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The first version of this post contained several factual errors, for which I deeply apologize. These errors have been corrected.

% of normal July rainfall, July 2012
What, me worry? (Rainfall figures, USDA)
When news first broke a couple of weeks ago that nearly the entire surface of Greenland's entire ice sheet had melted into slush, many who follow the daily grind of the polls and gaffes of the two men vying to occupy the White House for the next four years were given a brief moment of pause. Arguments about tax returns, marginal rates, and who built what business with exactly how much outside help begin to seem trivial when compared to questions about what will happen to New York City if the rest of the mainland sheet dissolves into the deep blue sea.

These concepts are not new: Given the possibility for catastrophe associated with climate change, it's hard to understand why it hasn't been more of a focus. Now, given the glaring frequency with which extreme weather events are dotting the landscape and the admission of anthropogenic warming even by those who are paid to deny it, perhaps the situation will finally get the attention it warrants.

But even if it does, there will be those who stand in the way of anything resembling the type of action it would take to address the problem. Typically, the people who oppose climate change are thought to do so because of short-term financial considerations: There are obviously those in the fossil fuel industry and other businesses who profit directly from the very activities that are warming the climate. But as powerful as these industries are at dictating policy in the United States and throughout the world, both logic and emotion seem dictate that they would eventually be overwhelmed by a unification of opposing forces, even on the right wing, who value the preservation of society over shorter-term profit. Unfortunately, that assumes that the right wing is interested in preserving society as we know it, and this assumption could be gravely mistaken.

Both progressives and conservatives feel that they are ideologically superior to the other, but the rationale behind that superiority differs dramatically. The sense of progressive superiority arises from the belief that our political positions will give the greatest number of people the greatest chance at happiness and success, all while preserving our planet in the process. This is the spirit that underlies progressive political positions: tax justice, strong unions and investment in infrastructure will give our middle class a better chance to succeed, even if it costs the wealthy a little more. Environmental regulations will keep people healthier and preserve our world's legacy, even if it costs factory owners more to implement them. Women and the LGBT community deserve full equality by nature of being just as human as straight men. Many of us support further regulation of assault weapons because it gives people a better chance of staying alive. We tend to oppose wars of choice for the same reason.

In short, we recognize that while we have made many improvements, society is not just, and we seek, to paraphrase Dr. King, to bend the arc of the universe a bit further in that direction. For progressives, global warming is obviously a major bummer: The economy will be drastically affected, and there will be untold suffering for those who are displaced by rising sea levels without the wherewithal to relocate. We take it seriously, but still, not as seriously as we perhaps should.

(Continue reading below the fold.)

Conservative positions, however, are often on the perceived superiority of the self. This used to be a more implicit phenomenon, but the ever-increasing radicalism of the conservative movement has distilled this in recent years. These days, the Right discusses economic theory not just from a supply-side viewpoint, but with a perspective informed substantially by an objectivist philosophy that divides the economy into producers and parasites: They are the industrious, the producers, the people who make everything happen, the people who deserve success. The parasites, meanwhile, are the people undeservedly supported by the indecent constructs of a society that places too much value on preserving the inferior, and engenders dependency in the process. The producers aren't simply more fortunate: They're better than everyone else, they'll make it no matter what, and the parasite are crimping their style. "Going Galt" is a fantasy to be aspired to.

Social policy follows a similar vein: Women and the LGBT community don't deserve equal rights because divine providence said so. In this worldview, straight men are superior just by virtue of being straight men, and equally as virtuous, though certainly with less independence, are the women who accept the god-given superiority of those same straight men. This superiority has been granted by the divine, and the divine will provide for (and perhaps rapture) those who adhere to these principles.

Meanwhile, a third significant conservative voting bloc are the gun rights activists. Many of them are explicitly seeking to be better prepared for a breakdown in the social order, whether temporary or systemic. These are the people who firmly believe that if only they had been in that fateful theater in Aurora, Colorado, that they would have ended the killing spree singlehandedly because they are badasses. They believe that their arsenal will preserve them and their property against invasion from without or insurrection from within, as well as riots engendered by the aforementioned parasites.

The unifying element behind these conservative beliefs is a feeling of personal superiority, combined with a belief that society should no longer seek to preserve those who are inferior; whether that superiority is engendered by wealth, faith or a personal sense of toughness is secondary. Ultimately, however, it means that key elements of the right wing have far less of a stake in the preservation of society. The producers believe that their personal wealth and industrious nature will allow them to succeed no matter what. Many theocrats feel that the breakdown of society is in fact a necessary precursor to the second coming. And the gun nuts have been preparing for that exact eventuality regardless.

Even if the right wing stops denying climate science and accepts that we are heading for severe consequences, we still haven't asked a fundamental question: We simply assume that they have as much will to preserve society as we do. Are we wrong?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Your last paragraph is what scares me. (26+ / 0-)

    I have already heard from some fundamentalists that if there is climate change, even if caused by humans, it is the will of God.

    So get ready for the rapture.

  •  Conservatives look backward by nature. (4+ / 0-)

    That's why they always get hit by oncoming freight trains.

  •  i firmly believe (5+ / 0-)

    that humans are causing the climate change problem and i don't think we are a species that is intelligent or ethical enough to want to do anything to reverse this trend, except for a very few among us most on the planet will not take even a small notice until its too late, even with all the warnings by the scientific community, but since science is a dirty word and religion is the vehicle most look to, god will be the solution to the problem because faith is stronger then science, that will be the humans failing legacy.

    •  Species is More Than Intelligent Enough. Humans (21+ / 0-)

      have lived on this planet over a million years in some kind of recognizable form, and both the beings and their cultures have evolved the entire time before the last 10 generations to deal with limitations, scarcities and shortages. We have thousands of ways to manage problems like this --as a species.

      However we've only had industrial market economies for 5 generations, and these markets within the last 3 generations have taken the place of culture.

      It's industrialized market economies that are both too unethical and unintelligent to deal with the problem.

      What that means is that we'll drive the planet far enough into disaster for a mega die-off of probably 6 billion and more people, but ownership and more than enough of a support infrastructure for them will be able to find regions and resources to carry on just fine. We're already arguably into millions of deaths tied to climate changes of the past 30 years.

      They've made that calculation and I believe they're correct in it.

      There's nothing wrong with the species, but we've built communities and governing systems that are insane and have probably always been insane in this way over the past numerous centuries. Our system is the worst adapted in the entire world for dealing with hard limitations and balancing individual freedoms against the needs of society in a survival condition.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:31:36 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Great comment (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        scarvegas, northerntier, llywrch

        gets right down to the heart of the matter. Our crazy ass society has proclaimed these economic entities humans and free speech money. Free market globalism which both parties say is TBTF is not even in our national interest. It certainly is at odds with any democratic society, on a human/civil rights level and is a environmental nightmare.

