Guest opinion: Time to call attack on our planet what it is: ecocide

By John Anastasio

Climate change is real. Climate change is happening now and it’s time to stop coddling the professional liars and financiers who knowingly spread disinformation in the climate change denial campaign, and prosecute them for treason and involuntary manslaughter. There is a term for their crime: ecocide.

Already, people are dying of excessive heat and other forms of climate extremes and billions more are suffering. June 2015 was the hottest on record in Medford,  “with previous records being destroyed by 4 degrees fahrenheit,” said a forecaster for the National Weather Service in Medford.

"Considering that only one degree separates the 10th warmest June and the second warmest June since 1911, four degrees is amazing," he said. "Twenty-one days reached 90 degrees or greater, with five 100-plus days and six daily records, including the all-time highest overnight low temperature of 76 degrees."

June topped out at 107 degrees and the first six days of July all hit triple-digit temperatures, again reaching 107 as a high.

And May 2015 was the hottest on record in the United States, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for May 2015 was the highest for May in the 136-year period of record, at 0.87 degrees centigrade (1.57 degrees fahrenheit) above the 20th century average of 14.8 degrees centigrade (58.6 degrees fahrenheit),” said NOAA.

This breaks the previous record, which was set in May 2014. It was also the hottest March to May on record and the hottest January to May on record as well. So, if trends continue, as they are predicted to, this year will surpass last year as the hottest on record.

We have laws on the books to punish people whose lies contribute to the death of others — it’s called involuntary manslaughter. Those people are criminally negligent and so are climate change deniers who knowingly distribute disinformation.

Climate change is real. Climate change is happening now and we won’t begin to have a chance at stopping it until the industrial capitalists and their minions who are profiting from the burning of fossil fuels are brought up on charges before Nuremberg-like courts.

 John Anastasio lives in Ashland.

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