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The most important election for our time was the 2000 election.  That election set the world on a dangerous path that may take at least a decade to reverse; that is if we are lucky enough to summon the political will to continue on our current trajectory.

We all know about the financial costs.  The total global meltdown due to republican economic policies has brought the world to it's knees and eliminated much hard won progress for the middle class which had occurred over fifty years ago.

The human costs are incalculable.  In lives lost due to the disastrous Bush presidency it begins with ignored threats to attack the World Trade Center.  Then of course the misguided Iraq war and the incompetent management of the Afghanistan war.

Rectifying the damage of these debacles seems a daunting and overwhelming task. But they are not the most dangerous legacy left to us by the corrupt Bush Administration and the Republicans.  No, the loss of precious time to address the challenges of climate change will prove to be the most dangerous legacy of all.  For all his weaknesses I don't think there is anyone who believes that Al Gore would have neglected the consequences of global warming.

At the time of the 2000 election the powers that be were also aware that Gore would focus on mitigating climate change so the fossil fuel industry threw everything it had at the election.

That election pitted Bush-Cheney, overt oil industry representatives, vs. wonky Al Gore Jr., who studied climate science at Harvard and held the first congressional hearings to publicize the concern, which had been quietly discussed in government circles as far back as the Johnson and Nixon administrations.

The fossil-fuel industries threw everything they had to prevent a Gore presidency. As reported in Minnesota attorney Barbara Freese’s excellent book, “Coal: A Human History,” West Virginia’s coal industry took the lead in raising unprecedented sums of money and support for George W. Bush and ultimately delivered the state by 52 percent. Freese cites a Wall Street Journal report that top White House staffers agreed “it was basically a coal-fired victory.” If Bush had not won West Virginia’s traditionally Democratic five electoral votes, Gore would have won the election.

Yet very little campaign coverage in 2000 or since has stressed the roles of black vs. green energy, even though they represent one of the major differences between the two candidates and parties

Now with all credible scientists stating that we have little time left to deal with the worst effects of climate change which if not addressed rapidly will lead to irreversible and catastrophic weather events will the media and will we finally focus on the most important issue our species has ever faced?

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Comment Preferences

  •  answering your question: (11+ / 0-)

    no, we won't.

    The fossil fuel lobby has bought off too many conservatives in power.

    Meanwhile, liberals are too focused on short term issues, and people who care about the planet's future are placed into the environmental silo to be ignored until next Earth Day.

    We're going to have to adapt to a new and hotter world. The best we can do is win the clean energy war, even as we've lost the climate battle.

    Panelist, Netroots Nation 2012, "Coal and the Grassroots Fight for Environmental Justice." @RL_Miller

    by RLMiller on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:10:40 AM PDT

  •  heh (9+ / 0-)

    I used a similar title once.

    Years keep passing and even our side cannot seem to coalesce around the idea that this whole liveable planet thing should take precedent above all else.

    Oh, well. Unimaginable global upheaval will be interesting to watch. Shame that I may only be around to catch the next 40 years or so of it all.

    Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.

    by LaughingPlanet on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:42:10 AM PDT

  •  The q is "will the media and will we finally focus (6+ / 0-)

    on the most important issue our species has ever faced?"
    Short answer "no", long answer, we'll muddle through solutions and setbacks. If the developing world insists on following the path we've taken, we're cooked. To some extent, their gov'ts insist on it, the process is also corrupted by greed and corporate guidance. It has been said the American soap opera has changed the aspirations of women in traditionally repressed patriarchal societies more than any international legal mechanism, perhaps we need a new brand of "soap" for our relationship with the earth..

    Even if I knew that tomorrow the world would go to pieces, I would still plant my apple tree. -Martin Luther

    by the fan man on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:45:24 AM PDT

  •  I vacillate... (8+ / 0-)

    ...between gloom and anger.  I don't know which is worse for me.  But all this needs to be said, over and over.

    Freedom isn't "on the march." Freedom dances.

    by WarrenS on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 09:33:28 AM PDT

  •  I'm not optimistic either (6+ / 0-)

    But I'm in a bad mood due to what's going on with health care.

    In every industry, including fossil fuels, it seems big business owns the political process. That makes it extremely hard to solve these problems.

    I feel the country sold its soul to the devil when K street came along and even worse with Citizens United.

    What we should do is use government spending to get a "2 for 1" where we help solve 2 problems with $1. That is help both the unemployment and the environmental crisis.

    As a member of Courtesy Kos, I am dedicated to civility and respect for all kossacks, regardless of their opinions, affiliations, or cliques.

    by joedemocrat on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:24:05 AM PDT

  •  It is bad enough these dipsticks have stolen... (5+ / 0-)

    our wealth and resources...but they are killing us...with their propaganda and pollution...they need to put down the Ayn Rand...and pick-up The Lorax...it's so simple...a child could understand...historians will look back and credit the Supreme Court...Bush vs. Gore...with killing the earth...the first salvo was when Reagan removed the solar panels from the White House...stupid..!!