        What kind of a society puts profit for multinational entities that are by their very nature anti-democratic and destructive to the planet we must all live and work on? Our economy and it's perpetual growth and burning of resource to keep it growing is nothing but disaster capitalism. The shock doctrine in action.

        It's madness and to top it off it doesn't even offer a decent living for anyone but the owners of the place. It's not inevitable it's a freaking economic theory, a nasty ass one at that. No reverence or care for either humanity or the planet. They make their wealth off the destruction of both our societies and our home the earth.

      •  They've made that calculation (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        llywrch

        and they intend to survive a mass human dieback and to come out on top.

        I'm agnostic about whether they will actually survive. It seems more likely that their private armies will eat them, set up as warlords plundering the planet, and accelerate the human demise.

        •  cannibalism can only carry you so far (0+ / 0-)

          one of the central traits of the class of people we are talking about is arrogance. They screw up constantly and hugely. Another is a singular lack of imagination, especially regarding possible pitfalls or obstacles.
          Those flaws have a way of fucking up one's calculations (TBTF, Just In Time Inventory, "no one could have foreseen" etc etc).
          I'll bet those calculations that show private island paradises or mountain redoubts lasting into perpetuity neglected things like the effect of ocean acidification on the marine food chain, and it's amplification into the terrestrial food chain. Or the increasing frequency and severity of extreme winds at altitude.
          I'll definitely bet that those calculations did not take into account the likelihood that money will be worthless as societies collapse, as will gold or any other currency other than food, and the effect this will have on retention of any private security force.
          As you state, those with the brute force will hold the only other currency of any value (coercion), and they won't last long, either.

          I don't see extinction of the species coming, though. There will be pockets that, by luck, are located in areas that will manage to sustain small numbers of people. Wildlife will migrate to those areas, and ecosystems will develop. The calamity has too many aspects for anyone to be able to predict where or how sustainable these places might be, so the advantage of having wealth and power now are useless in gaining and edge in the new world.

          But I give this class of people too much credit by this exposition. I don't think there is a movement among the obscenely wealthy to hibernate through a mass die-off of humanity. They lack the imagination. Things are going really, really well for these people right now, so that is that. They'll deal with any trouble down the line the way they always do; keep partying until the place has burned down, then look for someone to fix it for them.

          Mitt Romney is not running a campaign; he's making a hostile takeover bid.

          by kamarvt on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 04:07:02 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  disagree, mostly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChemBob

      I think people are heavily propagandized, which affects their thinking. There is a powerful propaganda campaign to ignore climate change. There is no counter.

      Still, most Americans view cllimate change as real and support doing something about it. Think how committed we would be if we had some real leadership.

      An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

      by mightymouse on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:05:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I second this. (0+ / 0-)

      Exactly!

  •  Greenland melting (29+ / 0-)

    The Greenland event you refer to was a melting of the SURFACE across the entire ice sheet.  This is usually quite rare, but it was hardly a case of the entire ice sheet, which is 1000s of feet thick, turning to slush.  This kind of apocalyptic exaggeration is counterproductive to conveying what is still a very serious situation.

    •  I don't think it was intentional, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      DawnN, Land of Enchantment

      I am sure many people are probably have trouble keeping all the details straight of what's happening to Greenland glaciers, or Equatorial Mountain glaciers, or sea ice extent... and misstatements happen all the time.

    •  From the diarist's own link: (4+ / 0-)

      "Greenland Flash Thaw Part of Natural Cycle?

      Lora Koenig, a glaciologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland, noted that such events are known to have happened before, in the pre-satellite era.

      "Ice cores from Summit show that melting events of this type occur about once every 150 years on average," with the last one happening in 1889, Koenig, a member of the NASA team analyzing the satellite data, said in a statement.

      (Also see "Greenland Ice Shows Rapid Climate Flips.")

      Because of this, it's difficult to say whether global warming was a factor in this latest event. Given the decades-old ice-core evidence, "you could make the case that it's not unexpected to see it now," the University of Georgia's Mote said.

      Making it even harder to pin down a cause, the big thaw coincided with the formation of a high-pressure ridge over Greenland, which pulled in warm air from over the central Atlantic Ocean.

      "So you had this warm pool of air just sitting literally over the top of the ice sheet," Mote said. "It's similar in character, but not in magnitude or duration, to what we're seeing over the Great Plains that's associated with the drought" in the United States."

      Where are we, now that we need us most?

      by Frank Knarf on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:54:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Speed of the melt (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Andrew F Cockburn, Back In Blue

      From what I have read its not only the size of the surface ice melt, but the speed at which it melted. The first picture is July 8th the second is July 12th.

      Progressive - If you are not moving forward then you are moving backward.

      by Madrig on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:28:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I was just thinking about this (11+ / 0-)

    Given their fanatical belief in sky daddy, they will think that global warming (when they finally recognize it) is armageddon. They will never accept that WE have caused it.

    I'm not sure that there is time even if it were possible to really educate a whole new generation correctly. I think we're fucked.

    While many minority groups are the target for discrimination, few face this hostility without the support and acceptance of their family as do many glbt youth.

    by azrefugee on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:17:14 PM PDT

    •  "Sky Daddy" (4+ / 0-)

      I'll have to remember that one.

      "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

      by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:25:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  azrefugee: I have an in-law that absolutely (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, subtropolis

      believes that man cannot destroy anything 'god' made.  His attitude is what other have described here: if there is climate change then it is god's will and all part of his plan.

      He really doesn't care....although I'm betting that when the cow manure hits the proverbial fan he might have second thoughts.  

      "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

      by sfcouple on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:40:32 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He is far from alone. n/t (5+ / 0-)

        When banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos.

        by Bisbonian on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:50:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know, it is just so sad. I've talked and talked (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          StrayCat, subtropolis

          with him and ultimately just gave up.  I don't get it, but these delusional folks are real.  

          "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

          by sfcouple on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:02:13 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  selfishness and irresponsibility (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sfcouple, Bisbonian

            Why that is i can't begin to imagine. But they're willing to take us all down with them and i'm not ok with that.

            All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

            by subtropolis on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:08:17 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  if it's God's will, God's plan then (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            sfcouple, basket, Bisbonian, Back In Blue

            it cannot be my fault. They always say shit like,"It's in God's hands." For freaking EVERYthing.

            Child dying. Infertility. Cancer. Infidelity. Alcoholism.  Poverty. World hunger.

            Whatever it is, I have no control.

            So I ask, "if it's God's will you can't get pregnant, then you're going against his will with in vitro? You're going against God's will if you take your kid to the doctor or get vaccinations? It's God's will that children are starving in Africa? It's God's will that all those farmers in the middle of the country lose their crops and that Oklahoma burns to the ground?"

