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View Diary: Climate Change: A plan for a way forward (49 comments)

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  •  Climate change as a campaign issue... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tapu dali, cumberland sibyl

    is giving off a deafening silence. If someone who has been keeping track can clue me in when this has been brought up even once during the presidential race (as a significant point of discussion, not merely a mealy-mouthed whisper), I'll retract this.

    As I see it, the issue is toxic to touch. It's been gravely wounded by conspiracy theories and loops of misinformation that aim to obfuscate, discount, and oversimplify the seriousness of it. Rather than accentuate the finer points of the logic behind global warming, it's bogged down in trivia like whether it's cold today or hot today. Local cold is the new "global warming isn't real." And I repeatedly have to explain to people that it's moot on so many fronts: global land temperatures set a record last month, regardless of any cold snap anywhere in the world (explained, by the way, by the jet stream's behavior from the Arctic oscillation phases. I was saying that weeks ago, and now the jet stream has lifted and Europe is warming up. Get a clue?) Mention variability of weather, and deniers go absolutely berserk. Yet, variability is not unique to weather. Variability simply explains that 100% probability does not exist in nature, pragmatically speaking (and casting aside tautologies such as math equations.) But the dice are loaded and the decks are stacked, and variability has clearly tilted to the side of a warming planet. Deniers insist that scientists can't agree, yet they are the ones in such a state of entropy about this. To them, global warming is either a total myth (despite the numbers), or it's real, but is mutually exclusive with carbon emissions from humans exhausting their cars, air conditioners, or light pollution. This is quite a stark contradiction.

    I'm horrified that the well has been poisoned so severely that our elected officials will not even bring it to the fore. This issue, this perilous situation in which we are in the midst, should by leaps and bounds be, unapologetically, the most important of all. Today is the future we warned about decades ago. We really don't have time anymore. The strategy for decades was to run down the clock. Examining statistics on carbon emissions and doing a cursory survey of the cultural landscape, we continue to run down the clock. Perhaps we're even pushing the clock's hands forward.

    But this isn't even the most fatalistic issue. The real problem is the lack of global solidarity. Well, I believe part of this having roots when the United States backed out of Kyoto last decade. By taking this stance, we unambiguously took the position that we valued the short term economics over both the long term economics and the long term environmental costs. And the consensus view is that the global economy is slowing into recession and we must at all costs do everything we can to keep it growing. Again, oversimplifying the complex mechanics driving economies down the fine point of quarterly GDP. Nevermind how the economy grows, just so that the damn thing grows! I hate hyperbole, but I get this unresolved mindset, no matter the mitigation, that: We. Are. Fucked. Reading enough human history, I'm convinced that people will ultimately exercise their "right" to be narcissistic, given the choice between that or mustering the altruism to build a more livable future. Even having the will to act, the lubricant of high GHG emissions is setting things in motion with breakneck speed.

    "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

    by rovertheoctopus on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 02:47:06 PM PDT

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    •  i'm not surprised that the climate is not (3+ / 0-)

      a campaign issue...not in this toxic political environment.  But in a 2nd term Obama will be freed from political constraints then we will see what he is made of.   Of course with romney there would be no chance.  

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 03:01:57 PM PDT

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      •  Respectfully, I think the challenges (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        liz, cumberland sibyl

        ...are more difficult going into 2013 than they were in 2009. I see little chance for the kind of Congressional strength that was possible in 2009, even if Dems take a fair number of seats back. I am with you that Obama would more likely than Romney challenge the issues, but honestly I have more faith in local level action on this than the kind of top-down leadership we hold so dearly. I follow The Atlantic Cities magazine online, and there are dozens of cities, large and small, spearheading this issue. I think you would like a lot of the material, if you don't already read up on it. I think, for cities, these issues are more intimate by nature.

        "Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell." ~Edward Abbey ////\\\\ "To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships." ~W.E.B. DuBois

        by rovertheoctopus on Wed Jul 25, 2012 at 03:12:27 PM PDT

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