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What We Need to Fight Climate Change: More Austerity!

[ 74 ] January 12, 2013 |

Maybe what Scott is missing that is Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles are genuises. They know that the gods are angry at America’s deficit spending and are making our climate go crazy as a divine punishment. The only thing that will appease their anger–austerity programs that fall on the poor while making wealthy Beltway pundits feel good about themselves.

Anyway, this is a really good overview of the weather craziness going on right now. Insane cold in Russia and China, record heat in Brazil and Australia, fires in Australia, 8 inches of snow in Jerusalem, etc. This is the new normal. Or maybe it isn’t since it is going to get worse.

Human civilization as we know it cannot survive this level of climate change. The political, social, and environmental implications are too great. Humans are an extremely adaptable species. We aren’t going anywhere. But the world we know and love, it is slipping away. I really remain unconvinced that one can say our children and grandchildren will live better lives than we will. And it’s not because of national debt.

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  1. John Protevi says:

    From the WaPo piece:

    But congressional Republicans are expected to oppose any such efforts. Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), who heads the Republican Study Committee, said in a statement that it is clear Americans will not tolerate any new climate policies: “Even President Obama acknowledged that our focus right now should be on putting folks back to work and growing the economy — not climate change.”

    Because we all know you can’t allow federal / state environmental / transport / housing / infrastructure stimulus spending. That wouldn’t grow the economy and address climate change at the same time. Because shut up, that’s why.

    • Davis X. Machina says:

      This time, a longer, not a shorter, Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)

      “If you can guarantee me that I’ll rule in the ruins, I’ll pull the whole thing down around my own ears with my own hands. Because I’m mad.”

      “If you can guarantee me that I’ll rule in the ruins, and not have to lift a finger, that’s even better. Because I’m lazy and mad.”

      “If you can guarantee me that I’ll rule in the ruins, and not have to lift a finger, and get to go through the pockets of the corpses for change that’s better still. Because I’m lazy and mad and mean.”

      • hylen says:

        Those at the center of power relentlessly pursue their own agendas, understanding that they can exploit the fears and anguish of the moment. They may even institute measures that deepen the abyss and may march resolutely toward it, if that advances the goals of power and privilege. They declare that it is unpatriotic and disruptive to question the workings of authority—but patriotic to institute harsh and regressive policies that benefit the wealthy, undermine social programs that serve the needs of the great majority, and subordinate a frightened population to increased state control.

    • Mike G says:

      Shorter Repukes:
      We can’t stimulate the economy, it’ll increase the deficit!
      We can’t raise taxes, it’ll hurt the economy!

      Everything they don’t like will supposedly hurt either the deficit or the economy, and so nothing should be done.
      Except tax cuts, which will magically increase revenue, because Jesus.

  2. Incontinentia Buttocks says:

    Just good old disaster capitalism.

    Got a problem, any problem? Human generated climate change destroying the planet? Islamism rising? Prison overcrowding? Kansas City Royals unable to build a decent team?

    The answer is easy! Balance the budget on the backs of the poor, deregulate, disparage labor unions. Problem solved!

  3. Major Kong says:

    I think we broke the planet.

    • Hogan says:

      The planet will be fine once the noxious parasite removes itself.

      • Dagney says:

        You sound like a typical self-loathing degenerate.

        And some parasites are awesome.

      • Ken says:

        One of the most sombre things I’ve ever read is in Stephen Baxter’s Evolution. Explaining the setup would take too long, so just take it as “last man on Earth”.

        He picked up a handful of sand. It was fine and golden, and ran easily through his fingers. But there were black grains in there, and some bits of orange and green and blue. The multicolored stuff must be plastic. And the black stuff looked like soot, from the fires that had swept the world as everything went to hell.

        It’s all gone, he thought wonderingly. It really has. The sand was a kind of proof. Moon rock and cathedrals and football stadiums, libraries and museums and paintings, highways and cities and shanties, Shakespeare and Mozart and Einstein, Buddha and Mohammed and Jesus, lions and elephants and horses and gorillas and the rest of the menagerie of extinction – all worn away and scattered and ground down, mixed into this sooty sand he trickled through his fingers.

  4. Tnap01 says:

    Maybe they secretly want to destroy the economy thinking it will drastically reduce carbon emissions?

    • elm says:

      That is the most benign explanation for their behavior: austerity will reduce economic activity, which will reduce carbon emissions (unless the U.S., Europe, and other rich countries respond to worsening economic conditions by eliminating environmental protections, which will increase carbon emissions.)

      But to tie it in to yesterday’s post: if the country gets poor enough, no one but the 1% can afford air conditioners!

      • Davis X. Machina says:

        A left version of this argument got made — not often, but it got made — in late 2008 over at DailyKos, in a slightly different form, to wit that the complete collapse of the present economic system would be a blessing in disguise. Thus, no bailouts for nobody — especially the auto industry.

        We’d be freed from the soul-corroding , consumerism and auto-centric culture by which we’ve all been captured. A sustainable mix of subsistence agriculture and crafts fairs would spring up, meet our newly-acquired real needs, and we’d all be improved by the experience.

        Come to think of it, Marie Antoinette and Charles Fourier could, under different circumstances, taken turns minding the same sheep.

    • wengler says:

      Wasn’t this part of the plot of Moonraker? Quick! Send space commandos to the International Space Station!

  5. c u n d gulag says:

    Conservative POV:
    There is NO Global Warming!

    Any changes we think we notice, are as a result of being better able to monitor, record, and track the environment, thanks to advances in science and technolo…

    THERE IS NO GLOBAL WARMING!!!

    And, lets just, for the sake of argument, say there is.

    God gave us dominion over the Earth. So, that means if we want to turn it into a hot-tub and garbage dump combo, well, that’s our God-given right!
    Look it up in the Constitution!!!

    • rm says:

      As I might say to my fellow Christians who are deluded in this way,

      God gave you a house; that does not mean He told you to burn it down.

      • Leeds man says:

        Burning it down is God’s job.

        2 Peter 3:10
        But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.

      • Vance Maverick says:

        I heard a Baptist leader quoted recently interpreting “dominion” differently: “We’re given dominion, not domination”, i.e. the world may be ours, but it’s not ours to destroy. I wish him well in convincing his coreligionists (not sure which of the myriad subdenominations this was), but unfortunately the lexicographical argument doesn’t work. The KJV doesn’t use the word “domination” at all, so the fact that James’s translators didn’t choose that word in this case tells us nothing.

  6. Carbon Man says:

    I’m sure as hell doing my part, Loomis. My goal is to produce as many tons of carbon as possible. In your honor, I think I’ll take the long way to work on Monday and leave all the lights on in my home. Somebody’s gotta raise all that carbon!

  7. shah8 says:

    Guys, check out the air quality in Beijing today. It’s an incredible PM 2.5 of 800+ units. Notoriously bad days there are about at 500 units. In sane western countries, a bad day is 50 units.

    For all intents an purposes, Chemical Warfare On Chinese Citizens Day.

  8. DrDick says:

    Come on, Erik! You know as well as anyone that austerity cures everything! Have a recession? austerity is the answer! Have a boom? Austerity is the answer! It is the 21st century magical elixir (formerly known as libertarian snake oil).

  9. Dagney says:

    “Human civilization as we know it cannot survive this level of climate change. The political, social, and environmental implications are too great. Humans are an extremely adaptable species. We aren’t going anywhere. But the world we know and love, it is slipping away.”

    Indeed. There might be a few phylogenetical split: some will way go back to tribalism, even to herdism, and some other will go full-spectrum biotechnological, galactic style.

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