More America Hating

I feel bad for all the people suffering in New Orleans right now, but every time I hear that the South is being battered by ever more and stronger hurricanes, especially when it comes to Florida, I can’t help but remember that those are red states, and they support the President, and the President’s position is that global warming is an abstract, secular theory that scientists don’t agree on. You know, like evolution? It’s just a theory! And besides, we should call it “climate change.” I mean, even if our activities are changing the atmosphere and the climate, you don’t want to call it something vaguely threatening like “global warming:” please, it’s “climate change!”

And, even though the rest of the industrialized world has reached a consensus, the Kyoto Protocol, and are working to limit their emissions of Carbon Dioxide, I listen to the news that New Orleans in inundated, an entire city, quite possibly destroyed, and I’m reminded that “had we joined the Kyoto Treaty it would have cost America a lot of jobs,” and that acting to curb global warming would be overly damaging to our economy.

I read in the New Yorker that the last time our atmosphere was as thick with CO2 as it is now, alligators lived in the swamps of Colorado, not far from the ocean. It is going to take hundreds, maybe thousands of years for the Earth to adjust to this new point of equilibrium, and the transition period is going to be filled with lots of climatological uncertainty. It is mostly going to make the equatorial regions, which are already very hot, where the largest number of people live in the greatest poverty, all the more uninhabitable. The rest of us get to deal with extreme weather, prolonged droughts, prolonged flooding, and likely sudden, sharp rises in sea level as chunks of Antarctica and Greenland slip off and become seawater.

I wonder when we will change out minds? The Kyoto Treaty, you will recall, is unfair, because it requires us to act, but not those sneaky Chinese, with their developing economy. Those sneaky Chinese, who outnumber us four-to-one, and now consume nearly seven million barrels of oil each day! They even tried to buy one of our oil companies, before we got hysterical about that! Why, before you know it they might somehow manage to consume even more energy than we do, by tripling their consumption to our 21 million barrels of oil per day.

His pop, George H. W. Bush, said before the first round of negotiations about Global Warming, that the American way of life is non-negotiable. We won’t live in smaller houses, we won’t drive smaller cars, we won’t consolidate our suburban sprawl. It’s our way and or it’s the highway, and our way is the highway.

And in New Orleans, the highway is ten feet under water.


I like New Orleans. It is a great place to party. I wonder if the party may be over? Or are we going to continue not negotiating our way through life? Are we going to face our demons head on, or are we going to keep scrambling for ever higher ground?

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Categories: Politics

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