Monday, August 29, 2016

Climate Change May End Civilization But The GOP Has Decided They Don't Care

VOX posted a disturbing video history of how the climate change consensus devolved into a partisan football game pitting the stupid people who distrust science against the rational people who trust science.

There was scientific consensus early on, then there was political consensus. Then people who disliked the consensus decided to sabotage it and destroy it. Why? For reasons of profit.

But the main visible reason that consensus seems to have broken down is because Americans elected a black man president. Republicans didn’t like having a black president and decided that everything he proposed needed to be blocked.

Of course it’s more complicated than that. Fossil fuel billionaires poured billions into the PR campaign to derail the rational response to the climate change threat. Their profits drove the whole propaganda machine. But the unifying principle behind the opposition and its absolute team unity was racism.

FoxNews enforced this opposition with dangerously misleading and prejudicial reporting and the Republican Party turned the future of civilization into a team sport. They decided they were on the team that didn’t believe the scientists. A Republican senator said on the floor of the Senate that climate change was a hoax because he had a snowball in his hand.

We know what the problem is. We know which companies are causing the problem. (You'll find a list here at Science Magazine.) We know our behavior is making the problem worse and we have the ability to choose. But the most powerful media force available to Americans, the most watched news network, FoxNews, is dead set against a rational response. Why? Because they are the network of the Republican Party and the Democratic Party is dedicated to the rational scientific response, so they are opposed to it. It’s a binary response. Whatever the other side is proposing, they’re against it.

For eight years this obstruction remained unified because the leader of the Democrats was black. They hated being told by a black man that something needed to be done. Following the leadership of a black man was against 500 years of tradition.

The new obstruction that will begin in 2017 will dictate that all Republicans must oppose everything President Hillary Clinton proposes because they dislike having a woman president. This opposition will be built on thousands of years of male dominant tradition.

Deep racism and sexism and the sacred profits of oil and coal companies have energized half of America into an irrational mob. They refuse to believe anything except what they are told by their masters. This has turned a danger into an existential threat to civilization.

This seems attractive to some on the right who believe if they screw up the world badly enough Jesus will come.

What people need to understand is simple enough. Civilization is built upon a predictable and reliable climate––reliable rainfall and reliable growing seasons. Climate change will end that. It took thousands of years of reliable rain and growing seasons to lay down the soil that grows the crops we live on. We built our infrastructure around these reliable growing regions. People need to understand what will happen when our farming infrastructure and our fertile soil is located where crops will no longer grow. When the oceans rise we will have difficulty shipping food because our port infrastructure will be flooded.

A recent president who was faced with his failure said he didn’t mind how history judged him because he’d be dead. This appears to be the reasoning of the wealthy and stupid forces organized to oppose responsible action to slow and halt climate change. By the time the world knows the Koch Brothers helped doom our civilization they will be dead.

At some point people with enormous wealth stopped behaving responsibly as people, as citizens, and began playing wealth as a game in which nothing mattered but the score they could rack up before they died, at which point the game was over.

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