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James Gustave Speth
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This moment in Paris

Looking back on this moment in Paris, you will see governments beginning to seriously stir, corporations beginning to squirm, and citizens beginning to cry out: you are still committing future generations to unimaginable calamity.

Paris may be the beginning of something useful, finally. Time will tell. You can judge. What we know now is that the commitments governments are making at Paris will get the planet less than halfway to the goal of staying below 2 C degrees of global average warming and that that goal is too weak from the outset.

Here is something else you should not forget. We as a society knew enough to begin to act to forestall climate change as early as the late 1970s. And many of us were calling for action way back them. One reason for the inaction was a corporate, primarily fossil fuel industry, disinformation campaign, for which some should now be prosecuted.

Whether they participated in the disinformation campaign or not, the fossil producers should be held financially liable for the damages and clean-up costs of their fossil pollution of the atmosphere just as they have to pay for oil spills.

Please know that many of us tried for decades to force action, and we are tearful for our poor results and the burdens we have left you.

Please know also that many are culpable for your situation and should be held accountable.

james gustave speth
november, 2015
charleston, s.c., u.s.a.

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