            Then they give me that look. You know the one. Since I "have no faith" I could never understand what they KNOW IN THEIR HEARTS.

            Jeebus on a cracker: "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change," and one of them is my mother.

            •  DSC, totally agree with your comments here. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Back In Blue

              My response to their comment about something being part of god's plan is why bother praying?  When they are praying for a loved one in a hospital aren't they actually asking god to please change his plans just for them?  

              These hypocrites will call 911 for a medical emergency before they ever think of praying--they know that there is a good chance their prayers are headed off to empty space and they have more faith in medical science than the big guy upstairs.  

              "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

              by sfcouple on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 08:09:36 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  So can men kill each other? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfcouple

        You can't take the sky from me!

        by wrights on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:28:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I have asked him that very same question (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          subtropolis, ChemBob, Back In Blue

          and was met with silence---which was deafening.  "If man can't destroy anything god has made then please explain murder and wars to me."  

          They have no logic or common sense and they are entitled to their delusional belief, but not when it directly impacts my life and my rights.  Their rights stop at the point where they interfere with my rights.  

          "It took us a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak." President Barack Obama 3/24/09

          by sfcouple on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:14:35 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  The fact is this: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfcouple, Back In Blue

        Life on earth will continue. In some form or another

        Survival of human life on earth, however,  is not guaranteed.

        "The mind of a bigot is like the pupil of the eye; the more light you pour upon it, the more it will contract." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

        by SNFinVA on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 07:35:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  ask him if murder is possible, then (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfcouple, Back In Blue

        Because the Sky Daddy made us all in His image, it must not be possible to kill a human.

        Mitt Romney is not running a campaign; he's making a hostile takeover bid.

        by kamarvt on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 04:12:41 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But didn't God make us? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfcouple

        Do we not destroy each other?  

        Putting that aside because I'm sure your in-law has a good excuse for that, we are framing Global Climate Change/Warming, etc. all wrong.

        We are not destroying the planet.

        We are destroying the environment that will sustain human life (as well as many other species for that matter.)  The planet wil be fine.  It doesn't need us.  

        I wonder how your in-law might respond to that message.

        Newt Gingrich, during the primaries, on releasing Rmoney's tax returns: "If there's anything in there that's going to help us lose the election, we should know it before the nomination, and if there's nothing in there, why not release it?"

        by Back In Blue on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 10:56:19 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Oh they may believe it's man-made (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      basket

      but not because we despoiled the planet, not because of our myopia over fossil fuels, not because of our gluttony, but because of our "sinfulness" (never mind that gluttony is listed on the Bible itself as one of the 7 deadly sins). It will be due to our tolerance of gays, abortion, "licentious behavior" (not enforcing Puritanical notions of sexuality strictly enough), and "kicking God out of the classroom and public life in general".

      liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

      by RockyMtnLib on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:00:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  the false consciousness of apocalyptic delusions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis
    Meanwhile, a third significant conservative voting bloc are the gun rights activists. Many of them are explicitly seeking to be better prepared for a breakdown in the social order, whether temporary or systemic. These are the people who firmly believe that if only they had been in that fateful theater in Aurora, Colorado, that they would have ended the killing spree singlehandedly because they are badasses. They believe that their arsenal will preserve them and their property against invasion from without or insurrection from within, as well as riots engendered by the aforementioned parasites.
    As the now discredited Bob Greene wrote in an early column, in the choice between being a survivalist or a looter, the latter might be the more viable role in an apocalypse.

    Präsidentenelf-maßschach"Nous sommes un groupuscule" (-9.50; -7.03) "Ensanguining the skies...Falls the remorseful day".政治委员, 政委‽ Warning - some snark above ‽

    by annieli on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:20:37 PM PDT

  •  What makes you think Repubs.... (14+ / 0-)

    ....want to preserve society at all?

    I see no evidence of that.

    In fact, they want to eliminate every last vestige of a modern society and remake the US into some kind of religiously-based feudal system.

    "The disturbing footage depicts piglets being drop kicked and swung by their hind legs. Sows are seen being kicked and shoved as they resist leaving their piglets."

    by Bush Bites on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:21:59 PM PDT

    •  Which it very nearly is now (10+ / 0-)

      I am beginning to feel as if Citizens United, plus the GOP voter suppression, may be the ultimate nail in the coffin of the late, great, middle class, and that democracy, however flawed, that we have believed was our birth right.

      Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

      by coral on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:27:51 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  add to that the determination by the far left (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sfcouple, StrayCat, JPax, sagesource, liz, cal2010

        to try to pretend there is no difference between democrats and republicans.

        i am continually astounded at the self-destructive pronouncements made at every opportunity - pronouncements that are as delusional as denying global warming.

        what totally blows my mind is this site's unfocused slams of obama at every opportunity with less than 100 days to the election that may very well determine the future of the entire planet!

        citizens united and voter suppression of the gop could never have gotten this far without the assistance of those who demand purity from the democrats.

        i am truly disheartened and worry greatly that it may be to late for us to make a difference.  the cancer from within our own ranks is eating us alive - and if the dems go down, then the rest of the planet stands on much shakier (or should i say slushier) ground.

        •  Horse shit. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          KJG52, TJ

          Barack Obama: Gives people who tortured other people to death a pass, prosecutes whistleblowers. Change we can believe in!

          by expatjourno on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:57:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Democrats should have fought voter suppression (0+ / 0-)

          from the get-go. I can't believe the Justice Dept. has been so late to the game.

          The mainstream and blue-dog Democrats have actually been the worst.

          Skepticism of all the elite institutions, not trust, is what required for successful leadership in this era. Digby

          by coral on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:02:05 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  and also the voters who continually deny the (0+ / 0-)

            reality of the two party system.  those who don't fight to keep the numbers in the house and senate are also culpable when it comes to these atrocious laws being passed by "majorities".

            it is OUR job to make sure that those "majorities" are not in republican/extremist hands.

            blue dogs are irrelevant when the majority is in republican hands for it is the party in control that picks the committee chairs who determine what sees the light of the legislative day.

            it is the majority party that determines which bills are brought to the floor.

            the lack of understanding how our government works enables the extremists to take over and then put in place (or not, in the case of protecting the environment) those laws that will destroy everything accomplished in the last 100 years.

          •  almost feels like a set-up, no? (0+ / 0-)

            the voter id laws were passed in a fever right after swearing in all over the country in Jan 2011. they have an amazing resemblance to their uncle, Jim Crow. 18 months later and three months before a presidential election the JD suddenly gets wind of it?
            Does no one at Justice Read dKos or Huffpo? Watch MSNBC? Listen to NPR or TalkLeft radio?
            So, what then? Too busy prosecuting whistleblowers?
            I buy the argument that the Obama admin is a professional bunch, so what gives here?

