Have they no grandchildren?

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Powerful column in today’s New York Times by Thomas Friedman about the Senate Democrats’ recent abandonment of an effort to pass an energy/climate bill that would cap greenhouse gases and promote renewable energy.

Wrote Friedman:

When I first heard on Thursday that Senate Democrats were abandoning the effort to pass an energy/climate bill that would begin to cap greenhouse gases that cause global warming and promote renewable energy that could diminish our addiction to oil, I remembered something that Joe Romm, the climateprogress.org blogger, once said: The best thing about improvements in health care is that all the climate-change deniers are now going to live long enough to see how wrong they were.

Alas, so are the rest of us. I could blame Republicans for the fact that not one G.O.P. senator indicated a willingness to vote for a bill that would put the slightest price on carbon. I could blame the Democratic senators who were also waffling. I could blame President Obama for his disappearing act on energy and spending more time reading the polls than changing the polls. I could blame the Chamber of Commerce and the fossil-fuel lobby for spending bags of money to subvert this bill. But the truth is, the public, confused and stressed by the last two years, never got mobilized to press for this legislation. We will regret it.

Like Friedman, this sickens me. S-i-c-k-e-n-s me. I am so tired of hearing the likes of Hannity, Beck, Rush, etc calling climate change “a hoax.” OK, let’s say that’s a possibility. Let’s say that maybe they’re correct … that maybe the planet isn’t heating up from man-made decisions. Wouldn’t you still—logically—rather err on the side of caution? Wouldn’t you say, “Well, it can’t actually hurt us to make the earth clearer—and, just in case the scientists are right, we can also avoid a complete global meltdown.” It just blows me away, the way we’re destroying the planet and yet, no one wants to do anything about it. We talk about the future—”our children and grandchildren”—but are never backing it up. We go about life as if only today matters.

The reality: Nothing will ever get done, and if climate change is legitimate (as I firmly believe), we’re fucked. The planet will get hotter and hotter, but the loudmouths among us will always accuse the others of behind like Chicken Little.

Then, one day, we’ll all be dead.

15 thoughts on “Have they no grandchildren?”

  1. Problem is Hannity, Beck, Rush, etc are concerned because they produce the most hot air. They just want to stay employed.

    Seriously it is pretty sad a comprehensive bill couldn’t pass. I think positive and hope the small step may gain momentum and eventually greater measures can be taken.
    Some of the bill seems to be frivolous. The BP portion seems to lack teeth. If BP wishes to fight it ends up in court anyway.
    Natural gas trucks seems to be interesting, but most companies hold on to their aging trucks as long as they can. Many companies will buy used. The rest of the original bill may very well become law before the trucking industry changes.

  2. The question is, Jeff, how much access to the resources to the energy that it requires to heat your home and watching television and typing on your laptop and driving your kids around town and fly to places to do book research and everything else you have to do in life are YOU willing to give up to back up a theory that, by your own admission, might very well be a hoax? Furthermore, how much of a financial burden do we want to put on energy companies and how much more power do we really want to give the federal government, to combat this climate change theory that many reputable scientist refute and that seems to be backed up by rather faulty data? There are perfectly good reasons to cast a suspicious eye at this type of overreaching legislation, especially with the country in the economic shape that it’s in.

  3. Conservatives always have good “fiscal” reasons for not doing things, but where were these staunch libertarians when Bush was turning a surplus into a multi-trillion dollar debt by engaging in two fraudulent wars? Oh, that’s right, those were “pre-emptive strikes” to protect us. Well guess what, this legislation is a pre-emptive strike against a threat that actually exists and could impact the future of life on this planet. So now you want to pinch pennies?

  4. Brian,

    There is not a single reputable scientist who questions global warming.

    And what incentive do the world’s scientists have for perpetuating this “hoax?”

    1. I’m sorry, Doug, but that is pure nonsense. And, again, if you’re wrong, we’re fucked. If you’re right, and we still cut back emissions, make positive changes—well, it can’t hurt.

