Climate Outrage

when I reflect on the general absence
of national debate and mitigating action
surrounding our warming planet
and changing climate
a queasy opaque sadness creeps up on me
like a sickly draft in comfortably warm room
distinctly out of balance
i dizzily flash between hot and cold
even folks who know me
have a hard time rolling with
my personal climate changes
god help the planet

based on deed
lack of legislation
and non-participation
one might assume
that america need not
address climate change
apparently rising sea levels
drastically altered weather patterns
and extreme weather events
do not merit our attention

direct from northern canada
first nation peoples are seeing species
they’ve never seen before
fish, insects, birds
their languages don’t even have words for
as the ancient permafrost recedes
mud slides and riverbanks collapse
food is short and the main caribou herd
is nowhere to be found
is caribou the canary
and canada the coalmine?

direct from washington
the bureaucracy masquerading
as an environmental protection agency
after umpteen years of obstructionist science
officially and dismissively reported
climate change is more likely than not
due to human causes
yet its inevitable
its just too late to do anything
so we americans will just need to adapt
as we do oh so well
fear not the market is our savior right
besides if history serves a viable guide
america won’t have to adjust much
relative to developing countries which
despite being bit players
in the global warming drama
will inevitably bear the brunt
of the suffering and pain

am I alone in outrage
that the folks who’ve contributed the least
are being set up to experience the worst?
the absolute worst yet conceivable outcome
being complete submersion of island atolls
who here accepts without reservation or protest
the possibility that one million species
will go extinct in the next half century
am I the only pavlovian cynic
who unconsciously associates
the odor of newspaper ink
with a new dish of hypocrisy

carbon dioxide is the worst actor
in climate change theater
america has but four percent of world population
yet emits twenty five percent of the co2
per capita and in absolute terms
we burn more fossil fuels
use more energy
and drive more than any other culture in history
of all nations we are the ultimate polluter
lacking conscience and remorse
we eagerly export
a gluttonous monoculture of materialism
fueled by rampant consumption

as a people we need to examine why
we don’t feel obliged or obligated
to leave the planet intact as we found it
we americans seem collectively more concerned
with eliminating inheritance taxes
than ensuring that our grandchildren
inherit a thriving planet
while we watch whatever we watch
as climate researchers
and industry sponsored pundits
debate to impasse
sea level is a’ rising

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