Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Credit where it's due

Every morning and evening, I am strapped into a chair and forced to listen to NPR against my will. (Well okay, maybe I could listen to something else . . . ) I am not often kind to them here -- lately they've featured a fairly steady diet of long, sycophantic interviews with insane Republican power brokers, apparently in a craven and obviously futile attempt to save their federal funding -- but they finally give us a piece on climate change, occasioned by the hopeless Durban conference, in which they do not feel compelled to "balance" truth with ideological hallucinations.

As Richard Harris reports, "The United States is second only to China in emitting gases that cause global warming." Yep, he said it. Also, he quotes Kevin Kennedy of the World Resources Institute: "'Nowhere else in the world do you see a political debate about whether climate science is real, whether or not the climate is actually changing,' Kennedy says. 'That political climate makes it very difficult to move forward in a comprehensive way. And that is something we need to address in this country.'" And he doesn't make room for a rebuttal from climate science experts such as James Inhofe or Rick Perry.

The Durban conference is hopeless, of course, precisely because the United States will not support any effective action on climate change. And that is because the corporate media, in general -- and that includes the New York Times, by the way -- continues to treat the question of how much it matters, whether it's worth doing anything about, and even whether it is even happening, as a political controversy rather than a question of scientific fact; and because public discourse is largely controlled by wealthy psychopaths who are perfectly happy to destroy civilization in order to keep a few more millions in their pockets.

I don't write about this much because it terrifies me too much and I really don't know what I can add. I will, however, add Climate Progress to my sidebar, and I hope you all will visit and educate yourselves. Then take action -- no politician who won't commit to making this a priority deserves your vote.

1 comment:

Daniel said...

Five years ago I would not have said the situation is hopeless, but now I'd say it is.

May you live in interesting times (ancient curse).