Year 3, Month 3, Day 25: Voices In The (Vanishing) Wilderness

The Seattle Times runs a dynamite column by William Geer on whether environmental policy should be dictated by polls and media bullshit:

SHOULD elected officials and policymakers let public-opinion polls decide our nation’s future response to climate change? Indisputably, no.

The roller-coaster path of public acceptance on climate change charted by political polls is frustrating to the pragmatists among us. With nearly 98 percent of the world’s climate scientists saying climate change already is affecting the natural world, effective action requires the knowledge we gain from focused investigations and sound science — not political polls.

We should solicit the views of those not subject to political debates — fish and wildlife.

Biologists do that through field investigations on the distribution and abundance of species in habitats that meet their life-cycle requirements. If one habitat no longer will support a species, the species must move to another habitat that does. It cannot debate habitability in the public square and it votes by adapting, migrating or dying.

Read the comments on the article if you wanna get seriously depressed. Sent March 19:

Before we can begin to tackle the interdependent crises presented by global climate change, there’s a question that needs a response.

“What’s in it for me?”

As long as we remain selfishly focused exclusively on our momentary desires, we will fail in our responsibilities to our descendants, and all the life that shares our common DNA. Some are selfish through love of Mammon; their lust for continued profits blinds them to the destruction their exploitation leaves behind. Some are selfish through religion; craving immortality, they rank their own souls above the well-being of the web of Earthly life. For some, it’s political power; for others, the chance at transient fame. Perhaps saddest of all are those whose selfishness is born of apathy; having abandoned any hope of influencing the process, they drift along, watching unhappily as their world is gutted by malefactors of great wealth.

We’re not going to make progress against the epiphenomena of a runaway greenhouse effect until we can start asking, “What’s in it for us?”

Warren Senders

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