Go Lean Commentary
This is the message the Caribbean needs to send to one of its own, Al Roker, the on-air meteorologist for NBC and co-host of the morning newscast The Today Show.
Al Roker has Caribbean roots, as a legacy of parents from the Bahamas (and Jamaica; see Appendix A). He, himself has spent a lot of time there and reflect a lot of its values. Right now, he is being a Champion for a cause that is dear to the Bahamas, and all Caribbean for that matter:
See how this Caribbean Champion battled prominent Climate Change deniers in this TV broadcast here. What’s sad is the actual denier in this case is Scott Pruitt, the Head of the American federal government environmental Watch-Dog, the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency).
America may have the luxury of “sticking its head in the sand” and not deal with Climate Change, but for those of us in the Caribbean, we do not have that luxury – we have a Clear-and-Present Danger right now.
See the news article and VIDEO of this champion’s defense:
Title: Al Roker Debunks EPA Head Scott Pruitt’s Stunning Denial On Human-Caused Climate Change
Sub-title: Roker: “No Credible Science Or Scientist” Would Support Pruitt’s Assertion CO2 Is Not A Primary Contributor To Global Warming
By: Media Matters Staff
NBC weatherman Al Roker debunked EPA head Scott Pruitt’s false claim that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming during an appearance on MSNBC Live, explaining that there is “no credible science or scientist” to support Pruitt’s statement.
During the March 10 segment, Roker addressed Pruitt’s comments on the March 9 edition CNBC’s Squawk Box in which Pruitt said “I would not agree” that CO2 is “a primary contributor to the global warming that we see” — a statement completely at odds with the consensus among climate scientists that human activity is the primary cause of climate change.
To rebut Pruitt’s statements, Roker referenced an interview he recently conducted with climate scientist Dr. Marshall Shepherd, who explained that “greenhouse gases are in fact the primary forcing function on a warming climate system. … their fingerprint is there on our naturally varying climate in the same way steroids were on the naturally varying cycle of home runs during the Major League Baseball era.”
Roker also stated “there is no credible science or scientist” that would back up Pruitt’s assertion. Indeed, a number of climate scientists have weighed in on Pruitt’s statement, stating Pruitt’s denial “demonstrated that he is unqualified to run the EPA or any agency” and suggesting that Pruitt “talk with his own scientists and read the National Climate Assessment.”
Notably, however, NBC did not address Pruitt’s climate denial on the widely viewed Today show the same day, nor NBC Nightly News air a segment on Pruitt’s climate denial on March 9 — even though Pruitt’s denial received widespread attention across mainstream media.
See full transcript of the interview between Al Roker and the MSNBC Host Katy Tur in Appendix B below.
VIDEO – From the March 10 edition of MSNBC Live – https://mediamatters.org/embed/clips/2017/03/10/52688/msnbc-msnbclive-20170310-alrokerpruitt
This issue of monitoring, messaging and managing the stakeholders for Climate Change is an important mission for the movement behind the book Go Lean … Caribbean. The book presents the Caribbean region a roadmap to elevate its societal engines – economics, security and governance – and to be prepared for the Agents of Change impacting daily life in the Caribbean homeland. In total, the book identified these 4 Change Agents:
- Aging Diaspora
- Climate Change
As a region, we are able to employ mitigations and remediation for all of these agents except for Climate Change. We are all small countries, nowhere on the list of “Big Polluters”, like the US (#2) and China (#1). We have neither a voice nor a vote in those countries, yet we need them to take the issue of Climate Change remediation seriously. Messaging is key! We need people like “Al Roker” – daily audience of 4 to 9 million people – speaking truth to power … on our behalf.
This advocacy – to proclaim impending danger to life and limb – is part of a new effort to elevate the societal engines of the Caribbean. This started with the Go Lean…Caribbean book and is being followed up by this and many other blog-commentaries. See here a sample of previous submissions heralding the need for the Caribbean region to be “on guard” for the imminent threats from Climate Change:
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=9455||Fix ‘Climate Change’ – Yes, We Can|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7103||COP21 – ‘Climate Change’ Acknowledged|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6893||A Meteorologist’s View On Climate Change|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=4673||Merchants of Doubts – Dynamics of Climate Change Deniers|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2465||Book Review: ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate’|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2276||Climate Change May Affect Food Supply Within a Decade|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=2119||Cooling Effect – Oceans and the Climate|
|http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=1883||Climate Change May Bring More Kidney Stones|
The Go Lean book serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU) as an inter-government agency for 30 regional member-states. This confederation will provide a technocratic stewardship for all the societal engines in the Caribbean. In fact, the prime directives of the roadmap includes the following 3 statements:
- Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion & create 2.2 million new jobs.
- Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and to protect the resultant economic engines – including an Emergency Management functionality.
- Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers mantra between the member-states and CU federal agencies.
Overall, the Go Lean book stresses the community ethos, strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to reboot, reform and transform the economic engines of Caribbean society.
What do we do now?
While we hope, pray and lobby the big polluting nations to do more, we have to prepare our Caribbean communities for the imminent onslaughts.
In previous blogs, this commentary cautioned the stakeholders in the Caribbean region, as follows:
- Crap Happens! Prepare – The peril of a Climate Change-fueled hurricane is now a constant threat for Caribbean life, for all 30 member-states. It is assured that some Caribbean location will be impacted every year. While there is no guarantee for a strike “here or there”, there is a guarantee that there will be a strike somewhere.
