We’re doomed

Why is neither presidential campaign saying anything* about climate change? I know Romney’s party is in thrall to denialists, crackpots, and oilmen. But if I’ve learned anything from listening to NPR, it’s that there are two sides to every story: a Republican side and a Democratic side. Why nothing from the Democratic candidate?

Meanwhile, evidence mounts that we humans have to figure out a way to change our collective behavior, starting soon, or this “civilization” thing we’ve been working on is soon going the way of the coral reefs.

*Or at least anything that makes its way to my attention, as a moderately informed follower of the news.


14 responses to “We’re doomed”

  1. T-Mo says:

    A politician, particularly an incumbent president, has one job in the six months before an election: get re-elected. Saying anything about (let alone doing anything about) climate change will not get President Obama a significantly larger number of votes from lefty environmentalists. Anyone of this group who is going to vote is pretty much decided to vote for Obama. Furthermore, it might turn off some middle-of-the-road voters who are waffling between voting for Obama and not voting at all. Also, last time I checked Shell Oil has a ton more money than the polar icecaps have. If our president wants just a little of that money to flow his way (or even just a little *less* to flow his opponent’s way), then it’s best to keep mum. It is an outrage, of course, but so is our political system.

  2. FPS says:

    Yep. This is the thing that scares me most. There was something horrifying in [I forget where, probably the New Yorker] about how the global warming of the now is from years and years ago…wait, I actually found it and can quote it, for additional horror.

    “One of the most salient–but also, unfortunately, most counterintuitive–aspects of global warming is that it operates on what amounts to a time delay. Behind this summer’s heat are greenhouse gases emitted decades ago. Before many effects of today’s emissions are felt, it will be time for the Summer Olympics of 2048. (Scientists refer to this as the ‘commitment to warming.’) What’s at stake is where things go from there. It is quite possible that by the end of the century we could, without even really trying, engineer the return of the sort of climate that hasn’t been seen on earth since the Eocene, some fifty million years ago.”


    “So far, the words ‘climate change,’ have barely been uttered. This is not an oversight. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney have chosen to remain silent on the issue, presumably because they see it as just too big a bummer.”


    Elizabeth Kolbert closes the piece “There’s no discussion of what could be done to avert the worst effects of climate change, even as the insanity of doing nothing becomes increasingly obvious.”

  3. SG says:

    Because the fucking republicans have won this one. The very fact that we call it “climate change” and not “global warming” is a construct of republican wordsmith, Frank Luntz — It seems that focus groups find “climate change” to be less frightening. You can read more about this here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2003/mar/04/usnews.climatechange

    However, the primary reason that you won’t hear a peep from Obama is that many Americans are shitass freaked about the economy, so the last thing they want to hear about is the environment. The equation is simple: Environment = Regulations = Bad for business = Bad for economy = Bad for me.

  4. SG says:

    …and yes Dave, we are doomed.

  5. SG says:

    If you really want to know how fucked we are, pick up the latest issue of Foreign Affairs and read the article, “Environmental Alarmism, Then and Now,” by Bjorn Lomborg. You can get a taste of what Mr. Lomborg is about here: http://www.lomborg.com/cool_it

  6. LP says:

    1: So true. Obama has little choice but to focus on getting reelected at the moment. but then he must – we must – somebody must – somehow make traction on this problem. Or, really, we must make retroactive traction.

    4: So true.

  7. Dave says:

    Wow, Scott, I did not know that about the “global warming”/”climate change” thing. Can I say “global warming and associated catastrophic climate changes”?

    Does Obama have a secret plan to fight global warming and associated catastrophic climate changes if he’s re-elected?

    This is a good new article on the (large-scale) politics of the situation.

  8. SG says:

    I think that “catastrophic earthly imbalance” would be a good way to go.

  9. Dave says:

    “Worldwide fry.”

  10. LP says:

    The end of Sizzleization as we know it.

  11. PB says:

    I kept reading the shell website looking for the joke. Like this has to be someone’s tumblr right? Like they wouldn’t really say this stuff, right? It is made up, right? Um. No. I need to get out more. Or stay in. Or live on the moon. This is all just too weird. We deserve to be doomed.

  12. Dave says:

    The Shell website is indeed a joke.

  13. PB says:

    Thank god. A very good joke. But too close for comfort.

  14. PB says:

    My children have exploited my gullibility for years. I am why they create joke websites. I feel it is a role that must be
    played in the universe.