Skip to main content

George Carlin once said, "the planet is fine, the people are f***ed." Well, it's the people I'm worried about. Long after people are gone, the planet will find its equilibrium once again, and all of the world's critters we did not succeed in driving to extinction will work it all out. But is that what we want?

I could tell you again about how the climate crisis is impacting the world's 'Have Nots' in the global south. The people who didn't cause the climate crisis but who are suffering from it first. Because that's what I find most compelling when I think of the reasons why we need to take big steps now to save the climate. But I think you know that already, so I want to talk about something else.

Here's how I see it. Those of us who believe in something called "science" have known for a long time that we are headed straight toward a catastrophic climate change that will end life as we know it unless we do something big to stop it. And... then there's people like Sen. James Inhofe who think the climate crisis is some big hoax, there's people who think the climate is changing but it's due to sunspots or something, and there's people who don't know what to believe.

As you likely know, a major reason why so many Americans don't believe in the climate crisis is because there's been a well-funded opposition that has tried to sow doubt. "Let's wait til the facts are all in." Why should we inconvenience everyone and have them do terrible things like using public transportation if we aren't 100% SURE that we really, really need to? See - here's a scientist that the oil industry funded who says that the climate crisis isn't real! The scientists don't all agree on it.

Given that, we've had two major game changers this summer.

1. Richard Mullen, a Koch funded climate skeptic, came out saying that he is now convinced that the planet is warming and humans are to blame. (So do we need to keep waiting for all of the facts to come in? I think it's safe to say the facts are in if the guy funded by the Koch brothers is now on board.)

2. NOAA just came out and said, yup, recent extreme weather IS due to climate change.

We're going through the worst drought since 1956 and it's wrecked an estimated one-sixth of our corn crop. Which is no small deal since we produce 40% of the world's corn and we're the #1 corn exporter. Oh, and soybeans are screwed too. But buckle up, this is just the beginning.

What I am interested in is: has any of this convinced Americans that the climate crisis is real and it's a problem and we should do something about it NOW? Well, we're nothing like our neighbors to the north - only two percent of Canadians don't believe climate change is real. But it doesn't appear that polls have been taken since mid to late July, when a lot of this really came to a head.

A poll taken in late June makes it clear that for Americans to get serious about the climate, Al Gore needs to make another movie. Still,

Nearly three-quarters say the Earth is warming, and just as many say they believe that temperatures will continue to rise if nothing is done, according to the poll...

Seventy-eight percent of those polled say global warming will be a serious problem if left alone, with 55 percent saying the U.S. government should do “a great deal” or “quite a bit” about it. Sixty-one percent say the same of American businesses. Just 18 percent say the government is doing enough to solve the problem; 13 percent say businesses are taking sufficient action.

Just a caveat here: the latter poll questions ask "assuming global warming was happening" to the people who don't believe in it. So, assuming everyone believed that the climate crisis was real, they would want the government to do something about it. As for the 73% who think the Earth is warming, well.. when asked why temperatures were going up, 30% attributed it to "things people do," 22% said it was due to "natural causes," and 47% said "both equally." Translation: It would not be correct to say that 73% of  Americans believe in man-made climate change.

A Gallup poll from March - before this hot, dry summer - found that 52% of Americans think that the climate crisis is already happening, and 29% think it will happen in the future. Only 15% think it won't happen. Most - 53% - think it's caused by human activities, but 41% think it's due to natural causes. We are not yet a nation convinced in a man-made climate crisis.

But on top of that, we live in a country where a majority of people taking a position doesn't mean that the government will actually do jack squat about it. But, we also happen to have an election coming up. So what will the main election issues be? Paul Ryan's impressive workout routine? Will the climate even get a mention?

I don't know what it will take to get the climate on the table in this election, but I do know that after people started camping out in a square in New York, the term "one percenter" became part of our lexicon. It took something new and drastic, and it worked. OK, so it didn't give us the Buffett rule or the reinstatement of Glass-Steagall or anything like that, but it really shifted the national dialogue in a big way. It got an awful lot of people to move their money into credit unions and community banks. And we need to do something like that with the climate.

350.org is asking folks to sign a petition to get Romney talking about the climate. I'd like to know: Are they also delivering a similar petition to Obama, who also isn't talking about the climate? And what are they doing in addition to delivering their petition? Because it would take something new and drastic on the order of Occupy Wall Street to really get the ball rolling.

