A simple truth, anti-science suffering haters of a livable economic system have hindered action to address our mounting resource challenges of our overuse and overabuse of depletable resources. These include oil (Peak Oil), water (depleting fossil acquifers), top soil (with increasingly serious dust storms in many parts of the world hastening creation of new deserts), and too many others (want to talk about overfishing?). The most serious abuse of our natural resources, of true global commons, is the unceasing pumping of pollutants — most seriously greenhouse gases — into the atmosphere.
While legitimate excuses existed several decades ago for not putting this high on the policy agenda due to uncertain science, those excuses have long ago evaporated in the face of ever-more solid scientific research and ever-mounting real-world evidence of a warming world with ever-increasingly severe tangible implications of climate catastrophe staring us in the face through record heat temperatures, crop damage, melting ice, species going extinct, changing animal ranges, and … The situation has moved from uncertainty, to need to have this on the policy agenda, to a situation where not having climate change mitigation on the top of the policy agenda (in an integrated 3E (economics, energy, environmental) agenda) will doom us (and the U.S.) to the real world harshly forcing it to the top of agenda and, ever more viciously as time passes, reducing our ability to deal with its devastating impacts.
These anti-science Climate Cranks and Climate Zombies (too often incorrectly called ‘skeptics’) have already damaged our prosperity and health while undermining our future economic prospects and security. Their deliberate efforts to undermine the public’s understanding of science and the government’s appropriate use of science to inform public policy has already doomed us to serious climate challenges in a situation where the young are most appropriately to be called ‘The Hot Generation’ (and, no, not meaning ‘sexy’) as they are preordained to live through a hotter climate period than humanity has ever experienced in the creation of modern civilization. These Climate Cranks and Climate Zombies are working hard to assure that The Hot Generation will have to live through ever hotter conditions than necessary.
The most powerful voice, still, when it comes to mounting a serious and concerted global effort to mitigate climate change and to foster adaptation for the hotter decades (and centuries …) to come rests with the U.S. government and its actions … or inaction. Sadly, the 2010 elections brought to positions of power too many people who embrace the rejection of knowledge, demean expertise, and have disdain for science and scientists who do not conveniently provide information that supports their ideological agenda. As a tangible sign of this, the House Republicans proposed continuing resolution represents a slash and burn attack on the core U.S. capabilities to assess the risk and implications of Global Warming. Putting Climate Cranks and Climate Zombies into positions of power will have quite real consequences … adverse consequences.
The American media bears a serious responsibility as aiders and abetters of this reckless endangerment of America and Americans due their inability (refusal? failure? abject irresponsibility in refusal?) to report honestly, accurately, and truthfully on how these Climate Cranks are so at odds with the world’s scientists and are enraptured with fossil-foolish nonsense that puts our (and our children’s and their children’s) prosperity, health, and security at ever increasing risk.
Reminiscent of Network‘s screaming outrage, “I’m mad as hell and I won’t take it anymore,” a journalist has declared that he has en0ugh of his colleagues and is seeking paths to force the nation’s media to pay more attention to these issues.
Mark Hertsgaard, of The Nation and author of HOT: Living Through The Next Fifty Years on Earth, will seek “to unmask those who are holding our nation’s climate policy hostage.” He plans “to name and shame the climate cranks sabotaging our nation’s response to climate change.” Step 1:
On Tuesday, February 15, Mark and supporters will head to Capitol Hill, the Fox TV bureau, the Chamber of Commerce and other hotbeds of climate denial. The goal? Put the climate cranks on the spot and make them explain—on camera and in front of kids—why they have condemned the young people of “Generation Hot” to spending the rest of their lives coping with the hottest climate in human history.
If you wish to engage, this is a coalition effort that includes the Sierra Club, 350.org, Kids vs. Global Warming, the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and Grist. If you want to engage directly in support of this action, here are some suggested routes:
- Visit the Facebook page for Generation Hot. Post your suggestions for which cranks to target, what questions to ask and how to use this action to transform the climate conversation in this country.
- Join Mark and fellow activists in Washington, DC, on February 15. You can sign up to help confront climate cranks in the morning or the afternoon. There will also be an opportunity to attend a talk at lunchtime.
This is Step 1 … of a long and difficult and, well, unending journey. We have a choice — do we set out on the journey, and calmly acquiesce to policy recklessly disregarding our future or will we commit to this step and the next and the … It will be a long, tough, painful journey but an absolutely necessary one.
As Lou Grinzo put it,
The only thing that can stop them is you. More specifically, you once you’ve decided to educate yourself and reject the propaganda shoved at you by a small number of very large and wealthy special interests. Or, you could take the easy route, play with your new Kindle or iPad/iPod or Android device or computer game or sit in front of your TV and watch NASCAR or let yourself be consumed by whatever form of distraction you prefer. That’s much less work, even if the price for your mindless leisure today is an environmental catastrophe decades from now.