Monday, March 14, 2016

Meanwhile in the Real World

Meanwhile in the real world (quite literally), the planet Earth had its biggest one- month temperature spike in modern history in February, according to NASA.  This follows the news that there was also an unprecedented spike in CO2 levels in 2015, which does not bode well for future years.  Nor does a study which finds that the planet is likely to get hotter sooner than is conventionally believed.

A National Academy of Sciences report provides strong links between extreme weather outbreaks and the climate crisis.  Another study of climate crisis effects on food production suggests that they could be responsible for half a million deaths by 2050.  Yet another says that more than 13 million Americans living along coastlines will face being displaced by the end of this century because of rising sea levels.

So naturally, the topic of what to do, both to lessen future heating and cope with climate crisis effects that are on their way in the much nearer term, is front and center in the presidential primaries.


It took a Republican mayor in Florida whose city is being regularly flooded begging that the question be at least asked, that the topic even came up at a Republican debate. And all he got was a river in Egypt.  You know, denial. But it hasn't come up much in Dem debates or campaign speeches either.

Others however are thinking out loud about it, and more.  Doctors are beginning to confront the public health challenges ahead.  The Obama Administration is paying out a half billion dollar installment on its pledge to support the global Green Climate Fund to help poorer countries confront the climate crisis.  And so on.

The irony perhaps is that this denialist silence actually makes the whole thing scarier.  It's not happening and nothing can be done about it anyway! is the self-contradictory GOPer position. Those actually confronting the facts and beginning to act have positive evidence of progress.

Like this guy, who got half a million more votes for President than the epic disaster the Supreme Court elected in 2000. Al Gore is confronting the issue that President Obama acknowledges is the primary existential threat of our age.  Gore's recent TED talk is worth the time, not only for its big picture content but as an antidote to the current and tragic political madness.

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