Year 4, Month 11, Day 23: But They Are Always Right In The Beginning

The Cleveland Plain-Dealer (OH) tries to make some sort of point:

There is no question Typhoon Haiyan was devastating — some declared it one of the most powerful storms in recorded history. It reportedly had sustained winds near 150 mph and a storm surge of 20 feet. (Some reports say wind gusts exceeded 200 mph.) Initial reports predicting up to 10,000 dead have been scaled back to 2,000 to 2,500 by President Benigno Aquino III. The storm still wiped out large sections of cities and towns, displacing thousands, and has led to an urgent call for aid for survivors.

It also has climate watchers wondering if Haiyan is just the beginning. Like Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Haiyan’s strength and destructive impact is bringing warnings of even more powerful storms in the future because of changes in the climate.

Yeb Sano, the head of the Philippines delegation at the United Nations climate talks currently under way in Warsaw, made it clear where he stands. In a speech Monday, Sano said he will stop eating until “meaningful” progress is made on climate change. From the BBC:

“In solidarity with my countrymen who are struggling to find food back home, I will now commence a voluntary fasting for the climate. This means I will voluntarily refrain from eating food during this Cop, until a meaningful outcome is in sight. What my country is going through as a result of this extreme climate event is madness, the climate crisis is madness. We can stop this madness right here in Warsaw.”

Bruce McQuain, writing for the website, offers sympathy to Sano and the people suffering in the Philippines. But he also says Sano is wrong about the UN taking action on climate change and says it’s not necessary. McQuain warns that proposed measures to reduce carbon emissions would “ruin” economies and bring only marginal results…

Because a conservative douchebag writing on has so much credibility it’s just awesome. November 13:

Self-styled fiscal conservatives who loudly proclaim that meaningful actions to address climate change would hurt economies simply demonstrate their own inability to think in timespans longer than the next quarterly report. Strategies like strengthening infrastructure, decentralizing our power grid, shifting the global energy economy to renewable sources, and developing less wasteful manufacturing practices are all sound investments in a longer-term future; they are the large-scale equivalent of preparing for flooding by reinforcing levees and stockpiling sandbags, steps which deficit hawks would no doubt deride as too costly or economically damaging.

The science is unequivocal, despite the natterings of denialists. There is no more uncertainty about the human causes of climate change — and the dangers it presents to our civilization — than there is about the causal link between smoking and cancer. Anticipating the damage from a climate-transformed world, and working proactively to minimize its extent, is fiscal common sense. Even more important, it’s the right thing to do for the posterity of our species.

Warren Senders


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