Originally posted to Jill Richardson on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:32 PM PDT.

Also republished by J Town and Climate Change SOS.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  Richard Muller - not a game changer (9+ / 0-)

    He is using his "conversion" to spew more "let's don't do anything" narratives.

    Polls do show U.S. understanding/concern re climate change is about where it was four-five years ago, after Inconvenient Truth.

    We badly need leadership. People take their cues from leaders.

    An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

    by mightymouse on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:39:34 PM PDT

    •  thanks (14+ / 0-)

      good points. But when the "leaders" aren't doing anything, that's when we need to do something on the order of Occupy. When my own dad starts talking about the growing gap in wealth between the 1% and the 99%, that means a real change has taken place. Occupy did that. So how can we do that for the climate?

      •  Jill - I think awareness is an important start (8+ / 0-)

        But at the moment the majority of Americans want green and cheaper energy. If forced to choose between greener or cheaper they will choose cheaper. We have a long way to go to convince the majority of Americans to be willing to pay more for cleaner energy.

        "let's talk about that"

        by VClib on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:45:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  And it isn't so much that they're selfish (7+ / 0-)

          Like me so many are just plain out of bucks.

          "Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul is unawakened." Anatole France

          by Pam LaPier on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:52:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  true dat (7+ / 0-)

            perhaps conservation is the way to start? Using the same cheap energy source, but less of it. My dad bought a Prius bc he just wanted to save gas money. Amazing what home insulation, passive solar, and efficient appliances can do. We also hang our laundry out to dry instead of using the dryer and we keep the microwave unplugged unless we're using it. It's easy enough, and it saves money.

            But what about stuff like this - there's a deal where I live for anyone who owns their home and spends $100+ on electricity each month. The power company will put solar panels on your roof and hook them up to the grid. In return, your electric bill is frozen and will not go up for a very long, long time. Green AND cheap.

            •  I take it to as much of an extreme as possible (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              VClib, Mary Mike, Cook for Good

              I walk everywhere and when I bought a house I bought one near the supermarket so me and my cart can walk there once a week. I won't ever own a car. I did buy a washer/dryer but purchased as energy efficient as I could afford. My goal is to have the smallest carbon footprint I possibly can. I may not be able to provide a solution but at least I can try not to be a big part of the problem.

              "Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul is unawakened." Anatole France

              by Pam LaPier on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:08:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  We can do it. We made HUGE strides in the 80s (8+ / 0-)

          and 90s. Everyone started recycling and buying greener products. We had real electric cars, not hybrids. Then the anti-global warming propaganda started and everything changed.

          The Bush presidency took this country back decades.

          AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

          by voracious on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:01:22 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  it does require a certain amt (5+ / 0-)

            of govt involvement, although maybe a good portion can come from state and local instead of federal, which is broken at the moment. A city can put in public trans and bike trails, for example. Or set up a composting program. Or engage in planning and zoning in a way that encourages green behaviors. My own conservative and usually pretty environmentally backwards city just passed an incredible urban ag law that puts it on par with Seattle, believe it or not. It used a grant for healthy families in order to do it.

            •  I find it apalling that our government tried to (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              mightymouse, Jill Richardson, BYw

              start by using more energy efficient light bulbs and the Republicans joyfully eliminated that program. Our government should be setting the example and funding the development, not taking joy in polluting.

              AND WHY ARE WE STILL TALKING ABOUT HEALTH CARE IN 2011? -- Susan from 29

              by voracious on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:11:52 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  Generating Your Own Rooftop Solar is Cheaper Than (4+ / 0-)

          buying power company electricity. However it has a finance hurdle.

          It wouldn't take huge government spending nor even require a grid upgrade to roll out a serious rooftop solar program as Germany did. Even if we didn't enable power sales back to the grid, the savings would enable a major fraction of home owners to adopt it.

          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 Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:47:07 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  It's hard to know what to do (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        NoMoreLies, Jill Richardson

        The bad guys have a lot of high cards. A lot of money has corrupted media and politicians.

        Best is to protest stuff like pipelines & coal sales vigorously as possible and also hammer our pols (including big Dems) whose performance is underwhelming.

        and work locally for alt energy, and so on.

        I don't have any magic solutions, though ....

