Climate Change Denial And Our Future - How The US Votes
By Bill Henderson
17 March, 2011
The US House of Representatives energy committee has just voted to deny that climate change exists. The Upton-Inhofe bill, which would reverse EPA's scientific finding of endangerment for greenhouse gases -- and thereby permanently block EPA from addressing climate pollution -- sailed through the House Energy Committee on Tuesday and will go to a full House vote some time in the next few weeks, where it is expected to pass easily.
David Roberts at Grist predicts that the Democrats in the Senate will ultimately agree to a two year moratorium on EPA greenhouse gas action which will would have the same effect in the end: it would kill EPA climate rules.
What we do - what the US does especially - this decade, not burning fossil fuels this decade, decides whether we go over 2C, 4C, 6C or more later in the century with increasingly serious negative consequences for future generations. Two more wasted years - after two decades of inaction? Without immediate US led action we are heading for 6C and catastrophe.
The people who don't want emission reduction and the GOP in particular are only successful in styming needed mitigation because the public has been mis-educated about the science, the suite of dangers and their ethical culpability. There is enough uncertainty, paid denial and skepticism of all authority (including science and government) to anchor society wide denial even though 97% of climate scientists agree about AGW and potential consequences.
Has the science and enviro communities done their best - due diligence to future generations concerning our use of fossil fuels today - to educate the public? NO, NO, NO
The IPCC (which has done yoeman's work) is a volunteer, underfunded, advisory panel to a weak, weak org: the UN. Not good enough. If climate change may be at least US threatening if not humanity threatening, isn't it possible to have the deepest, most expert, state of the art and up to date and authoritative, transparent, educating and open inquiry supported by all levels of government? Say initiated by the President and facilitated by the AAAS or NAS?
Such an inquiry is possible, such innovation of a transparent forum on the Net to quickly winnow conflicting hypotheses down to a definitive present state of the art expert consensus on cause and effect, danger probabilities, and levels of mitigation necessary is doable, is right there if we choose to build that robust consensus that would unblock for action.
Quite obviously, for even those that recognize the emergency danger, we'd rather stay in denial and just mouth crackhead lies like clean coal, clean energy or putting a price on carbon. Let's stay in BAU and silo'd science: let's just stay in default mode where corrupted markets replace evidence based decision making and planning: let's stay in a broken governance system where science is a very weak input into a policy making arena totally dominated by economic interests.
Not good enough, No, No, No. Not due diligence to future generations. Did you vote for the Koch brothers and their ilk? Do you care more for their (and maybe your) short term economic future then your kids future? Well then ask your House Rep, Senator and every science contact you have to pressure President Obama for that definitive high level inquiry into how serious climate change really is and what America must do.
Bill (at) pacificfringe.net
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