Year 2, Month 4, Day 9: Maybe They’re Just Waiting For The Rapture?

It’s March 31 as I write this; it’s supposed to snow heavily tomorrow, which is crazy. Boston weather is like that anyway, and as we enter the new Anthropocene Epoch it’s going to get more and more so.

There was an excellent article in the Miami Herald giving a good slam to climate change denialism. It’s well worth a read:

Recently, I went to Capitol Hill with members of Generation Hot (and the Sierra Club, our country’s largest grass-roots environmental organization) to confront the politicians whose denials and delay have done so much to land Generation Hot in this predicament. We wanted to know why my daughter and the other 2 billion members of Generation Hot have to suffer because Republicans in Congress refuse to accept what virtually every major scientific organization in the world, including our own National Academy of Sciences, has said: Man-made climate change is happening now and extremely dangerous.

Sen. James Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican who has famously called climate change “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” told our group that “the science is mixed” and his scientists know better than ours. Frank Maisano, a public-relations consultant for big energy companies, told us that “the science doesn’t matter”; what matters is what’s politically feasible.

“The science does matter,” Caroline Selle, a member of our group who works for the Energy Action Coalition, responded in a blog the following day. Selle added: “We face a climate catastrophe that will define our generation and the future of our country, and the solutions to this crisis will create jobs and improve public health. So why aren’t we acting? Unfortunately, the answer is simple: Capitol Hill is swarming with ‘climate cranks’ – politicians willing to trade our future for their own political gain.”

I’m very tired, sore and cranky today. Sent on March 31:

“Generation Hot” is a compelling phrase, and I’m indebted to Mark Hertsgaard for adding it to my lexicon. It is a sad commentary on the state of public discourse in America that the gravest threat our species has faced in millennia is treated as fodder for political grandstanding rather than informed discussion. The online comments on any article about climate change reveals the degree of emotional investment felt by climate denialists, who feel compelled to reject scientific expertise in favor of vague, implausible conspiracy theories (look out! Al Gore’s gonna take away your SUV!). In the 1950s and 60s, America’s positive attitude toward science led us to unimaginable heights of achievement; in the past few decades, ideological rejection of reality-based thinking has made us a nation of scientific illiterates — and led us to the brink of climatic disaster. “Generation Hot” will rightly curse us for our ignorance and irresponsibility.

Warren Senders

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