    We are not broke, we are being robbed.

    by Glen The Plumber on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 10:27:51 AM PDT

  •  It was great while it lasted... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl, PeterHug, SolarMom

    fascinating article re how Obama admin spent more on clean energy development than any other country in world prior to the real take over of the Koch Bros.

    US clean energy investment rose 33% last year to a staggering $55.9 billion – while in China it increased 1 percent to $47.4 billion, according to a study of the industry’s top 20 lenders by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

    (Previous story: Solar Grew 69% From Obama Policy )

    The Federal Financing Bank alone completed 13 deals worth $10.1 billion for projects – including the Ivanpah solar thermal plant from BrightSource that has the potential to supply a staggering 13% of California’s electricity – for 33 million Californians.

    The Obama administration – quite simply – quadrupled all the clean energy ever put on US public lands. This year, its Department of the Interior fast tracked the biggest ever wind farm in North America, a 2,500 MW project.

    But US government leadership in renewable energy is now at an end.link

    But I DO remain fascinated by the work going on outside the official UN process and the apparent decision by huge corporations to focus on making their bucks via investments and business opps working on the local level.  
    While the capitalist model is under attack by developing countries Branson and his carbon war room are making big bucks, true, doing the right thing in terms of working on solutions. I am currently working on researching which of the corporations working with Branson are also part of the Climate Denier AFP movement with Koch & Co.

    And then also you take the work being done by CGIAR which is funded by the World Bank but whose work is at the local level with small scale farmers and women being equal stakeholders in process of adaptation and mitigation while building sustainable small businesses ....

    Thanks again, beachbabe. Don't know where you find all the time for your tireless work. You are such a treasure.

    •  thanks (((boatsie)))...a little extra time this (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      PeterHug, SolarMom, boatsie

      weekend due to the tropical storm weather here.  So we are all hunkered down inside doing our own thing.

      I agree, there are some good things happening and I'm especially excited about the Climate Coalition with their focus on reducing the short-lived climate pollutants.  We have to keep moving forward...I hope we make it in time.

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 01:44:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As our climate predicament deepens each election (6+ / 0-)

    eclipses the importance of the previous election cycle. The climate crisis will eventually become an irresistible force in our politics, but we can't afford to wait for events to overwhelm the political inertia.

    We HAVE to act now.

    "We don't need someone who can think. We need someone with enough digits to hold a pen." ~ Grover Norquist

    by Lefty Coaster on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 11:11:17 AM PDT

  •  How to get Americans out of their cars? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl

    THAT is the big question.  

    Also -- we must get Americans to realize that plane travel must be limited, and not for short frivilous trips.

    •  we need a real transportation culture shift... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SolarMom

      I've been writing about the need to drastically reduce meat consumption.   It's really the easiest fix to deal with and eating is something that everyone has to do.  James Hansen agrees:

      Macca's Meatless Monday

      by VL Baker on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 01:56:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Honestly, for me this is an issue that trumps (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl, SolarMom

    everything else.

    By which I mean, that if any candidate honestly convinced me that they would successfully deal with US carbon emissions, I would vote for them (and for that matter aggressively work to elect them) no matter what their other positions.

  •  I concur with everyone who answered no. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SolarMom, beach babe in fl, jayden

    The social inertia appears too strong, at least in the near future, to affect any fundamental paradigm shifts.  I have no doubt that we'll wake up eventually, but it may require more pain.  No worries; pain will be served shortly.  I may have mentioned this on one of your diaries before, so I apologize if I'm repeating myself, but I've come to see climate change as Dante's Inferno.  We may make it out with our species and even civilization still more or less intact, but we're standing at the gates of hell, and at this late hour, the only way out is through.

    The one difference is that I refuse to abandon all hope.  I believe we can still make the necessary adaptations to weather this storm and come out the other side a wiser, if smaller, species.  And at the very least, we can face the end on our feet, still striving towards a future worth having, even as this age of the world comes crashing down around us.

    The stakes are higher and the consequences of failure far more dire, but the challenge is the same as ever: use our mighty primate brains to determine the ways in which humans may best live in this world, and then start living that way.  Show the world by example what we're capable of.  Even if all we ever become in our own lifetimes is a quirky subculture, it is nonetheless one which may survive and serve as a platform from which to remake humanity.  Instead of Inferno, maybe Asimov's Foundation is a better model.  There may be no way to save the current status quo, but that's no reason to give up the proverbial ship.

    Amor fati, and all that rot, right?

  •  I fear we will pass too many tipping points... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beach babe in fl, jayden

    ...before we will realize what damage we have wrought.

    By then it will be too late.

    I still believe we must do all we can.  But it won't be enough.

    Thanks, beach babe, for all you do.

    “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

    by SolarMom on Sun Jun 24, 2012 at 08:26:21 PM PDT

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