Friday, December 9, 2011

Calling Out Their Lies

Every now and then a real hero comes along who refuses to cave in the face of unreasonable authority and sets an example for the rest of us who are too cowardly or indifferent to fight for justice. In this case, the hero of the hour is 21-year-old Abigail Borah, who publicly called out the lies of the United States government at a recent climate conference in Durban, South Africa.

As you may recall, in 1997 the United States government almost single handedly derailed the Kyoto Protocols, the United Nations climate agreement, that might have decreased the amount of carbon in the world's atmosphere. Since 1997, our government--whether led by Republicans or Democrats--has done all it could to dismiss the threat of climate changes, even in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence.

At the Durban conference, Todd Stern, the Obama administration's duplicitous negotiator, was doing his damnedest to show the world that the United States would continue to equivocate on this issue. That's when Ms. Borah, a representative of the International Youth Climate Movement, stood up and courageously interrupted the proceedings.

"I am speaking on behalf of the United States of America," Ms. Borah proclaimed, "because my negotiators cannot." She then went on to do what should have been done by the Obama administration representative and called for "a fair, ambitious, and legally binding treaty" on climate change.

Occupy Wall Street has revealed that, if there is to be any change for justice in the United States, it is going to have to come from young Americans who are willing to fight for those causes that the rest of us are not. Now this inspiring young student from Middleburg College has shown that the same is true in the international arena as well. The wrinkled generations--and I count myself, unfortunately, as part of this group--have failed the world and have condemned future generations to live on a planet that may very well prove inhospitable to them. It is our greed, selfishness, and apathy that has caused the world's problems; and now we need a new generation free of wrinkles to lead the world back on the right path.

Just as I'm proud of the young men and women of Occupy Wall Street for the work that they've been doing to highlight the problem of economic inequality, I am also damn proud of this young woman for speaking out loudly, clearly, and compassionately about the issue of climate change. It gives me some small hope for the future of our planet.

I strongly encourage you to listen to what she has to say:

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