            Mitt Romney is not running a campaign; he's making a hostile takeover bid.

            by kamarvt on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 04:18:29 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I blame myself. (0+ / 0-)
          citizens united and voter suppression of the gop could never have gotten this far without the assistance of those who demand purity from the democrats.

          How many divisions does OWS have?

          by Diebold Hacker on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:01:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Oh yes (0+ / 0-)

          because the Administration has been so proactive on global warming.  

          It's not as though Democrats in 2008 didn't campaign on the issue, and then scrap it as soon as it came time to write a bill.  

          Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

          by Big River Bandido on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:16:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, the Marcoses, the Colonels and Pinochet... (0+ / 0-)

      ...were heroes to them.

      Barack Obama: Gives people who tortured other people to death a pass, prosecutes whistleblowers. Change we can believe in!

      by expatjourno on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:56:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The Right wing base falls into that category. (0+ / 0-)

      In the meantime, the rapacious extractors that are the right wing elites will be the neofeudal lords. Already are for the most part. They have known for some time that we are approaching resource limits and that climate change is real, all their puffery to the contrary. They have waited as long as possible to admit this reality. Once the serfs find out that all the bread has been stolen and the water is tainted, there may be hell to pay.
      In the meantime them that got are going to continue grabbing, all the while giving lip service to the religiously rabid base.

      It may still be possible to slow down climate change and stall or stop the onrush of the latest barbarians. I hope so. I will continue to act as though it is in fact possible, because we all must.

    •  Didn't Margaret Thatcher say... (0+ / 0-)
      There's no such thing as society.
      ...?

      Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

      by Big River Bandido on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:13:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Sea level facts (8+ / 0-)

    Melting sea ice does not contribute to an increase in sea levels.  See Archimedes Principle.

    Ice that melts over land mass (e.g., Greenland, Antarctica) and runs off into the ocean does.

    Also, water expands with temperature, so heat from global warming stored in the oceans will raise sea levels too.

    What is essential is invisible.

    by bebimbob on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:23:08 PM PDT

  •  how to lose credibility - perfect example (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bush Bites, JPax, sagesource

    here

    many who follow the daily grind of the polls and gaffes of the two men vying to occupy the White House for the next four years
    stopped reading at that point.  sheeesh!
    •  Lose credibility, or just your interest? n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      expatjourno

      When banjos are outlawed, only outlaws will have banjos.

      by Bisbonian on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:56:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And yet you will not leave. n/t (0+ / 0-)

      Barack Obama: Gives people who tortured other people to death a pass, prosecutes whistleblowers. Change we can believe in!

      by expatjourno on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:01:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I noticed that too! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        expatjourno

        How many divisions does OWS have?

        by Diebold Hacker on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:04:37 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  is that your goal? drive off anyone who doesn't (0+ / 0-)

        agree with you?  

        pathetic.

        oh, and for the record, i'm not going anywhere.  i'm not an expat of anything i believe is worth working for.

        •  Hahahaha! You didn't finish the first sentence... (0+ / 0-)

          ...of the diary:

             

          many who follow the daily grind of the polls and gaffes of the two men vying to occupy the White House for the next four years
          stopped reading at that point.  sheeesh!
          So everything you say about the diary is based on  ignorance, yet you feel compelled to hang around and comment on it anyway.

          Yes, edrie, hanging around to comment on something you proclaim you know nothing about makes you look foolish. As does insulting someone for living in a foreign country. As does breaking Kos's "don't be a dick" rule in someone else's diary.

          Hahahahahaha. You have reached a new low.

          Barack Obama: Gives people who tortured other people to death a pass, prosecutes whistleblowers. Change we can believe in!

          by expatjourno on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 10:11:04 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it is a pity you cannot comprehend what is (0+ / 0-)

            written.  stop trying to put words in my mouth. you haven't a CLUE what i meant which makes you look the foolish one, dear.

            now, go away.  i'm not bothering responding to you any longer,  and, take your agenda with you.

            •  It is a pity you cannot comprehend what you wrote. (0+ / 0-)

              I didn't put any words in your mouth. How about if you stop commenting in a diary in which you stopped reading before the end of the first sentence?

              It only makes you look foolish.

              Barack Obama: Gives people who tortured other people to death a pass, prosecutes whistleblowers. Change we can believe in!

              by expatjourno on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 02:10:53 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  what IS your problem? (0+ / 0-)

                or is bullying a specialty you enjoy - and, btw, it doesn't work on me.

                now, i am asking you civilly to stop following me around and making these offensive comments.  if you wish to debate an issue, then fine - but stop with the personal attacks.  enough.  my next step is to report you if you continue to attack personally.

                this is a site to debate ideas, not to get your rocks off by being a jerk.

                •  By all means report me, edie. (0+ / 0-)

                  I'm sure the admins will be amused. What will you report me for? Replying to your comments? Yeah, because answering you when you reply to me is following you around/bullying. Quoting your comments? Because, yeah, quoting your own words back at you is so unfair.

                  You are the one who started with the personal attacks and now you have descended to name-calling.

                  And you are the one who came into this diary and broke Kos's "don't be a dick" rule:

                  how to lose credibility - perfect example (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Bush Bites, JPax, sagesource
                  here
                  many who follow the daily grind of the polls and gaffes of the two men vying to occupy the White House for the next four years
                  stopped reading at that point.  sheeesh!
                  EdriesShop Is GlowNZ back yet?

                  by edrie on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 12:29:24 AM CEST

                  [ Reply to This |  Recommend   Hide ]

                  Barack Obama: Gives people who tortured other people to death a pass, prosecutes whistleblowers. Change we can believe in!

                  by expatjourno on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 03:25:24 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  note to self: read sig lines of those responding (0+ / 0-)

                before wasting time and energy responding.

  •  It didn't all melt.... (6+ / 0-)

    which is a very good thing.

    The more correct way of stating what happened is:

    There was melting observed over nearly all of the surface area of the Greenland Ice Cap.

    Now this is pretty bad by itself, but nowhere near the catastrophe that is occuring in slow motion - when the entire Greenland Ice Cap has melted, the world's oceans will be 20 feet deeper than they are now.

    Goodbye New York City..... Goodbye Florida.... Goodbye... well, lots of places.

    And Antarctica? That will raise the sea level 200 feet. Goodbye most everything else!

    Cheers.

    Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain. Friedrich Schiller

    by databob on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:29:35 PM PDT

  •  Very nice diary, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DawnN, GreenPA, StrayCat

    I think I would only differ on maybe putting more emphasis on the power of greed within the conservative movement, rather than the Superiority aspect.

