As predicted, many on the right are freaking the fuck out over Obama’s new climate regulations. He wants to cut greenhouse gas emissions at power plants by 30% by the year 2030. Of course the right is only framing things in terms of lopsided, bogus, outdated economic information. The news is doing their usual he said/she said bullshit. I think these new regulations are great news and I want to tell you why by telling you things that will happen if we don’t go forward with these and other regulations. I am not going to use scientific language like parts per million or what have you. I am going to curse…a lot!
- They are going to prevent people from fucking dying. That’s right, if the worst of climate change happens people are going to die as a result. Not only are they going to die, but they will die because we were immoral and refused to do anything to help them. These regulations are a good start in helping people. How are they going to die? Climate change will bring bigger storms, lead to droughts in countries that are already impoverished, and create wars over valuable resources like water. Who says that climate change will create more war? The fucking Pentagon!
- They are going to prevent more people from fucking dying and getting sick. Another thing that rarely gets included in right wing think tank’s estimations is how much we already pay in terms of asthma and other respiratory disease from power plants. Even if you are the kind of selfish bastard that doesn’t care about foreigners, poor people, or animals, you probably give a shit about your kids and their friends.
- Animals are going to fucking die. Climate change is going to increase the extinction rate. Don’t just say goodbye to polar bears, say goodbye to a whole host of animals you grew up with as part of earth as you knew it!
- The oceans are going to become way more fucking acidic. They are already on their way. Coral reefs, fish, and other species are going to disappear. The only thing left will be fucking jellyfish. Think of how much life comes out of the ocean. Think of how much of our food source comes in some way from the ocean. In the words of Bill Paxton in Aliens, “Game over man!”
- Storms are going to become way more powerful. We will get hurricanes that make Hurricane Sandy look like a fucking wet dream. The other day in the news I saw a fire tornado! When was the last time you saw that shit!
Those are just several of the things that these regulations are trying to prevent. This is one step out of many that need to be taken. As Slavoj Zizek says in his brilliant movie The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology, “Why is it easier for us to imagine the end of life as we know it than to make a few small changes to our economic system?” We need to wake up and realize that not doing anything makes us immoral mutants of the highest fucking order! When poor people and all of our fellow citizens of the earth, animals, and entire ecosystems are at risk, why are we not doing even more to confront this problem? It’s because those that are greedy and have something to lose control a large amount of the information we are getting. It is high fucking time we ditched being classy and laid it out there what is going to happen. Because what is going to happen if we do nothing is fucking obscene in the truest sense.
The above link is to a Huffpo article that talks about the new regulations to cut carbon emissions at power plants by 30% by the year 2030. One thing that you never hear mentioned by right wing think tanks and organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, which thankfully is briefly mentioned in this article, is how much air pollution costs us in terms of health. If we are going to figure out how much such and such costs the economy, we also need to figure out the negative costs that air pollution has on our lives aside from just climate change, which is bad enough. How many more people go to the hospital for respiratory illnesses, how many more people develop asthma, and so on? The World Bank estimated in the 90’s that in China, and China’s air pollution has only gotten worse since then, that in one year alone (1997) there were 178,000 deaths as the result of air pollution and valued health damages at 5% of GDP. When certain groups start going apeshit about the costs of these new regulations ask yourself if they are including these social costs in their calculations.
The information concerning China can be found here:
The above article is from Huffington Post and it is about how Military leaders are acknowledging the threat that climate change poses to our national security. The idea that climate change will cause instability around the world is nothing new, but this report is just one more reason that we need to get serious about this subject.
The above clip is from the new John Oliver show Last Week Tonight. He demonstrates how ridiculous the coverage of climate change is on TV news. The only accurate way to report that one in four Americans are skeptical of global warming is to say that, “A poll finds out that one in four Americans are wrong about something.”
The lead article over at Huffpo right now is that Mark Rubio has decided to take a strong climate change denial stance. You can read the article here:
But the article that you really should be reading is the Rolling Stone piece from awhile back about how Miami is going to end up under water if we do nothing about climate change:
Rubio is either a cynical political operative trying to stir up the base or a complete idiot. Neither option bodes well for Floridians. We might never find Atlantis, but we can sure create one! We as Americans can do anything if we put our minds to it. USA, USA!!!
Tonight on WITF my Dad, Donald A. Brown, will be talking about climate change on WITF at 7pm eastern time. The above link will get you to where you need to go. I listened to the first live airing at 9am this morning. My Dad was an environmental lawyer for most of his career and even had a stint at the United Nations. He then taught environmental ethics at Penn State and now teaches environmental law at Widener University. I can honestly say my Dad is one of the most kind and thoughtful people that I know. Lord only knows how he raised such a heathen!
P.S. The program that he will be on is called Smart Talk and its running time is one hour.
A report came out today that talks about how climate change is already causing major effects in the U.S. The above is a link to a New York Times article summarizing that report. It makes me sad and angry to think that so many people are confused on this issue due to corporate misinformation. Change is coming and we need to get serious about how we deal with it. “If you don’t know this, then what do you know?”
Extra points to anyone that knows the song that last quote is from.
This clip is from the Showtime series Years of Living Dangerously. I posted it as much for the laughter of the last line as anything. As a child of the 80’s I am a huge fan of Arnold’s action films. However, it is good to see anyone, especially a Republican, speak out about something that has so many dire consequences for our society. Whatever you may think of this clip, this series is really outstanding and is worth watching.
The link above is to the Showtime series Years of Living Dangerously. You can watch the first episode of this series for free. To anyone that wants to understand climate change better, is skeptical, or wants to be able to talk about it more intelligently with friends, I can’t recommend this enough. It is highly accessible and it covers a wide range of topics associated with climate change. The science is touched upon, but it is not a heavily scientific show in the sense that it is just data thrown at you. It follows several celebrities as they travel to different regions of the world that are already facing problems that are caused by climate change. The footage is astounding and the show is highly entertaining, despite being of a very serious nature.
I know the idea of following around a few celebrities around could easily descend into farce, but in this show it is not the case. The celebrities aren’t so much driving the action as they are just familiar faces that are standing in for the audience on camera. This is a sober production.
The show does deal with the ecological problems that are associated with climate change, but it also deals with the human issues as well. We are already seeing crops die, wars being fought, and jobs being lost because of climate change. These are not things taking place in the future, but are issues that are already starting to arise.
I also liked the way that the show dealt with people of faith. People like me are already onboard. I would vote to curb emissions yesterday. We need people that have beliefs that stand in the way to change their mind. This show deals with the idea that science in no way challenges faith, at least not in the big picture. At the end of the day we all share the same planet, and if we are going to inhabit it in a way similar to the way we grew up, we better find some common ground.
My Dad got a letter published in the New York Times today! I am very proud of him. His name is Donald A. Brown. He has long spoken about the ethical problems concerning our response to climate change. My Dad was an environmental lawyer most of his life. After that he taught at Penn State. He now is a professor of sustainability ethics and law at Widener University School of Law.