Amy Goodman and Denic Moynihan - September 8, 2019

"The story could well serve as an allegory for the United States and its profligate role in driving the planet into the worsening climate catastrophe. The U.S. remains the world’s historically greatest emitter of greenhouse gases. It is the wealthiest country in history, too, but achieved that with over 150 years of unrelenting industrial pollution, treating the world’s atmosphere as an open sewer for the toxic exhaust from its smokestacks and tailpipes."

Hurricane Dorian devastated parts of the Bahamas, laying waste to much of the islands of Grand Bahama and Abacos. “We are in the midst of a historic tragedy,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said Monday. The death toll there is 20 but is expected to rise, as reports from rescue teams and survivors emerge. In one unconfirmed report, an entire family was found huddled together, embracing each other in death. Hurricane Dorian, like Maria, Irma, Florence and Harvey before, signifies a deadly data point in the irrefutable case that human-induced climate change is real and is wreaking havoc with our planet.

“Dorian” is an appropriate moniker for this hurricane. The name itself was coined by the Irish writer Oscar Wilde in his controversial 1891 novel, “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” In the story, Dorian Gray, a handsome young man, hides a portrait of himself in a locked room. He wanted to pursue a wasteful, hedonistic lifestyle, but avoid losing his good looks to the ravages of such a life. “He had uttered a mad wish that he himself might remain young, and the portrait grow old,” Wilde wrote, “that his own beauty might be untarnished, and the face on the canvas bear the burden of his passions and his sins.” Dorian Gray lived a reckless, excessive life, but stayed young and vigorous, while the hidden portrait aged hideously.

The story could well serve as an allegory for the United States and its profligate role in driving the planet into the worsening climate catastrophe. The U.S. remains the world’s historically greatest emitter of greenhouse gases. It is the wealthiest country in history, too, but achieved that with over 150 years of unrelenting industrial pollution, treating the world’s atmosphere as an open sewer for the toxic exhaust from its smokestacks and tailpipes.

Now, President Donald Trump denies that there is a problem, pointing to rising polluting economies like China and India. While China, with its 1.4 billion people, is currently the greatest emitter of greenhouse gases, the U.S. is still a close second, with all other nations far behind. Plus, our per capita emissions are still among the highest, signifying, on average, a carbon-intensive, unsustainable lifestyle. ...
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