Monday, June 09, 2014

In which the Prez educates and persuades

Friedman asked the President if he ever wants to "just go off on the climate deniers in Congress."

"Yeah, absolutely," Obama responded. "Look, it’s frustrating when the science is in front of us. ... We can argue about how. But let’s not argue about what’s going on. The science is compelling. ... The baseline fact of climate change is not something we can afford to deny. And if you profess leadership in this country at this moment in our history, then you’ve got to recognize this is going to be one of the most significant long-term challenges, if not the most significant long-term challenge, that this country faces and that the planet faces."


Our oh-so-cautious president is on the case at long last.

All the amplifiers chime in. Here's Charles Blow writing on the peculiar shape of religiosity in this country:

What worries me is that some Americans seem to live in a world where facts can’t exist.

Facts such as the idea that the world is ancient, and that all living things evolved and some — like dinosaurs — became extinct. Facts like the proven warming of the world. Facts like the very real possibility that such warming could cause a catastrophic sea-level rise.

And here's Paul Krugman employing his acerbic intelligence on global warming denialists:

Well, think about global warming from the point of view of someone who grew up taking Ayn Rand seriously, believing that the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest is always good and that government is always the problem, never the solution. Along come some scientists declaring that unrestricted pursuit of self-interest will destroy the world, and that government intervention is the only answer. It doesn’t matter how market-friendly you make the proposed intervention; this is a direct challenge to the libertarian worldview.

And the natural reaction is denial — angry denial. Read or watch any extended debate over climate policy and you’ll be struck by the venom, the sheer rage, of the denialists.

When a President uses his elevated perch to lead, others -- often proponents of far more disruptive stances -- can take more of the field. Is noting this Green Lanternism?

Will the Prez kill the Keystone XL pipeline and upset the rogue petro-state across our northern border as well as the coal barons? Has our species dawdled so long that avoiding the most drastic consequences of a couple of centuries of unbridled capitalism has become impossible? Our descendants will find out.

1 comment:

Hattie said...

As you say, the facts are almost too obvious. We are having a stretch of "normal" weather for this town, and we're going, "Hey, didn't it used to be like this all the time?" Now the normal seems abnormal.

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