    It just seems that whether it's global warming, or economic austerity, or Social Security or Health Care, it always seems to be that they're against anything that prevents them from having more money.

    •  a related component... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, pollwatcher

      is myopia.

      It's about short-term profit and ignores long term consequences, such as medical costs for treating those poisoned by reckless policies and deregulation. Grandpa wants to get rich and doesn't spend a second worrying about Grandson and Granddaughter.

      The diary did touch on this point briefly.

      Everything Right is Wrong Again - TMBG (lyrics)

      by GreenPA on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:47:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You forgot the theocratic wing: (5+ / 0-)

    Those who believe that it's all a moot point because we live in the End of Times, and the coming Tribulations are God's justice for the Sinners.

    They're not just lunatics on the street corners.  They're in Congress.  Inhofe frequently cites Genesis 8:22 as 'evidence' againt human-caused climate change, and Rep. Shimkus has stated that there can't be 'another' global flood because "God promised".

  •  23 Billionaires can't all be immortal (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    annieli

    http://www.sanders.senate.gov/...

    statistically they'll be dead in 5 years and hopefully their heirs will be too busy disemboweling each other over the estate; see J. Howard Marshall; to be a threat to anyone..

    The 1st Amendment gives you the right to say stupid things, the 1st Amendment doesn't guarantee a paycheck to say stupid things.

    by JML9999 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:34:33 PM PDT

  •  For 45 Years Liberals Warning About the Right (12+ / 0-)

    and about what the Democrats were complicit in doing to the nation and its government have been dismissed out of hand. With every new step liberating the strong and taking from the poor, most of America sent them out of the conversation saying "see whiny purity trolls, the sky hasn't fallen."

    Well, true, it never fell. But here is the sky today resting firmly on the ground nonetheless.

    And as long as history books are still allowed to be written by historians, they'll record that "nobody could have foreseen."

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:36:22 PM PDT

    •  The future of history (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      scarvegas

      The movement to ebooks is reducing the possibilities for the "scholarly apparatus" - footnotes, indices, etc.

      In a short amount of time it will be relatively easy to rewrite history so it says whatever the heck people in power want.

      Instead of "nobody could have foreseen", they will write the [insert political opponents here] did it.

      Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

      by breakingranks on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:04:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  What lunacy is this? (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Big River Bandido

        It's news to me that you can't put footnotes and a bibliography into an e-book.

        And the smallest familiarity with older right-wing writing will teach you that footnotes, bibliographies, and so on and so forth do not guarantee truth. GIGO: garbage in, garbage out.

        We're no worse off than we were before and anyone who thinks differently must have led an unusually protected life.

        "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

        by sagesource on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:46:25 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Yes, you can. (0+ / 0-)
          you can't put footnotes and a bibliography into an e-book.
          Ebooks are more or less in their infancy, but yes, you can do this.

          The real danger was hinted at: the text itself could be hacked and edited.

          How many divisions does OWS have?

          by Diebold Hacker on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:14:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  You can but (0+ / 0-)

            From my recent experience it's an incredible pain.

            Index: worthless when there is no pagination, though a keyword search might work.

            Footnotes: nope - because no pagination.

            Endnotes: yes, but to my knowledge you have to handcode each link. Uncool for vast numbers of scholarly footnotes.

            Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

            by breakingranks on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 02:04:52 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Global weirdening will be imaginary, (0+ / 0-)

      right up til the moment it's all the libruls' fault.

      How many divisions does OWS have?

      by Diebold Hacker on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:10:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  social darwinism ties all their arguments together (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat

    This is what it means to be a "conservative" today.

  •  Greenland's ice sheet has NOT (7+ / 0-)

    "All melted into slush". The ice sheet is several km thick. What the sensors found is that the SURFACE LAYER is exhibiting evidence of melt.

    There's a big difference. Which is NOT to minimise the significance of this discovery, but it is a far cry from saying the ice sheet is now slush.

    Exaggerated comments such as yours do not help. It is hard enough convincing policymakers of the accumulating evidence that recent extreme events are indeed caused by CC (see Hansen's recent article, referenced on DK).

    Misrepresentations such as the one presented here will do more harm than good, please believe me.

    I appreciate the story but kindly be careful in how you express yourself.

    I know you believe you understood what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant. -- S.I. Hayakawa

    by tapu dali on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:41:36 PM PDT

  •  It's Not Ideology (4+ / 0-)

    I think you may be missing the point of what is happening with "conservatism," i.e., the Republican party.  While it's true that the Galtian ideal is having a bit of a revival, it's also true that religious extremism has acquired a level of social acceptance that exceeds normal levels.  The two are actually at odds with each other - Objectivism doesn't endorse religious vetoes of empirical experience.

    What we're witnessing is the culmination of a cultural revolution that is disempowering an established order that identifies with a particular predefined underclass.  In short, it is the death throes of the remnants of a culture that identifies with the subjugation of blacks, and its corresponding dependency on the superiority of a sexual purity that has consistently been used to draw distinctions to justify that subjugation.  All the rest of it (Rand, etc.) is pure unadulterated opportunism.

  •  Thought about one way, (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Dave in Northridge, StrayCat, basket

    it is puzzling why an ideology that is so libertarian on one front (Galt, etc.) should be so meddlesome in another (family values). But it is the self-serving belief in self-preservation, usually framed n the more flattering language of "personal responsibility," that is consistent across all factions of the right. It allows them to justify cutting people loose within the free market economy, and it allows them to justify their interventions into the private lives of women and LGBT people -- looking out for their own interests, but above all, staying within heir own comfort zones.

    Nothing requires a greater effort of thought than arguments to justify the rule of non-thought. -- Milan Kundera

    by Dale on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:42:57 PM PDT

    •  They only get "Galtian" when it suits their (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, basket

      purposes for the moment.  The real intrusion into the personal lives of people are based on the religious undertones that infect every conservative argument.  The entire conservative anti-communist hysteria in the post war era was directed against "Godless" communism.  This entire evangelical tilt to the entire matter is relatively new, but the same primacy of superstition over science that has been a part of the argument for centuries.

      And it feels like I'm livin'in the wasteland of the free ~ Iris DeMent, 1996

      by MrJersey on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:51:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  religious, or tribal? (0+ / 0-)

        I struggle with that one regularly. I lean mostly toward tribalism, because the hatred and disowning of other humans implicit in the actions of these people is against the teachings of every major religion, and all forms of Christianity.
        I know it hides behind religious rhetoric, but at heart I think it is the age-old fear of the other, and the desire for a shrinking world consisting only of the family group.

        Mitt Romney is not running a campaign; he's making a hostile takeover bid.

        by kamarvt on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 04:29:31 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  They aren't conservative, they're reactionaries (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Minerva, annieli, StrayCat

    The only problem is that if we go back to the Gilded Age the way it seems many of them want to do (NO regulation of the free market, PERIOD) it will only hasten the process. I don't know what exactly is conservative about saying, as they do, "I got mine, the rest of you f**k off."

