Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Reagan and Thatcher burn in California

David Seaton's News Links
Global Warming is or isn't really taking place, but, be that as it may, California, the center of the world's communication industry is burning down and burning up.

California has evacuated a quarter of a million people. Many rich and influential people have lost their palatial homes to a drought induced fire: people who "create reality".

This means that as far as California is concerned climate change is real and that will be California's message to the world. So anybody who says Global Warming doesn't exist will be facing "Hollywood" with all that word contains in communication power.

The reason that conservatives resist this issue so consistently is that to solve climate change will require not only big government, taxes and regulation, but also binding international treaties. It means the end of the Reagan-Thatcher revolution and the end of right wing libertarianism. As Paul Krugman put it, "Leave it up to the free market, and in a few generations Florida will be underwater."

Obviously the contemporary conservative mind set is ideologically unprepared to deal with this problem, thus its resistance to admit its existence. DS

Eugene Robinson: Forecast: Heavy Weather - Washington Post

Abstract: Atlanta is so parched that it's running out of water. The canyons of Southern California are ablaze. Here in Washington, temperatures have been climbing into the 80s -- in late October. Can all this be blamed on that "inconvenient truth" that Nobel laureate Al Gore keeps warning us about? Is climate change -- often imprecisely called "global warming" -- loosing plagues upon the land? No. Not exactly. Maybe. Probably not. Could be. Nobody knows. You can pretty much take your pick, since it's not possible to link any specific meteorological event -- the strength of the fire-fanning Santa Ana winds in Southern California this year, for example, or the rainfall deficit in the Southeast, or an unusually balmy fall in the Northeast -- with climatological changes that take place over decades or centuries and span the globe. The weird weather does tend to concentrate the mind, though. Even George W. Bush acknowledges the scientific consensus that climate change is real. Most people, even conservatives, now have no problem taking the next step and acknowledging that human activity -- the burning of fossil fuels and the release of heat-trapping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere -- is causing climate change, or at least accelerating it. Beyond those fundamentals, though, are a couple of even more inconvenient truths that few seem ready to come to terms with. One is the fact that if climate change follows its projected course, many people around the world will suffer. But some people, as George Orwell noted, are more equal than others. "It's the poorest of the poor in the world, and this includes poor people even in prosperous societies, who are going to be the worst hit," said Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the scientific body that shared the Nobel Peace Prize with Gore.(...) Conservation is essential, but it won't solve the problem. Capturing carbon dioxide and storing it underground may sound like a magic bullet -- all the politicians love it -- but there's no guarantee that the gas won't eventually just seep back out into the atmosphere. Making ethanol from corn is great for Iowa farmers but doesn't radically alter the energy equation. Nuclear power offends many sensibilities, including mine, but almost surely has to be part of any truly effective solution. That brings me to the other, really inconvenient truth. As Pachauri recently told the U.N. General Assembly: "The inertia of the system that we have is such that climate change would continue for decades and centuries even if we were to stabilize the concentration of gases that are causing this problem today, which means that adaptation is inevitable." READ IT ALL

1 comment:

janinsanfran said...

Optimist. :-)