Yesterday, Florida Senator, and 2016 Republican Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio publicly denounced climate change. “Our climate is always changing,” he said on ABC News’s “This Week.” “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” he went on to say, “and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.”
Money. It’s always the money.
Meanwhile, two groups of scientists reported yesterday that a large section of the mighty West Antarctica ice sheet has begun falling apart and its continued melting now appears to be unstoppable. “Global warming caused by the human-driven release of greenhouse gases has helped to destabilize the ice sheet, though other factors may also be involved,” the scientists said.
So there it is. A talking head politician who covets power vs. science.
It’s always the money.
Why the fuck do we keep electing idiots to represent us? Destroy our economy? Dude, when the water rises (and it will rise) don’t you think we’ll figure out a way to make money from that? What about ways to capitalize from slowing the water rise? No? We’ll just give up and live in anarchy? And you’re going to protect us by standing in the way of science? This is America – we figure out ways to capitalize from people dying of cancer. You know what I don’t agree with? The notion that we’re smart enough to pull out of this tailspin caused by political dogma.
Yes, Senator Rubio, everything changes. Including me and you every day. Including the fact that humans will probably evolve out of our pinky toes one day. And yes, including our planet’s climate. But it’s a fact that there are more people on the surface of the planet than at any point in history. A LOT more. More people = more friction. More friction = more heat. More heat = ice melt. Throw factories and transport belching filth into the mix, and there you go. Since we can’t commit genocide, our only option in slowing the fresh water ice melt (which probably influences things like super hurricanes, somehow) is to pass legislation based on scientific fact.
Except, this isn’t about saving our planet. Or polar bears. The Earth could shake us off like a bad case of fleas. And some species just go extinct. Doing the right thing by helping slow climate change is about saving our own species from extinction. Science says that if you quit smoking, you can live longer. Armed with this factual information, a lot more people are living longer than back in the 70s when everyone smoked. Sure, big tobacco took a hit, but it was worth it. And I’m sure big tobacco fought their asses off to keep this information out of the hands of the public. Now it’s big oil, gas, and coal saying, ‘Hold on a second – what kind of factual information is this, anyway? The earth has always had climate change. Remember the movie Ice Age?’ And since these companies fund politicians, they pretty much get what they want. Because American voters are idiots, and the American political system is broken.
And that’s just the way the guys with the money want it.
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May 13, 2014
Conservatism and liberalism are respectively the brakes and gas on humanity’s forward motion. Both have desirable traits. At its best, conservatism is about maintaining tradition and spurring individualism; liberalism is about sharing and expanding empathy. But individualism fights collectivism, and major problems that need vast collective solutions are at odds with this world view, so conservatives deny facts because they don’t like the potential solution. Liberals have similar blind spots, racing ahead with social sharing that can undercut individual liberty. The pros of both worldviews lead to cons completely at odds. Yet we need both, the tension between gas and brakes, to move ahead under control. I wouldn’t want a world of complete full nudity (I disconnected HBO since I think shows such as Game of Thrones are bad for the soul) and I wouldn’t like individuals who can’t agree to pave potholes in the road.
Unfortunately, the issue of global warming is so big, eventually we must do something about it. I predict by about 2040, when a vast section of Miami goes underwater and Manhattan is hit with a few more massive tidal surges causing billions in damages, an aging Elon Musk will get funding for carbon-sucking engines that start geoengineering the atmosphere back into shape. Today’s Murdoch will look like a real dick. But don’t blame him, he’s only applying the brakes as we usually need them.