A nobel-winning panel issued a report that global change is now so “severe and so sweeping that only urgent, global action” can prevent global disaster. The problem is that no one appears to be listening in the halls of power in the United States, particularly not President Bush who for many years called the theory of global warming “junk science” and from his own vaulted scientific background disregarded experts in his own administration. While polls show a high majority of Americans want action, corporate lobbyists have succeeded in gutting any serious effort in Washington. For today’s story, click here What is astonishing is that Bush seems entirely unconcerned that his most lasting legacy (besides blissfully riding an economy into a recession) will be the president who prevented any action to be taken as scientists worldwide declared a series of emergencies. Of course, he will share the ignobility with the Indian and Chinese governments — fine company. The real question, as always, is where is Congress?
2 thoughts on “Nobel-Winning Panel Calls for Urgent Action on Global Warming to Avoid Disaster”
It is a tragedy of homo sapiens as a species that although we have unprecedented reasoning skills among our mammal cousins, we are simply not good at acting on longterm forecasts.
It is a pattern repeated over and over again through history: the simultaneous ability to foresee consequences and the inability to take appropriate action.
It is very likely a programming/hardwiring default in our mammalian brains: short term threats/benefits overwrite long term threats/benefits in triggering action.
Thus our ability to create new technologies and our inability, after seeing their likely consequences, to forego using them.
Global warming (note I eschew using the sanitized “climate change”) and our species’ response to it, is a supreme example of this flaw in our cognitive machinery.
It’s disheartening what goes on in our society. Politicians of all stripes know that they can use the environment issue to endear themselves to voters, who notoriously have short memory spans. Big government has a well-oiled machine in place to devise announcements, introduce bills, & rig up photo ops & cute sound bites. All to make it appear they’re genuinely concerned about the environment.
Of course, almost all politicians do not think beyond the scope of their projected political lives, & the environment is an issue which requires action NOW, today, with thoughtful policies designed to put into place changes which will take place over many years.
So one is left to ask the question just how bad does it have to get before any reasonable, fair-minded individual will not be able to turn a blind eye? Our weather & climate systems are changing, resulting in severe and extreme weather.
I suspect it will require a few more devastating catastrophes, which strike closer to the seats of power, before real political action occurs. In the meantime it’s up to the grassroots to do their part. And people will also tune out alarmist announcements about doom and gloom, so scientists & other groups need to learn to better sell their messages.
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