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Climate Change: The Real Story


I know we all enjoyed last night’s clown show. But let’s remember that this is a mere midway entertainment compared to the world’s big story: climate change. Maybe the one and only story that really matters if we care about future generations. Everything else is so interconnected with climate change that to ignore it, as we mostly do, is to doom our descendants to lives significantly worse than ours.

Then again, it’s not as if our daily activities have anything to do with the climate or anything…..

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  • Listen, if walking uphill both ways five miles to school in 100 degree heat in a blizzard was good enough for my grandpa, it’ll be good enough for my grandkids!

  • Incontinentia Buttocks

    Unfortunately, no conceivable electoral outcome this November will lead to the U.S. doing anything substantive about climate change

    • rea

      Obama would have done cap-and-trade (which wouldn’t be enough, I know) if the Republicans had let him.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Yes, he would have. But conservative Senate Dems also oppose cap-and-trade (I think Joe Manchin actually ran ads featuring his opposition to it). So Obama would need well more than 60 Dems in the Senate as well as a House majority. The latter is unlikely; the former essentially impossible.

      • wengler

        A market for pollution seems like a terrible idea.

  • JohnR

    The doom has already been written; the only question now is when or even if we act to try to reduce the scale of the change. Personally, I’d place my bet on ‘no action’. Humanity has a bad record of not responding to threats until it’s too late to do anything useful. I expect that life on Earth will continue, although pretty dramatically different from what we now see; I just don’t know how human civilization will look coming out of this. It will very likely survive, but there’s always the possibility that we’ll just savage each other to death over limited resources. It’s what we seem to be best at.

    • mpowell

      I basically agree with this. Political action on climate change is just not a very interesting story because I already know what the outcome will be: no significant action. The interesting part of the story is finding out just how bad things are going to get based on feedback factors, what the time frame for the forced abandonment of Florida, Manhattan and other cities will be and how will global society respond when 1B people around the world are starving to death. There is also the slim possibility of a late stage recovery based on a massive atmospheric carbon extraction project based on a, as of yet, uninvented mechanism. Will we see massive wars? Or will the earth’s population be quietly reduced to a more manageable level with only moderately reduced standards of living for those in surviving first world economies? But I already know that we’re not going to do anything to prevent. It’s too big of a problem with too big of a collective action problem also thrown in.

    • And there is the possibility, that along with other popular awakenings going on in the world, that enough people will effectively bring change to help us all adapt better and to become a better race.

      Gloom and doom, whether it is “realistic” or not, tends to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. What we see around us on a daily base, or on the internet on a daily basis is a tiny fraction of what is going on in the world.

      I think, if one is feeling helpless, pessimistic, and morose about the human prospect that that is, at times, natural if not unavoidable; but making it into a meme, if not a brand of hopelessness and despair serves no one. It only adds more feelings of hopelessness and despair into the weltanschaung (sp?) when we spread that feeling. The collective human spirit can also reach a tipping point.

      It really is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness. We have lived through the threat of extinguishing ourselves through forty years of pathological rivalry, I think we are, on the whole, more than the sum of our parts. Many people kept themselves from despair during the Cold War by doing something about it. Many more people are trying to do something about climate change NOW.

      If we do lose the game because of global warming, then let us at least go out trying. For whatever it’s worth, I cannot not believe that how we, as a race, die, is as important as how we, as individuals die.

      Don’t give up. We’ve just gotten started.

      • Stag Party Palin

        I’m curious – really. How old are you? Those of us who have lived long enough have learned that societies of humans are crisis managers, not crisis avoiders. At this point the die is cast – we’ve waited too long and we are going to see catastrophic outcomes no matter what we do. We have not ‘avoided’ the crisis. What counts now is how we manage it, and I’m betting we start doing something constructive after we lose 3 coastal cities (20 years from now?). It’s just a number, but whatever. So, what you call “gloom and doom” I call being realistic, and you can’t pep-talk me into becoming Pollyanna or Tim Tebow.

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