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Truthout Interviews Dahr Jamail on New Mexico Politics and Climate Change

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Radioactive New Mexico(Image: Jared Rodriguez / Truthout)Truthout staff writer Dahr Jamail talks about the devastating and accelerating impacts of anthropogenic climate disruption globally and how those impacts are being intensified in New Mexico by the policies of Gov. Susana Martinez’s radically corporatist administration.

The data on climate change suggests we’re past the point of no return in terms of reversing its effects. Droughts, torrential rain, rising sea levels, melting ice caps mean by the beginning of the next century, whole regions of our planet will be uninhabitable by humans and other life forms. Formerly fertile farmlands will be deserts; coastlines where major economic centers are located will be swallowed up by the oceans and rising global temperatures will make heat waves extremely deadly in many parts of the globe. Nowadays, if a region on our planet experiences extreme climate change or a powerful weather event, it’s a tragedy that can be addressed either with international cooperation, or with public/private money for rebuilding after hurricanes or relocation due to drought. However, when extreme weather conditions brought about by climate change occur across the planet with greater frequency and roughly at the same time, these crises will trigger large-scale conflicts, as people get desperate for food and water. The ability of governments around the world to address the needs of whole populations affected by a global crisis like climate change will wane – so will their ability to engage in multiple wars to protect their resources and economic interests. If this is not a threat that politicians, business leaders and citizens recognize as more devastating to “our way of life” than terrorist attacks, then such short-sightedness will surely lead to consequences that are far worse than the kind of violence a terrorist cell can create.

The United States, China and India are the top three contributors to CO2 emissions in the world, yet these countries are doubling down on the very industries that emit pollutants that sully our environment and increase the effects of climate change. Truthout staff writer, Dahr Jamail, has written extensively on the changes in our climate, and on “Truthout Interviews,” he highlights how the current levels of CO2 and other pollutants are having a deleterious effect on the land, air, and water around the world.

On a more regional level, Jamail also discusses how current Governor of New Mexico Susana Martinez, is aggressively acting to gut environmental regulations, allowing copper mines to pollute the water, and staff the state’s environmental regulatory agency with individuals who are hostile to the laws the agency is suppose to enforce. Martinez says she’s taking these steps – that in some cases are illegal and unethical -to make New Mexico more “business friendly.” However, many of the businesses that the Martinez Administration is friendly to are the ones that will wreak havoc on the environment. Now, these kind of retrograde policies may be good for short-term political gain and boosting the quarterly profits of certain companies, but they will doom our planet in the long run.
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