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Matt Wuerker
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Originally posted to Comics on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 02:50 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  What do you MEAN we didn't save the planet (7+ / 0-)

    by eliminating our dependence on fossil fuels largely obtained by oppressive dictatorships?

    "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

    by raptavio on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:01:31 PM PDT

    •  Good one! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Everybody should keep in mind, when comparing 2 opposing points of view, especially when 1 side directly contradicts the other, who has motive to lie and who has a motive to tell the truth.  Huge corporations that stand to gain lots of money if it is generally believed that there is no man-made climate change, and if no significant infringements are applied on their behavior, can continue business as usual, plundering our resources and making lots of money off it: plenty of (self-serving, short-sighted) reasons to lie.  Scientists & educators are in the business of finding & spreading the truth.  They are generally well-educated, scientifically knowledgeable & are interested in the general welfare of mankind.  They look out for the long-term welfare of our citizens, especially our children: their motive is to tell the truth.  So when someone says that there are people who deny climate change, we should make sure to point this out.

      The overwhelming scientific consensus is that humans largely contribute to  climate change.  However, if you are faced with these 4 outcomes:
      1)    the scientific community is right & we take the necessary measures to alleviate climate change: it could be expensive in the short run, but we would safely overcome the challenges with minimal climate & environmental disruption, and the overall financial benefits compared to doing nothing are likely to be very positive in the long run.  The money we put up front will have been an excellent investment.
      2)    The scientific community is wrong but we take those measures, anyway: it would be expensive, but there’d be many other benefits we’d gain: much less pollution, we’d continue to have a diverse flora & fauna, we’d still have most of our resources, we’d be much healthier, we’d likely have a healthier employment situation, a less uneven wealth distribution, etc.  Again, an excellent investment.
      3)    The scientific community is wrong & we don’t take those measures: we’d save some money in the short run, but our resources would be greatly depleted & therefore much more expensive; disputes over water & other resources would likely get steadily more frequent & violent, we’d have pollution of all kinds, our oceans would be dying, there’d be catastrophic extinction of plants & animals (already we’re experiencing one of the greatest mass extinctions in the history of this Earth due mainly to human activities), our overall health would likely decline, etc.
      4)    The scientific community is right but we do nothing: then even more calamitous extinction; huge displacement of human populations; widespread conflict over our remaining resources, including water; widespread & uncontrollable disease; increasing crop failure; intolerable weather; gigantic destructive storms; possible extinction of the human species.

      So what is the best outcome?  Actually, it’s #2: scientists are wrong but we take preventive measures – the response coal companies & other climate deniers are telling us not to take!  We would’ve put some money upfront, but the side benefits would be well worth it & we wouldn’t’ve had to go through some of the worsening effects of climate change that we feared were impending.  #1 would be the 2nd best outcome, because although we go through some tough times weathering through some of the effects of climate change that appear sure to come no matter what we do, we will have survived & overcome our greatest world climate threat we’ve ever faced.  Even though it seems to be the industrialists’ dream, #3 comes out a poor 3rd, because although we wouldn’t face the climate challenges (beyond the normal cycles we’ve always faced), we’d still be a much worse place due to widespread pollution, resource depletion, wildlife extinction, etc., which would eventually take us down, anyway, even without being pushed on by climate change.  Of course, #4 would be the worst.  Conclusion: we must take the (now urgent & dramatic) measures necessary to combat climate change & environmental degradation, whether 97%+ of the scientists are correct, or certain powerful, superwealthy fossil fuel & chemical industries such as Koch, Exxon, Monsanto & Dow are correct.  No matter which side is right, taking these measures is clearly the prudent course to take.  The longer we wait, the more expensive it will be and the more we will suffer.

