Congress Saves Pizza for School Lunch But Can’t Save the Country from Climate Chaos

US Congress, regrettably, seems unable to do much these days.  It is so completely captured by corporate interests that private profit trump public interests.  The profits of food industries, for example, outweigh the health concerns of overweight children and the challenge of an obesity epidemic.  $5.6 million dollars of lobbying reversed school lunch guidelines developed by the US Department of Agriculture to promote public health.  What, you might ask, was the key issue being debated? Whether catsup and pizza sauce count as a serving of vegetables.

Of course tomatoes are a fruit, not a vegetable, providing further evidence our governance system has gone nuts.

The facts are well established, even climate skeptics admit Earth is warming. Our prospects look grim unless we respond to the challenge.  Enormous harm to economic and human health will be caused by extreme weather events and unforgivable suffering will be caused by declines in agriculture, drinking water, insect pollination, and related climate induced chaos. The respected International Energy Agency’s annual World Energy Outlook warns we have maybe five years to act before it will become incredibly difficult and expensive keep warming below 2 degrees C (read catastrophic climate chaos).  Meanwhile, the world pumped 6% more carbon into the air in 2010 than it did in 2009, exceeding the worst-case climate-chaos scenario projections.

America is better than this.

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Hull is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Leadership in Global Sustainability http://cligs.vt.edu/
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