        I would focus on the weather, threat to food, flooding, drought, etc., rather than Richard Muller. He is a useless (expletive deleted).

        An ambulance can only go so fast - Neil Young

        by mightymouse on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:07:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The most revolutionary thing anyone who owns (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jill Richardson, BYw, Calamity Jean

        a patch of lawn can do is get serious about producing a significant portion of one's own food.  It would totally destroy Big Agriculture and will prepare us for the times when Big Ag self-destructs due to its total dependence on cheap oil.  Never forget - there's only a three-day food supply on the local shelves.  Whatever else is delivered will come at prohibitive cost.  The convergence of "Black Swan" events will drive millions of hungry people to the streets.

        I'm no great admirer of Mormonism, but one thing they seem to understand (as do the Amish) is the fragile and transient nature of the availability of basic necessities.  Sooner or later, shit happens.  So they are expected, I've been told, to always maintain a one-year supply of food in each household.

        Just think of the social pressure that would be relieved if our lawns produced food!

        One of the main reasons Russia was able to rebound from the collapse of the USSR is that very serious gardening was ubiquitous throughout the empire because the Soviet food system was so consistently inadequate.

        If I knew how to embed a poll in a comment, I'd ask how many cossacks have lawns and how many garden, and to what extent?

        •  small food garden here, will be bigger this fall (0+ / 0-)

          I have a small food garden and am planning to have a much larger one starting this fall. I do have several fruit trees and blueberry bushes.

          The other essential, radical thing is to at least reduce the amount of meat you eat. Bill McKibben scared me vegan when he was in Raleigh last December. My friends at Coon Rock Farm raise animals as part of their organic vegetable-growing cycle. But say no to CAFOs.

          Get a free recipe and food news every week in my Cook for Good newsletter. Vote with your fork!

          by Cook for Good on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 02:51:16 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  When the public demands leaders who get it (0+ / 0-)

        then things will change. When not at least sounding like they get it gets them voted out... then things will change. When Corporations and enough religious leaders get it and speak out and support changes. Eventually it will hit home. But are we waiting for our leaders to tell us what to do and what to believe?

        it is a chicken and egg thing... we wait for our leaders to do something... they put things off or actively push lies until they can't any longer... and since we as a nation rely on information from compromised sources... voters will not feel strongly until it gets blindingly obvious that Human influenced/caused Global Climate change is happening and that something has to be done.

        The awareness thing can be pushed. But like so much else the time being right is a variable thing. It has been right for a long time... but the impediments were also too great... pushback on Gore and others reversed the trend in public awareness and led to the deniers dominating... but that is only a temporary but very damaging delay. When bipartisan sane and brave legislators can join forces to start the return to sanity it will be because the "climate" is right for it. Late in the day but hopefully to still head off  the worst of it. And I hope the leaders of the denial, obstruction and delay are outed and named and shamed with their place in history as enemies of humanity and the world chiseled in permanent granite...

        Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

        by IreGyre on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 06:29:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  On the other hand ... (10+ / 0-)

      we can leverage Muller.

      He was skeptical about human causes and now has caught up to 1990s science.

      When it comes to need for action, he remains easily 20 years behind the game. We can't afford to wait for him to catch up to 2012 reality as to the necessity and potential for climate mitigation come 2032.

      NOTE:  Organizing a blogathon like this is a lot of work.  There isn't in place (yet) a great path for embedding in all the other diaries.

      The first one, today, was mine which speaks directly to how to assess the value streams from mitigation investments:  Could better analysis save humanity?

      Blogging regularly at Get Energy Smart NOW! for a sustainable energy future.

      by A Siegel on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:51:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Muller pushes fracking. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mightymouse

      Muller seems to represent a fall-back positons for the fossil fuel industry. "OK, the climate is changing, and humans are the cause, but fracking is the solution." That's a "remedy" that doesn't solve the problem and creates new environmental risks, but keeps energy generation in the hands of the bad guys.

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

      by Blue Boomer on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 04:12:04 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  How about (15+ / 0-)

    Occupy Earth since we already do and we'd like to continue.

    "Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul is unawakened." Anatole France

    by Pam LaPier on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:40:54 PM PDT

  •  Only in America are there so many deniers (14+ / 0-)

    http://www.gallup.com/...