      Even if these outcomes were considered to have equal possibility (they’re not: the probabilities overwhelmingly favor #1 or #4, depending on our action or inaction), and even if you didn’t care about maintaining animal & plant diversity, a pleasant environment, clean air, clean water, your own personal health & longevity to say nothing about other people’s (because if you were this way, you wouldn’t care about other people), but only about getting rich, any reasonable businessman, in order to insure himself from the worst consequences, which would be so dire that the differences among the other outcomes become trivial, would choose to take appropriate measures to tackle this climate change challenge.

    •  And distributed to greedy corporations to be sold (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to ignorant consumers who really, truly, honestly believe those corporations have their best interests at heart.

      "Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives." - John Stuart Mill, 1806 - 1873

      by Terry S on Sat Jun 07, 2014 at 08:47:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cheers for the little capitalist. He thinks like (7+ / 0-)


    I told my wife yesterday that there's no need to clean the toilet. It'll only get dirty again.

    "The soil under the grass is dreaming of a young forest, and under the pavement the soil is dreaming of grass."--Wendell Berry

    by Wildthumb on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:07:08 PM PDT

  •  That's always pissed me the hell off (16+ / 0-)

    Everyone knows coal is dirty and lethal and that's BEFORE you start talking about climate change. London's "Black Fogs" where it killed people, China's particulate counts so high they pulled a Republican stunt to simply not report them. Coal ash that chokes rivers and lakes. Coal Kills.

    Why aren't we trying to get off of it as fast as possible with or without climate change as the motivating factor?

    GOP 2014 strategy -- Hire clowns, elephants, and a ringmaster and say "a media circus" has emerged and blame Democrats for lack of progress. Have pundits agree that "both sides are to blame" and hope the public will stay home on election day.

    by ontheleftcoast on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:13:21 PM PDT

  •  I knew coal up close and personal... (9+ / 0-) grandparents owned an apartment building on Chicago's Southwest Side. I grew up there. And at 8 years old, I got to help my father and grandfather feed the old Iron Fireman stoker with coal. My elementary school had coal-fired boilers, delivered to the outbuilding where the boilers were, into an underground bunker through large scuttles, while we were at play during recess.

    My grandparents replaced that old coal-fired boiler in 1968 with a gas-fired one, since their supplier was going out of business. Coal yards began to disappear around the City, until the only users were factories and powerplants. Now, even they are gone, or converted.

    We'll always need coal for steelmaking and as an industrial feedstock, but not at the rate where we must destroy mountains to get it (which doesn't provide much work for regular miners). We need to find new jobs for those who  mine coal who haven't succumbed to black lung and other ailments that stem from mining. That's the real "war" on coal.

    Float like a manhole cover, sting like a sash weight! Clean Coal Is A Clinker!

    by JeffW on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 03:26:11 PM PDT

  •  The pathetic irony of the "1% Doctrine" (7+ / 0-)

    Need I remind anyone that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, and the rest of the fake-masculine republican chickenhawk codpieces actually put forth an argument called the "1% Doctrine"

    For those who still vomit and smash their heads with a polo mallet at any reminder of the Bush years, the 1% doctrine stated the following:

    If there is even a 1% chance that Saddam Hussein has WMDs, then we must act.

    This bullshit is, apparently, totally and completely ignored/forgotten when the same group of faux-warrior insecure sexually frustrated assclowns comes face to face with an actual threat.  Climate change.

    Call it the "1% > 95% doctrine."  Or, as I like to call it, the STFU Republican Frauds and Go To Your Room You Arrested Development Pathetic Immature Raging Manchildren Still Working Out Your Daddy Issues and the Fact You Didn't Get Laid in Highschool" doctrine.

  •  Damn, I washed the car today and it rained (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hnichols, Josiah Bartlett

    but it won't be so dirty tomorrow.

  •  That is HI-larious--What if we clean up the planet (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JeffW, hbk, Josiah Bartlett

    for nuthin!

    OMFG! What if we lowered cancer rates in the human population?

    What if we lowered Asthma rates?

    What if we stopped tormenting women with reproductive problems due to abuse of endocrine disrupting chemicals?

