Thursday, November 15, 2012

Impending Apocalypse Low Priority Compared to Future Budget Deficits

This is the way the world ends...

Shorter Barack Obama: Climate change is real, and serious, but it's a tough challenge, so fuck it, let's fiddle while the world burns.

Here's something that Obama could do unilaterally if he wished.  And it sounds like this idea is one Obama could do unilaterally too.  So Congress me no Congress: he could help, if he cared.  He just doesn't care enough.

Geoengineering: it's in your future!

• From Nature:
I have yet to meet a climate scientist who does not believe that global warming is a worse problem than they thought a few years ago. The seriousness of this change is not appreciated by politicians and the public. The scientific world carefully measures the speed with which we approach the cliff and will, no doubt, carefully measure our rate of fall. But it is not doing enough to stop it...

Recognition of the facts is delayed by the frankly brilliant propaganda and obfuscation delivered by energy interests that virtually own the US Congress....

Scientists are understandably protective of the dignity of science and are horrified by publicity and overstatement. These fears, unfortunately, are not shared by their opponents, which makes for a rather painful one-sided battle. Overstatement may generally be dangerous in science (it certainly is for careers) but for climate change, uniquely, understatement is even riskier and therefore, arguably, unethical.

It is crucial that scientists take more career risks and sound a more realistic, more desperate, note on the global-warming problem. Younger scientists are obsessed by thoughts of tenure, so it is probably up to older, senior and retired scientists to do the heavy lifting. Be arrested if necessary. This is not only the crisis of your lives — it is also the crisis of our species’ existence. I implore you to be brave.

-- Jeremy Grantham, Be Persuasive. Be Brave. Be Arrested (If Necessary).
From the Harvard Business Review:
...the math is not pretty, but it is what it is.... Let's not let politics or fear of the size of the task ahead get in the way of today's climate math... Climate math is simply a constraint on the imaginary formula that is business as usual. But constraints drive innovation. We in the business community respect numbers and the best companies love challenges. Let's prove it.
"But what can I do?"

I think the moment for mass civil disobedience is upon us.  Someone needs to stand athwart the end of history, yelling Stop.

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