    People nearly everywhere, including majorities in developed Asia and Latin America, are more likely to attribute global warming to human activities rather than natural causes. The U.S. is the exception, with nearly half (47%) -- and the largest percentage in the world -- attributing global warming to natural causes.

    Americans are also among the least likely to link global warming to human causes, setting them apart from the rest of the developed world. Americans' attitudes in 2010 mark a sharp departure from 2007 and 2008, when they were more likely to blame human causes.

    Until American (Koch bros, fossil fuel industry, religious right, etc.) deniers are put in their place we are doomed.

    Great to see you around Jill.

    Daily Kos an oasis of truth. Truth that leads to action.

    by Shockwave on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:46:25 PM PDT

  •  A petition to get Romney to (3+ / 0-)

    talk more about global warming? "Mr. Romney, we hereby demand that you talk about global warming", something like that? Honestly, something must be done, as I agree that this situation is critical. But IMO submitting petitions to Republicans is basically doing nothing. Certainly it is nothing if the standard is based on what is accomplished through an action.

    •  I think someone should start following him (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fly, citisven, bluesheep

      around in a polar bear costume, constantly asking him about the climate between now and Nov 6. And something similar for Obama although that requires more thought bc it's hard to get him flustered. And have someone filming it too - in addition to the natl media.

      Mike Stark, got any plans between now and Nov? Feel like dressing up like a polar bear?

      •  That's a great idea (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jill Richardson

        I think it would be more effective in drawing attention to the issue and his position than an online petition.

        Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out. - Vaclav Havel

        by citisven on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:22:03 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  really good questions (3+ / 0-)

    I think that the problem is not only deniers, but with most of the rest of us who know and believe that climate change is happening and support nice-sounding things like "clean energy" but who are ultimately not willing to make any major changes in our comfortable lives. I know that the only way we can sell a shift to clean energy is by saying it'll produce economic growth and won't inconvenience us, but I think that's not very realistic. In Germany, for example, where the government is going for 100% renewables by 2050, most folks are talking about the wonders of technology but not so much about the fact that this new electrical grid may require people to not do laundry during certain peak hours. As soon as any kind of sacrifice is being asked, it's like political death, and that's not just among climate deniers.

    All the luxuries and overconsumption we enjoy and take for granted is in many ways what created and maintains the rift between rich and poor countries. So I think more than getting deniers to believe in climate change it's getting the rest of us to make some concessions on not using more than our fair global share is perhaps an even more important cause to pursue.

    Great diary, Jill, thanks so much!

    Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out. - Vaclav Havel

    by citisven on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 02:57:46 PM PDT

    •  wow, great conversation (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      citisven

      and you're right. And yeah, hanging my laundry on the line IS a bit of a pain in the ass. And it makes you think twice about doing laundry during a rain storm or at night. Although we do use the dryer in emergencies, like if I'm packing for a trip and can't wait. So yeah, there is an element of convenience.

      On the other hand, if we MAKE IT convenient, then it isn't a sacrifice. Like adding in a really great public trans route, or bike trails. People enjoy that stuff. Especially when the public trans option alleviates the issue of parking or traffic and allows you to get drunk and then go home safely after the bars close. Personally, I can't wait for the high speed rail from LA to SF. Imagine, quick transit to SF without having to take my shoes off and get felt up first! And once I'm in SF I won't need a car bc of the BART. THAT is convenient AND green.

      •  yeah, but it's also about values (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bluesheep, Jill Richardson

        you know we've created this mindset in which quickness and convenience is often the only thing that gets measured when assessing the value of something.

        But take some of these examples. Laundry: what about the benefit of getting outside, breathing fresh air, stretching your muscles, and perhaps striking up a conversation with the neighbor? What about the smell of fresh air on your sheets? The money you save by not using the dryer? Yes, it may take a bit longer, but there are other benefits that are often treated as non-existent when we talk about slowing the pace and reducing consumption. Ditto with riding a bike or taking the train. Sometimes when you slow down, life becomes more focused, more immediate, more real. It's a value that is perhaps difficult to measure in dollars and cents, but any place I've been to where people hang their laundry and ride their bikes has not struck me as more miserable than the ultra convenience of the American lifestyle. In fact, if happiness were measurable, I'd say that a lot of people in those places strike me as more content than the always rushing around, everything at the push of a button, American way of life.

