Enviro Pro-Poli

“It Is Time to Have a Frank Discussion” – Robert Reich on Natural Disasters

Robert Reich lectures on Conservative ideology and the dangers of climate change
(Photo: Youtube)
Written by JoAnn Chateau

Robert Reich* initiates a frank discussion on Conservative ideology and the real dangers of climate change that Americans face.


“Conservatives don’t like regulation, or social insurance, and they don’t believe in climate change. But with large portions of America now grappling with the effects of the two worst hurricanes to hit in years, it is time to have a frank discussion…

[Reich talks about building regulations, ‘Big Government’ and social insurance, and climate change.]

The lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans are at risk. As long as Trump and his administration continue to deny the existence of climate change and its impacts, getting out of the Paris Accords, rolling back environmental protections, they’re taking us into more and more dangerous territory for no reason but to satisfy an ideology that has no bearing on the real problems facing America.” [Emphasis mine.]

* Robert Reich served as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton and is now Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley.


Be aware. Be objective. Add your 2¢.

 

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About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.

6 Comments

  • JoAnn, we are well passed when this discussion should have taken place, but it needs to occur. There is a study I need to dig out from 2011 by Mercer Investment Consulting where the largest pension scheme managers in the world estimate the cost of climate change on future investment returns. They actively spoke of increased droughts in drought areas, increased and more intense forest fires that were happening around the globe even at that time, the rising sea levels, etc. They came to numbers in the tens of trillions of dollars.

    Then, I like to season the discussion with the thoughts of Dr. Sandra Steingraber, an ecologist and biologist, who has written several books “Living Downstream” and “Raising Elijah” are two must reads. Her thesis is environment is under considered as an impact on the health of a person. The doctors want to know your medical history, but don’t focus on the environment. You see, she is also a survivor of bladder cancer in her early twenties. Bladder cancer is a bellweather cancer for environmental concerns. Other close relatives also got bladder and other cancers. The key to this – Steingraber was adopted. The cause was living near several chemical plants. She forewarns the impact of climate change is understated as it undervalues the impact of chemicals in the ground – as the planet heats up, the environment will get worse due to a crock pot effect.

    The last two years, the World Economic Forum has cited the top two risks over the next ten years are our global water crisis and not acting fast enough on climate change. The latter makes the former an even worse problem – water dissipation in fossil fuel energy creation plus water lost to fracking must be considered.

    Fortunately, cities, states, businesses and citizens are leading the way. It would be nice for Washington to realize that their voice would help. Wind and solar are growing at double digit rates in power and jobs as the price falls. Cities around the world are sharing ideas on saving energy and make greener buildings. They are the biggest polluters, so it makes sense.

    My former party leadership needs to pay less attention to the fossil fuel funding in their pocket and more to the science. Even 83% of Exxon-Mobil’s scientists peer reviewed research says climate change is an existential threat that is man-influenced (while management says otherwise). The rest of the worlds sees the problem. Some Republicans do as well, but the folks making this political are the ones making billions and the candidates they fund. This ironically is a key reason Exxon-Mobil has two class action suits by employees and shareholders for overstating the value of their company due to not being forthcoming about climate change. They are also being investigated by two state AGs and the SEC for this very reason.

    We need to step up our conversations on fighting this issue. Keith

    • Thank you for adding to the conversation in a most comprehensive way, Keith. To add, the US military says climate change is a top security risk. It is insane that our country has not taken effective climate action years ago.

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