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:47:38 PM PDT

  •  Wow, the above post is a disaster from the start (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JPax, TX Dem 50, Andrew F Cockburn

    I would hope that whoever is writing about climate change here would have at least basic science literacy but the above post suggests this writer does not.  The "entire ice sheet" did not melt into slush, there was an unusually long lasting high pressure system camped in the region that brought warm air to the ice sheet causing some surface melting, much more than previously, but the ice sheet never "turned to slush".  Yes, it was a result of climate change but sheesh, lose the hyperbole, it doesn't advance the argument at all.  

    Then to follow up that whopper with a comment that melting the Arctic ice sheet would drown New York City further illustrates scientific ignorance.  The ice sheet is already floating on the sea which means melting the ice does not change sea level.  That only happens when land based ice (like Antarctic ice sheets) begin melting and/or sliding into the sea.  One hopes the writer knows the difference between Arctic and Antarctic ice sheets if he's going to write a piece like this.

    I thought Dante was smarter than this but this piece has no credibility with me if he starts out this badly.  Junk writing like this just makes it all that much harder to get across the realities of the impact of global warming on climate change.  Much better to read Hansen's recent op-ed in the Washington Post than drivel like this if you really want to be informed.

    •  what surrounds the Arctic Ocean? (0+ / 0-)

      What is the shape of the coastline? Is it a circle with flat coast, or is it marked by thousands of fjords, each holding glaciers of sea ice topped by millenia of snowfall that have anchored to the rock and are resting chiefly on that rock, not the ocean surface?
      And if the Arctic sea ice melts, what about the land surrounding it, which also has abundant water locked in glaciers? Will that not melt? How about glaciers elsewhere, land or sea-based?
      Take a 2 sq mile body of water; 1 sq mile is open water, and the other is covered with sea ice. That ice is not flat like pond ice; it jumbles and holds snowfall, and over centuries, it piles up. The true water level of that 2 sq mile pool is roughly the average of the open water surface and the ice surface, which may be hundreds of feet higher. All the ice sitting above current sea level can raise that level.

      There was a viral video recently of a chunk of sea ice dislodging and creating a mini tsunami. The boat with the photographer in it barely made it out of the way. That apt-building-sized chunk of ice displaced an equal amount of seawater suddenly and violently. Physics tells us a larger icefall will have the same effect, only larger.
      Dante elided that part, and I took the slush comment as a figure of speech meant for effect. I don't see either flaw as negating the central point, which is about people.

      Mitt Romney is not running a campaign; he's making a hostile takeover bid.

      by kamarvt on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 04:45:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ruling class will neither fret nor lose... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, cal2010

    over global warming.  You can be certain they are avoiding coastal development projects (unless they engineer an insurance windfall from disasters), and have their dozen or so havens on land masses that are far enough above sea level so they they will not be affected.  Their ocean-going yachts and jet aircraft are always fueled, and ready to move at a moment's notice.  A few keystrokes will move their fortunes elsewhere if necessary.  The rest of us 99.9% can go to hell.

    The last sound on earth will be the squawk of an optimist.

    by CT yanqui on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:52:39 PM PDT

  •  The Bunker and/or the Hollow Earth (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, cal2010

    There are a number of science fiction stories (and conspiracy theories) that suggest that the elite doesn't care about the destruction of society - indeed they hope to hurry it along - because they want to wipe out all the "parasites". After the parasites are gone, the virtuous elites will emerge to enjoy the fruits of a depopulated Earth. They will have a blank slate where they will build their new Garden of Eden (no work slaves required - they will just pluck fruit off of trees).

    No one wants to talk about how they will fight to establish the new pecking order amongst themselves. Their philosophy requires them each to think they will be the one at the top of the pecking order (or at least they will know who to suck up to) just because they are savvy elites.

    While science fiction authors keep this scenario before us, it's considered bad taste and crazy talk to suggest this is what many hardcore conservatives actually think. But take a look at the bunkers and the gold-hoarding! It seems to me that there is more than a little "wink wink nudge nudge" going on about the imminent collapse of civilized society.

    Even if you don't believe there are any conspiracies behind this line of thinking, just the notion that there may be a critical mass of conservatives thinking it at the same time shows why they aren't even bothering to repair our public infrastructure anymore. They have given up on civilization, and they are just looking for the nearest exit so they can ensure their personal survival.

    Le nirvane n'existe pas. - Etienne Lamotte

    by breakingranks on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:58:12 PM PDT

  •  This was the actual lead to that story (3+ / 0-)
    After just a few days of intense melting this month, nearly the entire of the surface of Greenland's massive ice sheet had turned to slush
    There's a difference.  Still bad news, but there is a difference.

    You don't need to firebomb Dresden to prove that you can fly the plane.

    by SpamNunn on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:58:12 PM PDT

  •  the answer to that last question is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, desert rain

    no, they don't care about preserving society.

    rather, they care about amassing money and power.

    these are the same people who destroyed US rust belt towns by moving their factories. they don't care, as Michael Moore brought home in "Roger and Me."

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 03:59:29 PM PDT

  •  The controlling 'isms' of the rethugs (0+ / 0-)

    have been nihilism and sadism, the work of creatures like Norquist and Rove, supported by the anarchcapitalism of the Koch brothers, et al, have lobotomised the so called 'conservative base'. Now, they will decry climate change as a myth or hoax, even as rising sea levels lap their plus sized bottoms. They are so sold on the Fux Nuz worldview, they will never believe anything else.

    May you live in interesting times--Chinese curse

    by oldcrow on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:01:22 PM PDT

  •  American Exceptionalism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, ChemBob

    That's the idea that America is never wrong, has a special destiny, nay is part of God's Plan for the world. America will always triumph - as long as Liberals and other America-haters are kept in their place.

    Conservatives espouse this all the time, and get angry at anyone who questions this implicit belief. When things go wrong for America, it always has to be due to human failings. Either we weren't being conservative enough, or Liberals deliberately sabotaged things.

    The party of 'personal responsibility' never takes any responsibility when they screw up.

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:04:22 PM PDT

  •  First sentence is quite wrong... (4+ / 0-)

    "nearly all of Greenland's entire ice sheet had melted into slush" Nope.

    What is happening is that the surface of the Greenland ice sheet is slushy. The ice sheet thickness averages about 2 kilometers (about 1 1/4 miles) and has a maximum thickness of about 3 kilometers thick. It is unusual for the surface of the ice sheet to be this slushy but the amount of melt is small relative to the the total size of the ice sheet.

    Sloppy and not close enough to being accurate for what is a (hopefully) reality-based audience  .