        And I think that's the way we need to talk about this transition, that it's going to add so much to our lives, things we've forgotten to even consider but that everyone ultimately is still yearning for: meaning and connection

        Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense regardless of how it turns out. - Vaclav Havel

        by citisven on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:19:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I totally agree, BUT (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jill Richardson

    what I miss even more than politicians talking about the climate is a conversation about livestock.

    Here in Germany I have (green) colleagues who take personal consumption of energy very seriously - but wouldn't dream of giving up (or at least cutting down) eating animal products and look at me funny for suggesting it.

    We consume a fair amount of (organic) dairy in our household, as well as meat once a week. Since I have teenage boys it seems like it's enough to feed an army. They think it's funny that farting (in this case the cow) is a serious environmental reason why we should cut back. But they understand. I haven't gotten into the details yet of the environmental impacts of keeping livestock on the scale that humans do. We'll go there someday, but for now we're the only people I know here who are even aware that livestock is climate-relevant. They take the bus, turn off the lights, keep the heat low and insulate their houses. But nobody's talking about the food chain and how it's choking our planet.

    Maybe just maybe our foremothers and our forefathers came to this land in different ships. But we're all in the same boat now. - John Lewis

    by bluesheep on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:20:10 PM PDT

    •  I'm talking about the food chain ... (0+ / 0-)

      ... and am pleased to see I've done it enough that even here in North Carolina, aka pork bbq central, our county Democrats will have this at their big fundraiser picnic:

      Fresh pork barbeque, chicken, corn on the cob, baked beans, and slaw are on the menu! We will have wine from Niche lounge and fresh homemade lemonade and tea. Vegetarian food options will also be available.
      It doesn't say vegan, but I was able to get a nice vegan dinner at a Young Democrats meeting last week. We need to ask for it so the option will start being presented. Someday maybe it will be the default.

      Get a free recipe and food news every week in my Cook for Good newsletter. Vote with your fork!

      by Cook for Good on Tue Aug 21, 2012 at 03:01:37 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  The Goal of Establishing a Democratic Form of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mightymouse

    government south of Canada is a noble one, and one that I'll devote the rest of my active life on, but it's no path to addressing climate change appropriately.

    This has to be taken personally, probably by a small group of scientists, to top global ownership, those who aren't permanently dependent on dirty energy. They're the only force that can give our form of government power to act on the scale needed.

    It could be 20 years, it could be mid century or later before democracy will be able to even start on this.

    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 Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:42:33 PM PDT

  •  ZZZZZZZZZZ (0+ / 0-)

    No, I'm afraid most 'Mercans are asleep, and most of those who rouse themselves momentarily hear something they don't want to hear (like increased gas taxes) and rejoin the Big Sleep.

    The solutions are obvious.  They're not going to kill the economy.  Al Gore has a friend who said "you have the sign wrong", because implementing the obvious solutions will be an economic boom.  The problem is that a few benefit from the Way Things Are Now and can afford to spend a lot of money to keep Things the Way They Are Now.

    Those obvious solutions?

    1.  Stop subsidizing fossil fuels, especially gasoline.  Every tax dollar spent on Permanent War in the Middle East is subsidizing gasoline.  If people want to pay for war, that's fine, but it should an extra $5 tacked onto each gallon of gasoline rather than requiring everyone to pay for it.

    2.  OK, with that $5 a gallon war fee, suddenly public transportation becomes a Really Good Idea.  There are 100Ks of jobs building that public transportation and operating those vehicles.  Unemployment is suddenly solved.  GOP will of course be against it.

    3.  A big advantage of public transportation is that it's not door-to-door service.  You actually have to walk to it.  Good, 'Mercans could use more exercise.  There's a reason that New Yorkers are in better shape than 'Mercans who drive everywhere.  The result -- health care costs go down.  That helps everybody, except for-profit health services that make money on an unhealthy USA.

    4.  'Mercans use energy wastefully because it's cheap.  You make it more expensive, and it becomes worth doing easy things to conserve.  It becomes worthwhile to put solar panels on your roof to run your air conditioner on hot, sunny days.  Not a lot of rocket science there.

    5.  But don't some people have to drive long distances, e.g., farmers who live out in the boonies?  Well, yes they do but they are also in a position to grow their own bio-fuel instead of buying petroleum from the oil companies.  After all, this is what Rudolf Diesel (inventor of the Diesel engine) was advocating before he disappeared mysteriously when crossing the English Channel.

