Sunday, April 22, 2018

Happy Earth Day

It's the 48th Earth Day, and it's the 20th anniversary of Mann's hockey stick graph made famous in Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth.

So we've known, for sure, that climate change is a human-made issue for a couple decades now, but Trudeau will still do what it takes to get pipelines built.

It's a beautiful day for the first long bike ride of spring, but sometimes it's hard to be hopeful there will be many years left of food production. I'm going to leave this here and hopefully look back on it one day as the last Earth Day before Canada completely and seriously committed itself to reducing greenhouse gases. As Krugman said earlier this week,
Believers in the primacy of fossil fuels, coal in particular, are now technological dead-enders; they, not foolish leftists, are our modern Luddites. Unfortunately, they can still do a lot of damage.
But then Richard Conniff offers a bit of hope:
“'In casting up this dread balance sheet and contemplating our dangers with a disillusioned eye,” Churchill declared, “I see great reason for intense vigilance and exertion, but none whatever for panic or despair.' . . . what the natural world is experiencing is a bottleneck — long, painful, undoubtedly frightening and likely to get worse in the short term — but with the forces of an eventual breakthrough and environmental recovery already gathering strength around us. . . . They should stand up in ways large and small to help life on Earth through the current dreadful bottleneck. They should act now so some future generation — our grandchildren of the breakthrough — will look back at what we have done with something bordering on gratitude."
ETA, but then Patrick Barkham knocks it down again,

"The outcome is death, and it’s the end of most life on the planet because we’re so dependent on the burning of fossil fuels. There are no means of reversing the process which is melting the polar ice caps. And very few appear to be prepared to say so. . . . With doom ahead, making a case for cycling as the primary mode of transport is almost irrelevant. We’ve got to stop burning fossil fuels. So many aspects of life depend on fossil fuels, except for music and love and education and happiness. These things, which hardly use fossil fuels, are what we must focus on. . . . Wealthy people will be better able to adapt but the world’s population will head to regions of the planet such as northern Europe which will be temporarily spared the extreme effects of climate change. How are these regions going to respond? We see it now. Migrants will be prevented from arriving. We will let them drown. . . . Standing in the way is capitalism. Can you imagine the global airline industry being dismantled when hundreds of new runways are being built right now all over the world? It’s almost as if we’re deliberately attempting to defy nature. We’re doing the reverse of what we should be doing, with everybody’s silent acquiescence, and nobody’s batting an eyelid."

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