Month 10, Day 10: Stop Making Sense

The Hindu ran a piece noting that the current round of climate talks seems to be going nowhere, thanks (among other things) to the intransigence of a certain world superpower. The letter below is more of a short, polite rant; it consists of a string of rhetorical accomplishments strung together, but lacking anything in the way of a unifying message (beyond, of course, “Aaaaaaaaagh!” which is my default setting these days).

It looks increasingly likely that any meaningful action on climate change by the United States government will fall victim to the grotesque circus of election-year politics. Conservative groups are already vehemently opposed to any initiatives from the Obama administration; when this ideological rigidity is combined with a reflexive suspicion of scientific evidence and the inability of American media outlets to sensibly discuss global heating, we have assembled all the ingredients in a recipe for climatic disaster. While China may have surpassed the US in its total emissions of greenhouse gases, the true picture emerges when we compare each nation’s per capita emissions as a function of its share of world population. Ultimately, all the world’s nations are going to have to change in dramatic ways, for the apparent cheapness of fossil energy is illusory. By freely burning coal and oil, we have offered  humanity’s future as security on a usurious loan.

Warren Senders

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