  5. You’re right, cutting emissions can’t hurt. But imposing more taxes and costs associated with doing business in this country at this time would not only be disastrous for the dems, but it would only prolong the longest recession ever.
    That one didn’t do anything for you, have a look at this one. http://www.kusi.com/weather/colemanscorner/19842304.html
    If you have a link to opposing view I’d love to see it.

  6. Hey Doug…I’m guessing you believe in the Global Warming Petition Project…you know the one. Over 31,000 “scientists” petitioned against global warming.

    Yet, the petition didn’t hold up as it was revealed that less than 2,000 of those signatures were from actual scientists. The others were chiropractors, family doctors, etc.

    “When questioned in 1998, OISM’s Arthur Robinson admitted that only 2,100 signers of the Oregon Petition had identified themselves as physicists, geophysicists, climatologists, or meteorologists, “and of those the greatest number are physicists.” This grouping of fields concealed the fact that only a few dozen, at most, of the signatories were drawn from the core disciplines of climate science – such as meteorology, oceanography, and glaciology – and almost none were climate specialists.”

    “When the Oregon Petition first circulated, in fact, environmental activists successfully added the names of several fictional characters and celebrities to the list, including John Grisham, Michael J. Fox, Drs. Frank Burns, B. J. Honeycutt, and Benjamin Pierce (from the TV show M*A*S*H), an individual by the name of “Dr. Red Wine,” and Geraldine Halliwell, formerly known as pop singer Ginger Spice of the Spice Girls. Halliwell’s field of scientific specialization was listed as “biology.””

  7. Touche, a petition of that size will always draw people who don’t agree with it to try and fill it full of holes. If you click the link those points are all addressed. My point is global warming is not man made and the danger it poses isn’t worth further handcuffing our economy. What we actually need is a Montgomery Burns style sun blocking device to control what really causes global warming, now that would totally be worth it.

  8. Jim; client scientists (And certain ex-Vice Presidents) are making money by perpetuating global warming. Nothing ratchets up donations and grant money like convincing people that the world is ending and that only the research you do can stop it. But, since you asked, here is the list of scientists that dispute various facets of Al Gore’s “Global warming is man made and will eventually kill us all” alarmism….

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the_mainstream_scientific_assessment_of_global_warming

    And if you want a list of hotel masseuses that have grievances with Mr. Gore, that information is widely available too.

    http://www.nationalenquirer.com/exclusive_al_gore_sex_scandal_two_new_female_accusers_assault/celebrity/69024

    1. Brian, significantly more scientists agree with most, if not all, of Gore’s contentions.

      Again, if they’re right—you’re fucked.
      If they’re wrong, and we still take action—we have a cleaner planet and an economy that has adjusted.

      I just don’t think it’s worth the risk of assuming they’re wrong.

  9. I’m just making the point that the unanimous concensus that the former Vice President claimed about this topic never really existed, and that doubt about some of the claims about climate change are growing.
    And Jeff, again, you’re so convinced that they’re right that you are willing to either cut down on your personal energy usage or pay the inevitably higher taxes and energy costs that would come about as a result of this proposed legislation??
    I don’t think I or a high percentage of our fellow Americans are all that convinced yet.

  10. What drives me bonkers about the conservative stance on global warming is that they are half correct. It definitely WILL be difficult to deal with the problem, from the economy’s standpoint. There would be a massive shift in the way energy is consumed and sold. Businesses unable to adjust would eventually cease to exist.

    However, to deny that man-made climate change is a problem at all is, in my opinion, an awful way to deal with it. Pure avoidance. Every time I hear them spouting off about it being a “hoax,” I think, “Wow, well look at how that worked out!”

    If they had any courage, they would acknowledge what I think we all know down deep – that man-made climate change is occurring – and then work hard to come up with workable solutions that could fix the problem while reinventing, rather than crippling, the economy. Politicians willing to undertake that sort of New Deal would change the course of human history. We all strive for lasting significance that survives our physical death. Here it is, on a tee, for these guys. And they continue to blow it in favor of the path of least resistance.

    P.S. The answer is nuclear power.

  11. Mr. McDowell, though I know the website has references at the bottom, never, ever try to back up fact with any type of wiki. Any info can be changed by anyone. Please use respectable sources. Jeff, agreed?

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