Year 4, Month 8, Day 27: What It Don’t Get, I Can’t Use

Delaware Online notes their state’s response to POTUS’ initiatives:

Delaware officials gathered in Wilmington and Rehoboth Beach on Wednesday as part of a nationwide chain of rallies supporting the Obama administration’s new climate change initiatives, producing both calls for action and ominous warnings.

“We need to think through the various tradeoffs, the economics, but the only way we can do that is to keep it at the top of the agenda,” Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin P. O’Mara said. “The only way we can keep it at the top of the agenda is if all of you and all of us keep bringing it up over and over again.”

O’Mara’s comment came at the end of a small group meeting at Wilmington’s Riverfront, supported by a coalition of business, labor, government, health and environmental groups backing Obama’s proposal last month to curb power plant emissions of carbon dioxide. That proposal immediately came under fire from skeptics and conservative politicians, with a Senate committee releasing a report earlier this month questioning the science behind Obama’s initiative.

Supporters have focused on a need for action to deal with growing evidence that human-caused pollution and fossil-fuel burning has set the stage for disastrous global warming and climate shifts before the century ends.

Threats range from sea-level rise and more intense storms, to flooding, extreme weather, longer and more-intense droughts, and changing agricultural and water supply conditions that Defense Department officials warn could increase global suffering and political instability.

I don’t remember specifically conflating economic and theological fairy tales before. I like it. Aug. 1:

Lawmakers, business leaders, and media figures are all fond of telling us that the imperatives of addressing climate change must be balanced with the requirements of economic expansion. Unlike the anti-science screeds of conservative climate-change denialists, this stance seems entirely plausible at first glance. And indeed, public statements of allegiance to the doctrine of continuous economic growth are as essential to a politician as professions of religious faith.

Perhaps it’s time to reconsider this shibboleth. After all, those photographs of Earth from space have been part of our consciousness for four decades. We live on a finite planet; our resources, whether they’re water, food, or the capacity of the environment to absorb our waste products, are likewise limited — and it is logically absurd to assert that infinite growth is possible under these circumstances.

As the saying goes, “Health is our greatest wealth,” and the health of our planetary home is ultimately the only “economy” that matters; a massive quarterly return isn’t going to keep our grandchildren from suffering the consequences of our civilization’s profligate and wasteful fossil-fuel binge. That can only happen through a concerted effort to address the causes and consequences of climate change.

Warren Senders

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