…it doesn’t mean that climate woes will just magically bypass you. No matter how much you try to delude yourself that they will.
Yes, USA, I’m talking to you. You’ve been comporting yourself with your usual shameful “la la la la, I’m not listening” flair. What have you got to say for yourself about THIS?
For its part the Bush administration, which rejects the emissions cutbacks of the current Kyoto Protocol, accepted only a watered-down proposal to enter an exploratory global “dialogue” on future steps to combat climate change. That proposal specifically rules out “negotiations leading to new commitments.”
Translated into plain English, that means “We’re not going to do anything about our pollution, and you can’t talk us into it, so fuck you!”
150 countries came together and sat down for THAT? Sheesh. Why not just send a postcard of Bush flipping the bird? Because in essence, that’s what this all boils down to.
It doesn’t help, either, that the average American sheeple viewpoint is “informed” by the same facile, simplistic thinking that’s behind this piece of twaddle by R. Emmett Tyrell:
And so the civilized inhabitants of the Republic have suffered another outburst of Red Alerts from that sour minority of Neo-Puritans who, from the discomfort of their health-food shops and earth shoes, admonish the rest of us against having a good time. Having appropriated an environmental bureaucracy from the busybodies at the United Nations, they are madly issuing reports that proclaim what all normal minds recognize as Good News is actually Bad News. Under the dubious banner of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change they report that the average temperature of the earth’s surface has been steadily rising for at least fifty years and could rise as much as 10.4 degrees over the next century. To which those of us kissed by joie de vivre say, “Break out the suntan lotion. Let’s golf.” The future is going to hold lower heating costs for all, and a return of the mini-skirt.
That’s what you think, Emmy-boy. In reality, the miniskirt and golf both will fall permanently out of fashion, and that’s the only silver lining in the whole situation. Because the reality will look a lot more like this:
Over the past couple of decades such warnings have been drowned out by the great global warming debate and by consideration of how society might cope in future with a sweltering planet rather than an icebound one. Seemingly, the fact that we are still within an interglacial period, during which the ice has largely retreated to its polar fastnesses, has been forgotten – and replaced with the commonly-held view that one good thing you can say about global warming is that it will at least stave off the return of the glaciers.
Is this really true, or could the rapidly accelerating warming that we are experiencing actually hasten the onset of a new ice age? A growing body of evidence suggests that, at least for the UK and western Europe, there is a serious risk of this happening – and soon.
The problem lies with the ocean current known as the Gulf Stream, which bathes the UK and north-west Europe in warm water carried northwards from the Caribbean. It is the Gulf Stream, and associated currents, that allow strawberries to thrive along the Norwegian coast, while at comparable latitudes in Greenland glaciers wind their way right down to sea level. The same currents permit palms to flourish in Cornwall and the Hebrides, whereas across the ocean in Labrador, even temperate vegetation struggles to survive. Without the Gulf Stream, temperatures in the UK and north-west Europe would be five degrees centigrade or so cooler, with bitter winters at least as fierce as those of the so-called Little Ice Age in the 17th to 19th centuries. [emphasis mine]
Oh, I suppose I’m just being a doomsaying fusspot, harping on the bone-chilling dangers inherent in a derangement of the Gulf Stream like this. Maybe I should worry more about malarial mosquitoes making a comeback in my neck of the woods (southern Ontario.) Maybe I should even take Mr. Tyrell’s advice and lobby for a return to the use of wonderful, bird-killing, cancer-causing DDT to combat the menace. Or just go shopping for miniskirts (and the gym membership, sawdust-based diet food, and endless bottles of self-tanner and sunscreen to go with them). I’m so confused!
Well, no…to be honest, I’m NOT confused. The answer to this whole dilemma is so clear, Mr. Tyrell and Co. can’t even see it. The answer is to GET OVER YOUR GOD-DAMNED ADDICTION TO OIL! Get off the needle, you pinstriped junkies! Learn to make do with a smaller car (or better still, no car at all–bikes are better for your legs, and miniskirts be damned.) Stop whining about not having all the latest and fanciest of everything (do you have ANY idea how much pollution the production and transport of all that crap alone entails?) Scale back as far as you can, and make the best of it; consider it an exercise in the art of Pioneer Spirit. (Remember that, ye so-called conservatives? What, don’t tell me you’ve forgotten already. I suppose you’ve also forgotten what it actually means to CONSERVE.) Teach your kids to walk or take the bus to all their extracurriculars, or else take up new hobbies, preferably ones that don’t involve a parent playing chauffeur and lugging heavy, expensive equipment from one end of town to the other all the time. Eat less imported food and learn to grow your own…or get to know your local farmers. Preferably the organic kind.
And what about the OTHER global-warming (and, for that matter, pollution in general) skeptics? The ones who say they can’t afford to be more environmentally conscious because it will somehow, mysteriously, result in job losses?
Well, the answer to THAT is clear, too. For starters, they offer no compelling proof; we’re just supposed to accept such bunkum assertions as gospel. The biggest cause of job loss in Corporate America is not environmental consciousness, it’s DOWNSIZING. You know, that thing CEOs of multinational empires do when they want to pad their profit margins (and pockets) by firing low-level workers and then working the remaining ones so hard that they all end up breaking down, physically and mentally? Yeah, THAT downsizing. Not to be mistaken for the kind that I mentioned above, which would be better called Simple Living. THAT kind can actually create jobs: agronomists, environmental technicians, engineers (to come up with more enviro-friendly just-about-everything), etc. Because you need people, not machines, to make more of a difference that way. You can’t build a machine to actually THINK for you, after all.
Yeah, I know. That means a big hike in social spending. And what’s so bad about that? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Education is non-negotiable. We all need it, or we’ll be stuck back in slavery: illiterate, unable to do anything but the most menial grunt-work for the least pay–or, more frighteningly and realistically, NO pay. The CEOs might love that, but they forget the reason the American Civil War was fought. Today’s empires are tomorrow’s ashes, so the imperial mindset is the first thing that has to go. And good riddance! But the only way to do it is to invest in education and make it cool to be an environmentalist (yes, that IS a pun, hon.) Because, let’s face it: the false, facile “joie de vivre” of R. Emmett Tyrell is a beast bound for extinction.
Whether Mr. Tyrell realizes it or not.