Thursday, February 16, 2012

What are we going to say about Climate Change in a couple of decades?

 

We are at an incredible time in our history where it is impolitic to talk about the most important issue of our century. Even when our representatives bring out bills to upgrade our water infrastructure and increase the effectiveness of our emergency response systems, they do not mention Climate Change. This is absurd because both these issues are a part any NYS climate action plan, which attempt to ready our state for extreme weather events coming up.

Rampant are public discussions about our future and plans to meet that future by both political parties in this country and little talk about a process where our atmosphere is warming up. It’s like planning a wedding for your daughter, when you don’t even have one.

Only a few of our leaders are will to stand up and speak to the American people about the matter at hand:

“"Global warming is real and to a very significant degree global warming is man made," Sen. Bernie Sanders said Wednesday at the outset of a special, one-hour Senate floor session. He was joined by Sens. Sheldon Whitehouse, Tom Udall and Al Franken in the effort to draw greater public awareness to the problem and to the international scientific consensus on what is causing the climate to change. They also discussed the potential for creating well-paying jobs in the process of transforming our energy system to rely on renewable and sustainable sources of energy, such as wind and solar power.”Global Warming is Real - Newsroom: Bernie Sanders - U.S. Senator for Vermont

Strangely, it seems normal in these extraordinary times to see sports scores dominating our media front pages while a scientific issue like Climate Change languishes in the back pages, if at all. In a few decades when extreme weather—warm winters, flooding, droughts, and heat waves—dominate our news and everyone is frantically looking for ways to adapt to Climate Change, we’re going to look back at the present media and wonder what was going on. What were we thinking of?

I suspect it will be something akin to reading about 1850’s American history about the attitude towards slavery. We look back now at that tumultuous time, just before the Civil War, where even the Supreme Court was making some really crazy rulings about who was free and who wasn’t. And we wonder how anyone could really believe that one race was superior over another. It was more likely that so many held so much nonsense in their heads about economics and human nature because it was so profitable and convenient to do so—despite the fact that it had to end in a war to right a such a great wrong.

Hopefully, our generation will come to our collective senses before we ‘get it’ on Climate Change. The physics of Climate Change has about as much to do with politics as slaver does, which is to say sadly all too much. All men and woman are created equal in the eyes of the law and greenhouse gases in our atmosphere warm it up. Pretty simple actually.

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