry?
    Cruise ships disgorge tons of human waste into our oceans. They pollute the air with smoke. They disturb the ocean floor of Havana Harbor. And, perhaps worst of all, they disgorge literally thousands of rude tourists onto the narrow streets of Habana Vieja– each of them using the already-challenged sewer system.
    Why does the Cuban government allow these floating trailer parks? The Yanqui dollar, that’s why.
    Shame on them for that.

    • Moses Patterson

      Do you know a better way to generate the hard currency Cuba so badly needs to buy food and medicine from abroad? Do share….

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      I have to agree with you Michael. In their search for financial support in the form of hard currency, the Cuban government has abandoned morality – if it ever had any.

      • Nick

        Italy has a tourist industry as does France, UK, USA, Canada.
        So does Mexico, Brazil, The Bahamas, Jamaica…………
        Tourism is pretty normal.
        In fact rather than list every country that has a tourism industry, lets just say that pretty much every country does to a greater or lesser degree.
        But because Cuba has a tourist industry it has ‘abandoned morality’ ??
        Mr MacD, even for you that is weird non-logic.

        • Carlyle MacDuff

          My comment was in reponse to that of Michael regarding cruise ships. My view is that he is correct about the associated problems with them. I am not suggesting, nor have I, that tourism is immoral, but the Castro regime whilst imposing communism upon the citizens of Cuba, seeks by any means possible to obtain hard currency from the capitalist world. That is self evidently counter to the form of morality (Marxism/Leninism) which they preach. Where Nick is the cess pit for cruise ships? As Michael pointed out, the Cuban government is in pursuit of the “Yanqui dollar.”

          • Nick

            There are a great many countries in the world with tourist ministries that are ‘in pursuit of the yanqui dollar’.
            It’s curious to reflect on the overwhelming likelihood that at some point in this century this will be superseded by the various national tourist ministries’ pursuit of the Chinese Yuan.
            Now what a shocking abandonment of morality that will be!!

    • Eden Wong

      Yeah, shame on them for having a tourist industry. The nerve!

    • Ken Hiebert

      Whether or not Cuba should be accepting cruise ships has little bearing on the reality of climate change, which Michael Ritchie introduces but does not argue.
      If the US embargo were lifted Cuba would be in a better position to reject cruise ships.

    • Raphael Stephen-Pons

      Because Cuba cannot shut down it’s economy to help climate change, it has taken action against it through the challenges

      • Carlyle MacDuff

        Stand on a street corner in Cuba Stephen-Pons and watch the trucks belching out fumes! Reminds one of Stalin and Fidel Castro!

  • Moses Patterson

    Sadly, Trump has made US government policy an easy target for nutcases like Elio.

    • Nick

      I think I can detect double standards here Mr P.
      Not so very long ago another contributor advised you to get a mental check up or something like that. You suggested that it’s fine to attack someone’s viewpoint but not ok to insult them as an individual.
      But just a day or two later you’re calling Elio a nutcase!
      Come on Mr P….
      Make yer mind up.

      • Moses Patterson

        I will use small words to help make this simple to understand. Elio is a contributor, therefore “fair game”. Commenters, on the other hand, should be limited to criticism of their comment. Refer to the International Bloggers Book of Etiquette for further information.

        • Nick

          Ha Ha. Ok. That’s the correct etiquette then is it?
          In that case I don’t think you’re a nutcase and I don’t recommend that you get a mental check up.

          • Moses Patterson

            We finally agree!

  • Nick

    President Obama managed to put pen to paper on The Paris Agreement. Well done to him. It was a step forward. It set a precedent.
    The trump fool is trying to reverse this and take a step backward and now the USA could allow China to out manoeuvre them when it comes to taking the lead on renewables.
    But what else would you expect from a joker who stands there in Phoenix, Arizona spouting out about protecting white culture a mere 150 years after the original inhabitants of the region were wiped out by genocide.
    Thankfully the trump fool will probably be kicked out of office before his plans for wiping out future generations have a chance of becoming law.

  • Dan

    I just returned from 3 weeks in Holguin. Everything is parched. Everyone agrees that it never has been so hot and so dry. Is there any other people on the face of the earth except those in the U.S., who do not believe in climate change ? Is there any other people more responsible for it ?

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      Try a country opening an additional coal mine every week?