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It's Getting Hot in Here
Author: BobR    Date: 03/30/2017 13:08:32

It seems odd that in the 21st century, with robots in factories and on Mars, with man-made devices outside our solar system, with computers in our pockets that can play movies, where science has made amazing strides in technology and medicine, that science itself is so poorly understood, and actively maligned by those who feel threatened by its evidence. It's even more odd that so many are willing to mistrust science and embrace a contrarian view using words like "believe", as if it were a religion rather than a well-established process for getting to the truth.

This, however, is the reality of Americans' relationship with global warming. Some time ago, scientists felt the need to replace the cause with the effect when discussing it, as if there were some other possible cause of climate change besides global warming. Perhaps this is because it's harder to deny the reality of the effects?

The sad aspect of this is that there is a very real and greedy reason for certain industries (coal, oil, and - for a while - automotive) to deny the science and what the evidence showed us. Casting doubt upon the science means that their industries can continue to flourish and enjoy unprecedented revenues and profits. Casting doubts and mistrust of science among those who have a hard time grasping it and among those who don't want to adjust their lives and/or consumption gains them "useful idiots" as allies. So to does casting the "tree-huggers" as some sort of un-American pansies who won't fight for what's right! - the right to shit all over the planet and expect someone else to clean it up.

Enter pResident tRump - the personification of the stupid greedy American. He has chosen to roll back as many protections as he can. Why? Likely because President Obama put them in place, but also because he has the aforementioned industries whispering in his ear that embracing green technologies kills jobs, despite all evidence to the contrary (or "Fake News" as they so clumsily dismiss it). Never mind the other reality that coal has been edged out by natural gas and those coal mining jobs are gone because of economic realities - not government policies.

Who can forget James Inhoff (R-OK) bringing a snowball to the Senate to prove that - despite it being winter - it was *gasp* cold outside!! That kind of stupidity continues. A state senator running for governor of PA is suggesting that global warming is caused by body heat.... and this guy is running to be governor of PA!!

Regardless - while tRump tries to unspool the changes and progress made, he is hitting some snags. These come in the form of lawsuits against his coal-mining deregulations. The lawsuit may end up coming to naught, but the deregulation is - as stated in the linked article - "really just a hail Mary to a dying industry".

(side note: The new EPA chief has also decided to ignore science and research that a chlorpyrifos insecticide harms children, and is choosing not to ban it.)

The fight for science and against global warming has created some strange bedfellows. Some Republicans are distancing themselves from the pack, such as House Rep Ryan Costello (R-PA). He is joined by 17 other House Republicans who are choosing to buck their leadership and embrace reality.

Another odd voice against tRump is coming from - of all places - Exxon-Mobil:
ExxonMobil, the largest American oil group, has written to the Trump administration urging it to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate accord agreed to at the end of 2015. In a letter to President Donald Trump’s special assistant for international energy and the environment, Exxon argues that the Paris accord is “an effective framework for addressing the risks of climate change.” Exxon argues in its letter that there are several reasons for the U.S. to stay in the Paris accord, including the opportunity to support greater use of natural gas, which creates lower carbon-dioxide emissions than coal when burned for power generation.

Of course - let's be real... Who benefits from burning natural gas more than a company marketing natural gas? Coal is the competition to them. Nonetheless - If they can help stop this backward march into the flames of human extinction, we'll take the support.

There are two views to this environmental carnage - the optimistic one is that tRump's actions can be somewhat mitigated by foot-dragging and lawsuits. There is also the reality that in 4 years, we could have a Dem in the White House to reinstate the efforts of President Obama (not saying we'll have 4 years of tRump, but realistically - 4 years of a Republican in the White House).

The pessimist in me wonders if we'll be past the point of no return by then (if we aren't already - as some scientists speculate).

Mother Nature is surely pissed at us. Here's hoping she's the forgiving sort.

33 comments (Latest Comment: 03/30/2017 21:09:55 by Raine)
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