Year 3, Month 8, Day 23: If This Had Been A Real Emergency, You Would Have Received Instructions…

The Sarasota (FL) Herald Tribune assesses the grim situation:

In drought-scorched parts of the country these days, some farmland bears a resemblance to NASA’s photos of Mars’ barren plains.

Here on Earth, crops are suffering. On Friday, the federal Department of Agriculture cut by 17 percent its estimate for the corn crop and said the U.S. soybean crop is expected to drop, too. Soaring prices are forecast.

The drought stems from a number of causes, science suggests. But some of it appears to be consistent with the kind of long-term drying patterns seen in global-warming climate models.

Furthermore, James E. Hansen, a NASA expert in the field, issued a report last week tying man-made climate change to three severe heat outbreaks from 2003 to 2011.

These latest developments won’t resolve long-running arguments over global warming or its causes. But they heighten the sense that precious time to address the problem is evaporating.

There’s no mystery as to what needs to be done: Carbon emissions from burning fossil fuel must be cut.

The fossil-fuel industry is an ichneumon wasp which has laid its eggs inside our civilization. Ick. Sent August 12:

Why is our political system unable to address climate change in anything approaching a responsibly adult manner? The answer rests in the synergy of three separate forces, interacting to produce paralysis: fossil fuel money, politicians’ cupidity, and media irresponsibility.

Taking full advantage of our compromised campaign finance system, the oil and coal industries use their huge financial resources to purchase the loyalty of as many lawmakers as possible. More of that same money funds conservative “think tanks” and “institutes” which generate spurious studies using cherry-picked data and misinterpreted statistics — and also produce telegenic pundits trained to deliver denialist talking points on cue. Hewing to the doctrine that there are two exactly equivalent sides to every story, our print and broadcast media then allow equal time to worried climatologists and petrol-funded shills — reinforcing the notion that “the debate on climate change isn’t settled.” Purchased politicians seize on this false notion as an excuse for continued inaction, which is all Big Oil and Big Coal require.

Repeat and fade.

Warren Senders


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