Frankenstorm: Wake up Call on Governments’ Criminal Inaction on Climate Change

A giant storm is announced to make its landing on the East Coast of the United States on Sunday October 28. Two days ago, hurricane Sandy was hammering Cuba and Haiti in the Caribbean. On Friday, NASA called hurricane Sandy  “the bride of Frankenstorm”. The extreme weather system is coming as an uninvited guests and will crash the celebration of Halloween. Its aftermath will also likely disrupt the US presidential election. Although Sandy was only a category-two hurricane in the Caribbean, it did qualify as a killer storm in both Cuba, where the eye was centered, and Haiti.

When the hurricane or storm system lands in the United States, it will not say “Trick or treat!” but instead could rudely tear apart houses, dump several feet of water, and blow roofs and electrical lines off from Miami all the way to Boston. Frankenstorms, just like the fictional character Frankenstein, are man-made and, according to all legitimate research, are projected to intensify both in strength and frequency as the impact of climate change rapidly worsens.

Frankenstorm: The Most Formidable Third-Party Candidate

While both Green and Libertarian candidates Jill Stein and Gary Johnson were shut down by the mainstream media from the debates in the upcoming US election parody, the wrath of Frankenstorm will not be silenced. Police will not be able to handcuff it with plastic ties either. In all the staged debates preceding the November 6 elections, the critical global crisis climate change represents was not addressed as a key electoral issue. This is the first time since 1984 that it was casually swept under the rug of presidential political debates.

During his one term in office, between 1976 and 1980, former President Jimmy Carter was ridiculed when he solemnly called on the American people to lower their thermostats and wear sweaters. But Carter had the right idea: to make people aware of the danger of an out-of-control use of fossil fuels. Needless to say, the wise recommendations of Carter were largely ignored by the American public, and even more by his successors in the White House. Since then, with the rapid development of China and India, our global carbon footprint has grown exponentially and has already taken all of us to a point of no-return, where the catastrophic consequences of climate change cannot be reversed.

The United States, China and India: Rogue Nations on Climate Change

China, the United States and India — with China now in the lead — are the juggernauts of CO2 emission, which is the primary cause of climate change. Yet, none of these nations has ratified the Kyoto Protocol. When Obama was elected in 2008, most environmentalists were hoping to have an ally finally in the White House. They wrongly expected that under President Obama’s impetus, the US would join the Kyoto Protocol of 1998. The Obama administration was also expected to push for an extension of Kyoto, which expires in 2012.

This was, however, wishful thinking on the parts of  US citizens concerned with environmental issues. In fact, the Obama administration has consistently acted as if it wanted to derail any new agreements with even more modest goals than the Kyoto Protocol to cap CO2 emissions. “The Obama administration proposal could undermine a new global treaty and weaken the world’s ability to stove off the worst effects of climate change. If Kyoto is scrapped, it could take several years to negotiate a replacement framework, a delay that could strike a terminal blow at efforts to prevent dangerous climate change,” wrote Adam David for The Guardian.

The use of deadly fossil fuels such as oil and coal is not only killing the planet, but also will kill many humans in the near future and make the survivors’ lives extremely challenging. As ocean waters rise, many coastal areas worldwide will become uninhabitable. This will affect around 650 million people on a global scale. To imagine Manhattan, San Francisco, Hong Kong and New Orleans under three or four feet of water is not a science-fiction movie scenario but a likely outcome of our folly. Killer hurricanes, cyclones, tornadoes and giant storms will swirl all over the globe teaching us the painful lesson that the wrath of nature is vastly stronger than our illusion of controlling it. Our arrogance, lack of forethought, and the criminal inaction of corrupt governance motivated by greed have opened a Pandora’s box and released Frankenstorm: a monstrous child of our own making.

 Editor’s Note: All photographs by NASA Goddard photo and video’s stream.



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