Of course, taking our changing global environment seriously does demand changing the way we think and do things. It demands growing up and recognizing we have a huge population on a warming planet with shrinking resources and we no longer have the luxury of behaving as though Earth was still a limitless cornucopia. Since I'm still not getting the time I need to write, I want to share an article from last year where I try to describe our failure of vision and curiosity when it comes to addressing humanity's most fateful "geophysical experiment."
Twenty years ago I came across a cartoon by Mike Keefe in the Denver Post that captured an attitude I had found all too pervasive among my fellow Americans: the attitude of entitlement and detached disregard for understanding how our global climate system operates.
I thank Mike Keefe for the permission to use his cartoon.
Back then we were thinking about the Keeling Curve, to my eyes, the mother of all hockey stick graphs. Consider for a moment that before the industrial revolution our global climate system had its CO2 regulator slowly fluctuating between about 180 ppm (parts per million) to 280 ppm. And I mean slowly, taking around five thousand years to go from trough to peak (±100 ppm), with profound changes from ice ages to temperate periods.
Indeed, we were waking up to the fact that it was our own collective behavior and expectations driving this global problem; the escalating consumption we’d fallen in love with was the cancer that would continue raising our planet’s temperature. However, this dawning realization created a profound cognitive dissonance.
The stark historic reality was this: power down or radically alter our planet’s global climate system and the biosphere upon which we all depend. Yes, that meant consuming less and in smarter ways. It also meant burning less fossil fuels and making fewer babies.
He is absorbed and moved around in myriad ways so it’s no surprise that scientists don’t have a perfect inventory of where every joule of heat is going. What matters is how atmospheric greenhouse gases are retaining heat, and that process scientists do understand—thoroughly. It doesn’t turn on and off; the “global warming hiatus” was an illusion from day one.
It follows that no weather event is independent of that overarching warming of our weather-making engine. So, what’s up with the wishful avoidance?
giving me an opportunity to revisit that essay in
"Katrina and Rita in Context" November/December 2005 The Humanist.
In The Republican War on Science, Chris Mooney tied together the disparate strands of the attack on science into a compelling and frightening account of our government’s increasing unwillingness to distinguish between legitimate research and ideologically driven pseudoscience.http://www.waronscience.com/book.php
Posted Nov 20, 2012 by Gregory Ferenstein
The GOP Congress is ready to attack science agency funding in 2015.
BY REBECCA LEBER March 29, 2015
Dozens of organizations are funded by ExxonMobil
and its foundations that work to spread climate denial.
MOLLY BALL SEP 25, 2013
Can't say that I'm familiar with them, but it looks like something worth sharing.