Tag Archives: Climate Change

When Distraction Becomes Catastrophic

 

“Carbon dioxide is being added to the earth’s atmosphere by the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas at the rate of 6 billion tons a year. By the year 2000 there will be about 25 percent more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere than at present…

…The climate changes that may be produced by the increased CO2 content could be deleterious from the point of view of human beings.”

  • From Special Report of the Environmental Pollution Panel, President’s Science Advisory Committee, dated November 1965, entitled “Restoring the Quality of Our Environment” (Government Printing Office).

If one could manage to forego an hour of daily online distractions and spend that time instead on some directed google searches, one would find that the statistical predictions from the above report turned out to be pretty accurate.

If you would like to understand how these statistics affect our future as a species and how we are conditioned to ignore facts like these in favor of infotainment diversions, a meticulously researched book ably treats those subjects:  Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway.

At this moment, while a majority of the United States electorate is engaged in a game of who is punking who with ‘fake news’ and illegally obtained news, the climate-change denying president-elect is proposing the longtime head of Exxon Mobil (which acknowledged in writing internally as early as 1980 the truth of the above-referenced report, but buried it and continued to profiteer on oil for another 36 years and counting) to be our ambassador to the world at large, proposing a climate-change denier to uproot the Environmental Protection Agency (established by Richard Nixon largely based on the above cited report and its progeny), and proposing the most environment-antagonistic governor Texas ever had to establish our Energy policies (don’t forget, he vowed in 2011 to dismantle  the department he’s now been named to run). But Democrats and Republicans alike are cool with it because in the short term they think they might earn a few more coins in yet another fossil fuel bubble and a get a couple percentage points discount in taxes. Their kids and their grandkids be damned.

If you choose to look and think honestly with it, you may wind up asking yourself, “fifty years later, and I’ve been obsessing about what?”