    Better to hide your tax returns and be thought a crook than to release them and remove all doubt. [Adapted from Abraham Lincoln]

    by Caelian on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 03:52:30 PM PDT

  •  Arctic sea ice now at record low (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    maryabein

    In the past couple of days, some of the scientific organizations that track the amount of Actic sea ice have recorded record lows. Since the ice is still melting, it is likely that all of the organizations will notice the record lows in the next couple of weeks. One of the most respected, Cryosphere Today, just came out today with its record low.

    The main problem is that the 1%-ers don't see a need for Arctic sea ice. It interferes with shipping and oil extraction.


    i just baptized andrew breitbart into the church of islam, planned parenthood, the girl scouts and three teachers unions. - @blainecapatch

    by bobinson on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 04:00:17 PM PDT

  •  OWS was mostly people worried about (0+ / 0-)

    their jobs, mortgages and student loans. Things that impact their everyday life. Climate change is unlikely to cause a reaction like this. And even OWS is largely gone now.

  •  We are losing this war (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    yet another liberal, mightymouse

    we have just crossed the minimum sea ice extent (in the Arctic) since satellites started monitoring the Arctic in 1979.  The various countries are licking their chops to gain access to the oil and minerals buried in the Arctic circle, and a new "gold" rush is on!  Meanwhile efforts by the various countries of the world are scattered and ineffectual, with finger pointing and excuses.  

  •  I spent the last week at a coal protest in Helena (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Jill Richardson, mightymouse

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

    by Lefty Coaster on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 04:28:57 PM PDT

  •  Sustainable Built Environments = Better Health (0+ / 0-)
    Here's To Your Health!
    Design teams are capitalizing on evidence that links the built environment and wellness to make better places for living, healing, and working.

    July 2012 - Green infrastructure serving walkable, mixed-use communiities; benign construction materials; durable, day-lit buildings; renewable energy. These are ingrediencts in a familiar prescription for a more sustainable built environment. What the design community now realizes is that it's also a prescription for better public health.

    The leading killers of our time are chronic ailments: heart disease, strokes, cancers, and diabetes. They share common risk factors: obesity, physical inactivity, poor diet, and smoking. New collaborations between the health and place-making professions are confirming that most of these conditions, as well as others, respond to a common factor: the built environment.

    The impact of design on public health is becoming more widely appreciated–and some observers believe this recognition is long overdue. "Before we prescribe a medicine, it has to be proved safe and efficacious–but if we prescribe a place design, no evidence is required," says Howard Frumkin, dean of the University of Washington's School of Public Health. The result, he says, is "a slow-moving catastrophe."  read more>>>

    Vets On FLOTUS and SLOTUS, "Best - Ever": "We haven't had this kind of visibility from the White House—ever." Joyce Raezer - Dec. 30, 2011

    by jimstaro on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 04:36:22 PM PDT

  •  Thanks for the diary. (0+ / 0-)

    If you're wondering how the story I'm about to tell, relates to the topic of your diary, bear with me; I'll explain that.

    I am about 3/4 of the way through a re-read of Susan Faludi's 1980s feminist classic, "Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women." Around this venue, we assume that market forces ultimately define the "highest good" in the neoconservative worldview. This is true, we think, whatever the veneer of Family Values the peddlers of the RW use to make their ideology palatable to the masses. Faludi, on the other hand, uses many examples to show that, often, it's not actually market forces, but entrenched prejudice, that defines the perceived self-interest of the marketers. In the 80s, the clothiers didn't keep selling the suits to women that sold best for work attire; they switched to less-practical, sexier "work clothes" that didn't sell as well. Because the clothing moguls basically hated feminism and wanted it to go away, they didn't listen to the real needs of real women. They didn't sell, based on the actual needs, and they didn't make maximum profits for this reason.

    So it may be with the climate change. The profit motive among moguls of any kind, and entrenched prejudice among them, are sometimes two entirely different things. The oligarchs are sometimes aware of social prejudice, and manipulate it cynically, to further their ends. In other cases, perhaps they aren't aware of their own biases, and don't perceive the market accurately for this reason.

    The climate-change skeptics, then, might be motivated as much or more by personal prejudice, as by concern about maximizing profits. They are just in a position to do more  harm than the average voter.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Mon Aug 20, 2012 at 05:23:36 PM PDT

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site