  •  Easy: They're not invested in America ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yawnimawke

    ... to the extent that they once were.

    It's becoming too divergent from their ideals, too many different voices and styles, too much diversity.

    This is not a society that works for conservatives on any level whatsoever.

    It doesn't look like Amurrica.
    It doesn't think like Amurrica.
    It picks leaders that aren't Amurrican.
    Its motives are Amurrican.
    Its answers to today's problems... not Amurrican.
    Its friends and advocates and sources of information... ditto.
    Its spirit, what gets it fired up to do great things.. ain't Amurrican.
    In other words, it's not their Amurrica, therefore it's not America.

  •  Slight correction perhaps? (3+ / 0-)

    My understanding was not that the entire ice sheet had turned into slush but that surface melt was in evidence over the entire surface of Greenland for the first time in recorded history. There is still a pretty huge, very deep, very solid mass of ice below that surface melt.

    The universe may have a meaning and a purpose, but it may just specifically not include you.

    by Anne Elk on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:18:48 PM PDT

  •  We allowed 250 elected officials to continue. (0+ / 0-)

    Yes, we all allowed those 250 elected Republicans to deny climate change, in unison.  We had no real sense of urgency, nor do we have any system in place to physically remove elected officials, once they are proven to knowingly make decisions based on  not what is best for the country, but what is best for those corporations that fund these same elected officials.  

    We are still in that same path of destruction, and in my opinion, it's too late to reverse the damage, and these same elected officials are not only still in office, but are still being paid to deny climate change, and promote "clean coal" and do anything but talk about what could be done to reverse climate change.  

    We are too timid to have done the right thing.  You know we should have been more forceful, and saved this planet.

    " With religion you can't get just a little pregnant"

    by EarTo44 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:20:08 PM PDT

  •  I would counter that it is NOT conservatism (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yawnimawke

    conservatism is a tool, like religion, used by the oligarchy to maintain their grip on "lesser" humans.  They know that to properly mitigate climate change, human society would have to radically shift from a world in which they are undisputed Parasites of the Universe to one in which they are essentially useless.

    NOW SHOWING
    Progressive Candidate Obama (now - Nov 6, 2012)
    Bipartisan Obama returns (Nov 7, 2012)

    by The Dead Man on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:35:14 PM PDT

  •  oh i firmly believe those yahoos are on a (0+ / 0-)

    suicidal mission of societal destruction. They want to destroy our system because 1. it no longer supports them above all and 2. because the bible tells them so. If they are not allowed to do what they want, the the hell with it. Destroy it and rebuild it after "we" (that's you and me) are all dead and buried. They do not think about the future of their kids because they will be "saved" and therefore  will be better off. It's like we are being dragged over the cliff by an out of control cult.  

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:36:28 PM PDT

  •  Big error (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    primeq, Andrew F Cockburn

    The truth: "...nearly the entire of the surface of Greenland's massive ice sheet had turned to slush..."

    The author wrote: "...that nearly all of Greenland's entire ice sheet had melted into slush..."

    Please fix the error, this has been pointed out by several commentators.

    Yikes, please be more careful. You know, we always get down on the Faux news people for their made up facts, get it together, people.

    You don't have to make up facts to make this an important issue.

    You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    by TX Dem 50 on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:38:57 PM PDT

  •  mind that hyperbole (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    primeq, Andrew F Cockburn

    Far be it from me to minimise the danger that's coming down the pipe, but your "melted into slush" remark is way off base. What happened was that 97% of the surface of the ice sheet was melting during that period. In some places, that's up to 3 kilometers thick.

    Now, that doesn't mean this was an insignificant observation. On the contrary, it's downright terrifying! But it's very important that one is careful about their choice of words when describing the disaster that's unfolding, lest one leave one's arguments in shambles at the hands of the fuckwits and greedheads who are always looking for just such an opening with which to spread their ignorance and disinformation.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:39:25 PM PDT

  •  The Republicans made a bet (0+ / 0-)

    that climate change wouldn't become undeniable before the 2012 elections.

    It's starting to look like a really bad bet.

    GOP: Bankers, billionaires, suckers, and dupes.

    by gzodik on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:40:35 PM PDT

  •  Given that everything the right-wing does... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yawnimawke

    ...tends to unravel society, I think we can assume they have no will at all to preserve it.

    Barack Obama: Gives people who tortured other people to death a pass, prosecutes whistleblowers. Change we can believe in!

    by expatjourno on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:43:02 PM PDT

  •  Further implications of this Social Darwinism (0+ / 0-)

    One of the cruel ironies is that an acute climate catastrophe falling short of extinction will leave your Conservative types 1 & 3 in a much better relative position than ourselves. (Nobody will be better off in absolute terms.) By virtue of their wealth, the 1%ers may be able to preserve access to food, shelter, & basic utilities when the rest of us are destitute. They'll retain enough mobility to move to the safest placest. "Survival of the fittest", they'll conclude smugly. As for Grp #3, the gun-toters, they'll be prepared to take what they need at gunpoint, and Grp #1 will hire them to protect their enclaves. Nature red in tooth and claw! The super religious won't fare so well by our standards, but they'll die believing in rewards beyond this life. For the rest of humankind, life may indeed be nasty, brutish and short. I hope this vision is too pessmistic. I fear it's not.

    "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

    by Blue Boomer on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:49:47 PM PDT

    •  Another comment on the "faithful" (0+ / 0-)

      Here's another reason it will be hard to detach the second group, the social conservatives, from the other two segments of that coalition. They'll come to view climate catastrophe as a further proof (and test) of their faith: God is causing climate change to punish the sins of abortion and homosexuality, as in Noah's flood. The true believers will be raptured away, while Hell on Earth is left for the rest of us.

      "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, it expects what never was and never will be." - Thomas Jefferson

      by Blue Boomer on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 04:57:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Eventually, they'll die too. (0+ / 0-)

      No matter how well they protect themselves, a complete meltdown of the ecosystem will kill them as well. Unless you want to count some sort of hermetically sealed moon base on earth. It's possible, but doesn't sound like a fun way to live.

      How many divisions does OWS have?

      by Diebold Hacker on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:32:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  It might help to stop (0+ / 0-)

    ever referring to "THE environment."  Let's only ever talk about "OUR environment," or "YOUR enviroment," as in: "Senator Inhofe, do you firmly believe that altering the atmosphere's chemical compositon poses zero threat to YOUR enviroment?" It's his, it's mine, it's ours - but it sure as hell ain't some neutral THE.  As any 9th grader will tell, the environment is what surrounds us, not some abstract somewhere-else idea.