    What if we alleviated some ADHD and Austism Spectrum developments, because we removed Neurotoxins that find their way into the very womb itself?

    What we alleviated new cases of TYPE II Diabetes and Parkinsons because we removed the environmental toxins responsible?

    What if we reduced Lung ailments because we also reduced particulate matter?

    But fuck you little guys! It's all for nothing. If we don't wait til the last minute to pull ourselves from the brink of self inflicted destruction (that we blame on Jeebus) then it's all for nothing.

    What a bunch of greedy fucking morons!

    Excellent Piece! More Please!

    "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

    by GreenMother on Thu Jun 05, 2014 at 04:10:13 PM PDT

  •  Absolutely agree with this point (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Josiah Bartlett, Joffan

    I have actually used this point (what is the harm of cleaning up the planet regardless of climate change), and I have had one guy who was my age (mid-50s) argue:

    "I won't be around, so why should I care."

    It is difficult to argue with that type of apathy and selfishness, though it does say a lot about our social behavior when "winning" and "greed" become measures of success in our society.

  •  energy productivity helps the economy (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    thanatokephaloides, AR2

    Republicans often tout the importance of labor productivity; more output/worker and no featherbedding allowed. The need to make the economy more efficient is their explanation for crushing unions and opposing minimum wages. But to a Republican energy productivity - more output/unit of energy - is a threat to the economy. The coal industry pays them to think that way, but it's time that the hypocrisy of their position is challenged. Using less coal will not hurt the economy. It will help it. The filthy side effects of coal have economic costs that serve as a drag on the economy.

    Cities are good for the environment

    by citydem on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 03:28:30 AM PDT

  •  They are wrong (0+ / 0-)

    "Their" climate science IS off. There is not a scientific consensus that climate change is primarily human drive.

    HOWEVER (I wonder how many will skip reading this part and go directly to pissed off) - it is in our best interests to clean up because at our current rate, we will poison ourselves into extinction long before we do any lasting damage to the planet.


    •  You are wrong on one count and correct on another. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Last I checked 98% is a consensus and that is the percentage of environmental SCIENTISTS who are in consensus that climate change is occuring and it is occuring at a far greater pace than nature would account for. They are in consensus that HUMAN activity, namely burning of coal, oil, and even natural gas have increased the pace exponentially. The remaining 2% work for the energy companies and are paid to offer a different opinion.
      Now I am sure 98% of Fox's talking nincompoops are in consensus that it is not due to human activity, but sadly those two figures do not counteract the truth. Humans have caused the degradation of our atmosphere. The Earth WILL survive, but there is a chance humans will not.

      I do agree that it is in our best interest to clean up OUR pollution now.

      •  "Now I am sure 98% of Fox's talking nincompoops (0+ / 0-)

        are in consensus that it is not due to human activity"

        Oh, if only you were right- They have it on (Most) High Authority that human activity IS behind climate change-

        Yes friends our planet is going to Hell, for abortions.

  •  Crimes Against Humanity (4+ / 0-)

    I'm from coal fields of Western Pennsylvania and come from people who worked in the coal mines. Back in the 1950s I grew up along side of a river that was beautiful, but it was orange. All of the creeks were orange. There was no life in the water. I thought this was how it had to be.  Later, things got better and I was glad to see the water slowly begin to recover.

    Now I'm in my 60s and I now know that there are people like Ohio's Bob Murray and West Virginia's Don Blankenship who are made huge profits off of coal and they want to stop any clean up process, not because it is to expensive, but because they do not want to.

    This is not good business.
    This is not the price of progress.
    This criminal activity.
    Crimes against humanity.

    Time to put the bullys in jail.

  •  You're missing the big picture. If the super ri... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You're missing the big picture. If the super rich can't be rich enough they'll want to just stop being rich and we won't have any rich people left! Then what?

  •  Cartoon: If you're not confused, you're just not t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:



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