This was Bill Maher’s question last Friday.
And, this is both a serious and a sad question.
1. Suffering from and flaunting anti-science syndrome has become, nearly literally, a conservative litmus test with questioning of evolution, promotion of “sound science“, and maligning scientists studying Global Warming de rigeur for many on the “Right”.
2. Howard Dean seeks to answer this as a question of money and costs, but this does not fully reflect the reality or driving motivations. While this is not irrelevant, there are many more driving factors that source global warming denial and skepticism.
In any event, the sad reality that too few realize how serious our situation is, in no small part due to fossil foolish misdirection and Republican rhetoric. As explained by Howard Dean,
This is what is really frightening. Unlike the financial crisis, we can’t avert this, we’re already over the edge. So all we can do is ameliorate how bad it gets … in 15 years, most of the glaciers in the Himalyas are going to be substantially gone. That supplies the water for one billion people …
The science is clear about the overall threat, even if specific details and specific trendlines into the future are less clear. The threat is clear — if one is open to science and knowledge. The “battle”, the political discussion space should have long been: what are the best paths forward, what are the best options / policies / regulations for moving us (the US and all of us) toward an Energy Smart future.
Sadly, as Maher notes, survival of the planet is a partisan issue …