    In answer to the powerful question your diary raised:  I don't know, but it does appear that people that put the Now ahead of the Future at any cost cannot possibly share our values.  Let's pray we're either wrong, or can somehow shout a loud enough wake-up call.  Excellent, provocative diary.

  •  I think progressives have tended to overthink (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Leslie in KY, cal2010

    the motivations and machinations behind Movement Conservatism in general and I'm glad that so many are moving away from that.

    It's a pretty simple phenomena and its good that more and more progressives are shedding the urge to try and autopsy the actions of the Right in a vain attempt to find some deeper meaning to their actions. There are a minority of greedy rich people who don't give a shit about anyone else, and there are millions of resentful people who aren't rich who have been conned into voting as if they are rich, and who resent others who are stuggling like themselves because they have been conned into thinking of them as parasites and not peers, those who drown in the hopes that they might magically find themselves rich someday themselves if they leave the rich and powerful alone to be rich and powerful. "But, what if I win the lottery someday?" magical thinking meeting racism and resentment like a toxic soup.

    To try and find even a crumb of something that would add some unseen but still wrong or misguided depth and convictions, is folly. It's a search for things that aren't truly there to find, something more to explain all the crazy that might have been missed without further deep exhaustive examination.

    Climate Change is about rich people who don't want to pay to deal with Climate Change anymore than they want to have their taxes raised to pay for the Social Safety Net running out the clock until the problem is not reversable in many human lifetimes. As they have done on top down class warfare issues, they are taking powerful advantage of the power of resentment. Finding useful idiots who hate other powerless people of a different color or race while also sincerely believing that their God would never, ever allow something as awful as Climate Change to happen to his most beloved followers.

    The irony of this belief is that the reddest of so-called Red States is where the pain and suffering is arriving first and fiercest. Like Oklahoma and Texas burning and their crops withering away before their eyes. The people most likely to denounce Barack Obama as a Kenyan Islamist Jihadist Socialist and decry Big Government are going to need leaders like Obama and the services of Big Government the most as things decline in their local worlds.

    I believe that it is entirely not just possible, but likely, that David Koch and his brother know that climate change is real, but they are advanced in age and know that they may only have about 20 years of life left, and then they will leave a fortune to their heirs that will innoculate them from the fallout of their actions as much as wealth can.

    The OverClass, the truly rich and powerful, are running out the clock on addressing climate change because that OverClass assumes that their wealth and privilege will shield them from the consequences. It's not that they don't believe that their will be great suffering, it's just that suffering is for little people. I think they believe that they can avoid the vast majority of the pain from climate change the same way they avoid the fallout from rampant poverty. You step over the homeless man as if he doesn't exist, and live in a gated community so you don't have to see such unpleasant things.

    Movement Conservatism is a national security threat to this nation. It's probably the only force that could destroy this country by causing it to crumble into anarchy from within. Sometimes all you need to do to get busy is to understand that something is profoundly dangerous as well as profoundly misguided and wrong, and just dedicate yourself to beating it for the greater good.

    Someday, it's going to be liberals who are going to have to bring food and shelter to the places where liberals are hated and despised the most. If the people who live in those places, duped and disadvantaged and disenfranchised alike, are still there to save.

    I don't think survival of society has ever been about will, you meet a liberal from Oklahoma, Utah, or Alabama and the meaning of will to go on dispite all odds and obstacles becomes as sharp as a scapel and clear as a perfect diamond. I think it's all about means. Sadly, some of the most malignant forces on this planet are those who also have the most means to accomplish their ambitions. Also sadly, there are those who are supposed to be a part of those helping the fight who are hurting it becuase they have been bought out or benefit from looking the other way.

    Everything the Movement Conservative Right has done, and everything the Koch Brothers crowd has done to make this world a more dangerous and capricious place, since the Goldwater blowout in 1964 has been absolutely and totally enabled by forces outside of Movement Conservatism that handicap those who are sincerely trying to counter the threat that the Right poses.  

    I am from the Elizabeth Warren and Darcy Burner wing of the Democratic Party

    by LeftHandedMan on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 05:06:54 PM PDT

  •  Yes, we're wrong (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cal2010

    Conservatives are willing to destroy the nation if they can destroy liberals along with it.  That's not an ideology.  That's just nihilism.  

    No reform will happen in this country until the so-called "conservative movement" — and its power to debase the public discourse — is politically destroyed.

    Shirley Chisholm was right. Our Republic is in deep trouble.

    by Big River Bandido on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:08:55 PM PDT

  •  It's Not All Slush (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn
    nearly all of Greenland's entire ice sheet had melted into slush

    No, the news was that nearly all Greenland's ice sheet's surface had melted into slush. That shocked (legitimate) scientists and sensible people, but it's not "the entire ice sheet". The sheet is miles thick in some places, and far thicker (feet to hundreds of yards) most everyplace - not the millimeters that actually melted (and mostly refroze within days).

    what will happen to New York City if all the ice in the Arctic dissolves into the deep blue sea

    That question is still the one that confronts us. I am CTO of a building energy management company in NYC that cuts energy consumption by an average 20%, to which I've dedicated my career (and made a number of sacrifices to do), so my life revolves around that question. The truth is bad enough; I don't exaggerate it.

    The Arctic ice floats on water, so its melt will not raise sealevels. It might dilute the Thermohaline Circulation that keeps Northern Europe temperate, plunging it into Arctic conditions, wrecking civilization as Europe's people flee the failed crops and inadequate infrastructure (into places like Africa where conflict is inevitable). The sealevel rise from all sources (like glaciers, Greenland and Antarctic ice) is over 80 meters; the West Antarctic would contribute over 8m and Greenland over 6.5m. You can see in this interactive flood map what different sealevels would do around the world.

    It's not all slush. Yet.

    "When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro." - HST

    by DocGonzo on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 06:59:06 PM PDT

  •  it's thawing, not slush, geezzzzz (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn

    80 % of success is showing up

    Corporate is not the solution to our problem

    Corporate is the problem

    by Churchill on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 09:13:03 PM PDT

  •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

    If conservatism would exist as we know it without religion. According to some strangely twisted version of their religion, straight men are superior to all because they just are. If conservatives didn't have that, would they still believe in the straight man's superiority?

    16, Progressive, Indian-American, Phillies Phan. Obama/Om/Chase Utley

    by vidanto on Sun Aug 05, 2012 at 09:14:34 PM PDT

  •  Very sobering questions and observations. n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  Nerd correction here (0+ / 0-)

    "questions about what will happen to New York City if all the ice in the Arctic dissolves into the deep blue sea"

    ANSWER:  Nothing.  When the artic floating ice cap melts, water level will be the same.  When Greenland and/or the Antartic melt, that's a different story entirely.

    The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking. A. A. Milne

    by Memory Corrupted on Mon Aug 06, 2012 at 10:35:35 AM PDT

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