Year 4, Month 7, Day 12: There Is No God But Albedo

The Christian Science Monitor speculates about what a climate change strategy would look like, but makes a bad analogy:

For a man with his hands tied, President Obama is offering a decent enough plan to fight climate change. In a speech today, he’s expected to announce federal regulation of greenhouse gases at existing coal-fired power plants, increased energy standards for buildings and appliances, and greater development of renewable energy on federal lands. These are moves that he can try without approval from Congress. And while they are halfway measures, they are better than no measures.

But imagine if his hands were not tied. Imagine if they were joined with lawmakers willing to tackle this issue with the urgency and breadth that the government devotes to fighting terrorism.

Americans don’t think about the threat of climate change in the same way as terrorism, but perhaps they should. Climate change has killed individuals through vicious storms, if not by bombs and planes, and the financial damage is just as real.

Sigh. If the war on climate works as well as the war on terror, we’re completely fucked. June 25:

As an abstract noun, “climate change” is amorphous, too large to grasp either intellectually or emotionally (unless you’re a climate scientist, of course). But up close and personal, the accelerating greenhouse effect can drown your city, reduce your house to kindling, dry up your wheatfields, introduce non-native pest species into regional ecosystems, trigger toxic algae blooms, set the stage for gigantic wildfires, and make our lives more miserable and fearful in countless separate but complementary ways.

Which is, of course, what terrorism does. Our national response to terrorism is anything but serious; rather than reducing the root causes of violent extremism, our “war on terror” has enriched corporations and increased secrecy, while treating protesters and whistleblowers like criminals, and making us more fearful, not less. We need a climate change policy that reduces corporate power, increases openness, treats environmentalists as responsible citizens, and offers us reasons for optimism, not despair.

Warren Senders

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