Will humans be the next to suffer from melting ice?
Will humans be the next to suffer from melting ice?

The Arizona Senior Academy is presenting a discussion on Global Climate Change (GCC) at 3:30 p.m. Friday (April 15) as the final segment of the Foreign Policy Association’s annual Great Decisions program.

Climate change is changing the world.  Arctic sea ice and Greenland land ice are melting.  Antarctic ice is thinning, with massive ice sheets close to breaking away.  If trends continue, ocean levels will rise three feet in the next few decades, afflicting island populations and coastal cities worldwide.

Land effects are similarly enormous. Pine forests are changing to broadleaf forests.  Major crop lands of prairie states will become drier.  Snow and rain patterns are changing, hitting Western states hard.  Water from the Colorado River, already seriously over-allocated, is less assured than any time in history.

After a summary of written material provided by the Foreign Policy Association, a short video will be shown, followed by a discussion of the global challenges posed by climate change. Friday’s volunteer discussion leader is Ted Hullar.

The FPA video will describe the Paris Accord of December 2015 as a major step forward.  President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China will sign the accord on April 22, Earth Day.  Serious action now to stem GCC is prudent.   But key parts of the U.S. political system are either GCC-deniers or unwilling to take even simple prudent actions – like solar energy for electricity.

Major international forces are also at work.  China is a major GCC contributor and coal-user but must play a major role which conflicts with its globally-focused economic plans.

The “North-South” divide – modern industrial economies relative to developing economies – is problematic.  What is fair about “all” sharing to control GCC when developing economies are farthest behind economically and need energy for industrial growth?

Written by Ted Hullar, Academy Village Volunteer

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