Why Haven’t We Done Anything About Global Warming?

When Barack Obama was elected President I thought he would put global warming at the forefront of his environmental policies and lead America into doing the right thing.  Three years later and its like George Bush is still president.  What happened?

Global warming is the defining ethical issue of our time, and it seems that most people want to ignore it.  Why?

I can only assume it’s greed and hatred of liberal philosophy.

I can’t believe that global warming deniers actual believe the crap that spews from their mouths.  I believe conservatives associate global warming with liberal politics and they will fight the idea even if God’s face filled the sky and told them Al Gore was his chosen prophet.  The conservatives hate liberal philosophy so much that they would turn to devil worship if God joined the liberals.  The oceans could rise ten feet and they would still deny global warming.  No amount of evidence will convince these people we have a problem with putting too much carbon in the atmosphere.

ABC News has a nice essay on this, “The American ‘Allergy’ to Global Warming: Why?”  This article even states the percentage of Republicans accepting the idea of global warming has gone down.  That’s because of the Tea Party influence on the GOP.  All the 2012 Republican candidates have embraced the idea that conservatives should all believe the exact same philosophy and anyone that doesn’t is a traitor to the party.  Any deviance from the party line and you’re a rabid yellow-dog Democrat.

America is the leader of the world on this issue – and we’re got our heads jammed in the sands and our asses hanging out for all the rest of the world to admire.  Conservatives would rather make a virtue of being an asshole than admit to any idea associated with liberal thinkers.

To my Republican friends, you need to look at yourself and do some soul searching about your reputation.  I’m not the only one worried about you, even some Republicans are worried about their image.  See “Goodbye to All That: Reflections of a GOP Operative Who Left the Cult.”  It’s one thing to believe in paying less taxes and promoting business, and another thing to running the country (and the world) into the ground.

One of the problems dealing with global warming is misinformation.  Conservative politicians tell their followers the issue is still open for discussion.  Really.   Read “Scientific Consensus on Global Warming” which shows clearly that there’s no quibbling among scientists.  Yet, the American public continues to think there is.  Read Politics & Global Warming.  Here’s the key finding of the report:

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The right answer is about 98% of climate scientists think global warming is happening and caused by man. And supposedly the other 2% think global warming is happening but there might be additional causes.  76% of the Tea Party folks are either not very worried or not worried at all about global warming yet only one percent of them got the question right.  Of course only 18% of Democrats and Independents got the question right too.  Global warming is not a problem for most Americans, even though 98% of the people most trained to know think there is a problem.

Climate scientists spend their whole lives studying this issue, and they have billions of dollars in research money to apply to the problem, while harnessing the most powerful supercomputers, and using the resources of NASA and other scientific organizations around the world.  They are telling us we have a problem and no one believe them.  Why?

Because they don’t want to believe.

The human race is about to be tested on how smart it is and it’s going to fail miserably.

My only conclusion is we prefer our fantasies over reality.

And you know what’s tragically hilarious.  If we had applied the money we spent on the Iraq war to retrofitting for global warming we’d be well on our way to solving the problem and have created a tremendous boost for the economy that would have kept America in the economic lead for the rest of the 21st century.  By refusing to face up to reality, the conservatives have put the American Empire on the quick road to decline.

Instead of seeing global warming as the defining challenge of our lives, something to face up to and make ourselves great, conservatives had chosen to run away.  Instead of seeing green technology as a gold mine of economic expansion, conservatives have decided to cling to their old ways and let the country go down the tubes.

I hate that the conservatives have made this choice for us, but we can’t do anything unless we all pull together.

I’m getting close to being old – turning 60 soon, so there’s no telling how much longer I’ll be around.  I feel sorry for the youngest generation though.  Conservatives think the worse thing that will happen to the young is they will get the bill for social security.  That’s actually something that could be easily fixed with some minor policy changes and small tax increases.  All the plagues  in the Old Testament will be nothing compared to what global warming will do to our country and the world.

Hey, I wouldn’t count the rapture getting you off this sinking ship either – we’re all going down together.

To answer my original question, why haven’t we done anything about global warming, well the answer is we did.  We chose to ignore it.

JWH – 9/25/11

I am not the only one asking this question, at the New York Times, Elisabeth Rosenthal asks “Where Did Global Warming Go?”  She only confirms what I said about our country, but does point out that Europe and other countries do take this problem seriously.

JWH – 10/16/11