- Do Not be Hypocritical – Go ‘Green’ – If excessive carbon in the atmosphere by the Big Polluters is the culprit for infusing Greenhouse Gases, then we, as a region of small countries, need to do our share and set a good example of lowering our carbon footprint. Though our numbers are too small to make an impact, it does send the message that we are willing to “swallow the hard pill/take the medicine” ourselves that we are asking the Big Polluting nations to endure.
The global crisis of Climate Change is impacting all aspects of Caribbean life: economics, security (disaster preparation and response) and governance. A comprehensive view of the challenges befalling our region is the charge of the Go Lean roadmap, opening with these pronouncements in the Declaration of Interdependence (Page 11 and 12):
i. Whereas the earth’s climate has undeniably changed resulting in more severe tropical weather storms, it is necessary to prepare to insure the safety and security of life, property and systems of commerce in our geographical region. As nature recognizes no borders in the target of its destruction, we also must set aside border considerations in the preparation and response to these weather challenges.
viii. Whereas the population size is too small to foster good negotiations for products and commodities from international vendors, the Federation must allow the unification of the region as one purchasing agent, thereby garnering better terms and discounts.
x. Whereas we are surrounded and allied to nations of larger proportions in land mass, populations, and treasuries, elements in their societies may have ill-intent in their pursuits, at the expense of the safety and security of our citizens. We must therefore appoint “new guards” to ensure our public safety and threats against our society, both domestic and foreign. …
Now is the time for all stakeholders – residents, governments, Diaspora, scientists, disaster planners, etc. – in the Caribbean to lean-in for the empowerments described here-in and in the book Go Lean … Caribbean. Climate Change is the Number One threat for our society; for the whole world actually, but we are on the frontlines. “We must protect this house”. We must be better and do better and help to make our homelands better places to live, work and play. 🙂
Sign the petition to lean-in for the roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.
Appendix A – Al Roker’s Earliy Life
Al Roker was born in Queens, New York, the son of Isabel, of Jamaican descent, and Albert Lincoln Roker, Sr., a bus driver of Bahamian descent. Roker initially wanted to be a cartoonist. He was raised Catholic (in the faith of his mother) and graduated from Xavier High School in Manhattan. He worked on several projects as a member of the school’s Cartooning & Illustration Club. He attended the State University of New York at Oswego where he received a B.A. in communications in 1976.
According to the July 2011 issue of Us Weekly in “25 Things You Did Not Know About Me”, Roker is the first cousin once removed of the late actress Roxie Roker, who was most notable for her role as Helen Willis on the sitcom The Jeffersons and the mother of popular rock musician Lenny Kravitz. That makes Kravitz Roker’s second cousin.
Source: Retrieved April 21, 2017 from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Roker#Early_life
Appendix B – Transcript: Al Roker Interview by Host Katy Tur
KATY TUR (HOST): The head of the Environment Protection Agency stunned many when he denied carbon dioxide is a primary contributor to global warming.
TUR: Today show host and weatherman, a man who needs no introduction Al Roker joins me now. “Stunned many” is a bit of an understatement, said most almost all, gosh, CO2 is not a factor when it comes to climate change. Was all of the schooling that I had as a child and into my adult life completely wrong, Al Roker?
AL ROKER: No, it wasn’t wrong and there is no credible science or scientist who will tell you the contrary. The fact is, carbon dioxide, the greenhouse gases is responsible for climate change.
TUR: No scientist will say this, but we’re having the EPA head say this?
ROKER: Well, look, this is America and you can make whatever statements you want to, but everybody will pretty much agree — in fact, just about an hour ago I interviewed one of the leading climate scientists in this country, Dr. Marshall Shepherd and here’s what he had to say about it.
[BEGIN VIDEO CLIP]
MARSHALL SHEPHERD (DIRECTOR FOR UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA’S PROGRAM IN ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCES): The basic physics of the atmosphere suggest that greenhouse gases are in fact the primary forcing function on a warming climate system. Greenhouse gases and the impacts post-industrial age or –industrial revolution are certainly — their fingerprint is there on our naturally varying climate in the same way steroids were on the naturally varying cycle of home runs during the Major League
[END VIDEO CLIP]
ROKER: I think that pretty much sums it it up.
TUR: Yeah, so where — if the EPA head is saying there needs to be more research, but the EPA is losing money to do research, give me the consequences. How important is it and how significant is it to have the EPA head deny something like this?
ROKER: Well I think hopefully cooler heads will prevail upon him to say we need to continue to research this. We need to continue what we’ve been doing because if you look, we’ve got a graphic that basically right around the industrial revolution, we had — there’s been no time in this history of our planet where CO2, even naturally occurring or not, was above 290 parts per million. Alright, now you look at the temperature, we put the temperature on top of that, you can see from the 1880s into the 1940s, temperatures are below average, below the global average, but once we really start to see that red line go up, as the CO2 starts to increase, you can see those average global temperatures continue to rise, and they peaked last year, the warmest temperature ever on record for this planet. So as we continue to add those greenhouse gases — now, that’s not to say that — the greenhouse gases allow us to live on this planet. Without them completely, we would freeze to death. At night we would die. So there has to be some small amount of greenhouse gases. We’re just adding too much.
Source: Retrieved 04-21-2017 from: https://mediamatters.org/blog/2017/03/10/al-roker-debunks-epa-head-scott-pruitt-s-stunning-denial-human-caused-climate-change/215635