Amid all the contrived and exaggerated banter by one of the US ‘ political parties about fairly pedestrian topics, I am sure a story out of Australia was missed about the Antarctic ice melting at an even faster pace. This is not good for our planet, especially the billions that live in our coastal cities.
Citing the lead character Johnny from Stephen King’s book “The Dead Zone” might help get people’s attention. After an accident, Johnny could see a hazy future when he touched someone which could be altered if people acted differently when told of his prediction. An arrogant father chose to ignore Johnny as he told the father his son and other kids would drown at a hockey practice on a frozen lake that afternoon. Johnny hit the table with his cane and said you know who I am, don’t you? You investigated me before letting me tutor your son. The ICE is going to break! The son chose not to practice and survived, but four kids died when the father went on with the practice in spite of the warning.
So, let me channel my inner Stephen King and loudly say to people who would rather talk about wokeness, how evil LGBTQ+ are and book banning instead of real problems and dangers, “the ice is going to break!” It is ironic that four of the leaders of this movement to focus on contrived issues live in Florida, which is surrounded on three sides by ocean. In fact, two climate scientists on different continents have said Miami is the most at risk city in the world given its population, sea level proximity, and porous limestone protecting its aquifer. Yet, that apparently is unimportant.
And, just to emphasize the point, the number of sunny day floodings from ocean water coming up through the street drains have increased in the city of Miami Beach. Maybe people should ask Messers. DeSantis, Rubio, Scott and Trump what they plan to do about that. We may need to “wake them up” first.
The problem is that ignorant people will always find anything (regardless of how logical) to support their ignorant behavior. That is the initial problem. It doesn’t fit in their agenda or wallet, so we tell everyone that it is not true or at least, not that bad. I did not know that Miami is more in danger than Venice (IT). However, in the end, the whole world will have to deal with the consequences of that ignorant behavior… also the ignorant themselves… but as we know, the will find other explanations.
Erika, thanks. Venice is very much at risk, but Miami has more people and commerce at risk. Venice will likely be underwater sooner than Miami might and it will, of course, impact tourism and other industry. Keith
Ah, yes, that’s right, of course.
The problems are linked, Keith. If you want to address climate change, change the energy system. Tesla has laid out a plan and a capability to do just this. But Tesla is run by Musk, and so – like good little ideological foot soldiers – the Left doubles down on its ideological idiocy about gender and race, imposes it everywhere possible, decries any pushback, and vilifies anyone not on their ‘side’… like Musk. (Also ignored is that Democratic strongholds like California and New York are losing tens of thousands of previously enrolled students while ‘deplorable’ states like Florida and Texas are gaining them. Nothing to see here… move along.)
The ideological partisanship is playing an oversized role in both at the expense of medicine (healthcare for dysphoric youth) and science (real climate change solutions). A return to respecting reality’s arbitration of our beliefs about it rather than falling in line with our ideological compatriots would solve both. Wouldn’t it be grand if media were to set this expectation first and THEN report on how it is or isn’t being met by all leadership. All the ideologues could then receive justified shaming to get out of the public square and hopefully return to their little rabbit holes of lunacy and let the grownups get on with addressing real problems in the real world with real solutions and be judged on that task rather than their supposed moral failings on ideological grounds so prevalent in today’s dysfunctional world.
Tildeb, your larger point about focusing on the issues in a global manner and setting aside the political machinations would be ideal. I personally do not link these issues as you have, while I do agree too many have a bad habit of discounting points of view because they disagree with some of what the person says are does. A good example is the founder of the Sierra Club was racist, but he did do a lot of good. Musk is also imperfect and his choice of words have gotten him trouble with the SEC and a company he bought but he has also done much good.
Tesla is actually a battery company disguised as a car company. He helped power all of southern Australia working with a French designer and a Chinese solar panel company using his battery system. That is the kind of partnership we should be advertising.
If people are looking for perfect partners, like people, they do not exist. It is lot like global commerce. It is better to trade with countries, than not, even if you don’t agree with their politics, as that trading provide some dialogue.
Thanks for your comment. Keith
Great and timely reminder that while we are bickering and fighting about things that should not even be issues, the environment is really the single most important thing on our plate. And we CAN do something about it, but not as long as the circus is distracting people’s attention away from the most important … nay, critical … issue of the day.
Thanks Jill. To me, the best way to get people aboard the train is to just invest with those who are keen on doing something. Most major change has occurred with private and public partnerships, which consists of local, state and federal money and venture and other capital. If money is rounded up, the others can be invited to join. It is not broadly advertised, but a reason Texas leads the US in wind energy is a Republican led legislature agreed to provide new wiring to harness the electricity brought by wind mills on ranchers’ properties after the energy companies reached out with investor money in hand. So, Republicans will go along, but they want to keep it on the down low. Keith
True about investing in those who are headed in the right direction. About Texas … yes, they do lead the nation in wind energy, but just yesterday I read that Governor Abbott is excluding ALL renewable energy from eligibility to be part of the energy incentive program that is under consideration in Texas. He plainly said he would not support any incentives for wind or solar energy projects. My jaw dropped …
Jill, if he said that he is being unwise to say the least. He is throwing away an advantage akin to a basketball team benching its stars too early with a lead. My guess a lot of this stuff is hot air because he cannot be openly seen as doing anything about climate change.
What scares the fossil fuel and utility industry the most, is many of the solutions need not be huge investments. Solar farms can be, but need not be large. The same with wind farms. In Texas, a big driver is paying ranchers rent for the use of their land to build a wind mill. Ranchers liked the supplemental income. One rancher noted his 11 windmills brought him $55,000 per annum. Abbott will have to answer to that.
Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
While I don’t deny the importance of the issues on the table today, issues that if left unchecked could result in the destruction of our nation as we know it, we tend to sweep the single most important issue under the rug. WHY? Probably because a) it’s harder than most to deal with, requires a bit of sacrifice from us all, and b) it’s not as ‘exciting’ as the clown show, the mudfest that occupies so much of our attention. I’m as guilty as any of pushing the environmental issues back in order to focus on the latest exploits of our politicos, but we really do need to open our eyes and work together, else none of the political disputes will matter 50 years from now when humans are gasping for breath, searching for food & water, and trying to stay alive. Our friend Keith has a not-too-subtle reminder for us today …
Jill, thanks for the reblog. It is greatly appreciated. Keith
My pleasure, Keith … this needs to be understood by everyone! And along those lines … Politico has the story of how Kevin McCarthy and his circus are planning to roll back environmental protections: https://www.politico.com/news/2023/03/06/mccarthy-energy-bill-climate-house-republicans-00085415
Thanks Jill for the link and comment. I will check it out. Keith
At Investor’s Day, Master Plan 3, Musk and Co. at Tesla outlined how we can go from here to there solving the primary cause of climate change: the burning of fossil fuels. Tesla will play a major role replacing this energy system with a much better one and allow economics to drive the rest. The transition is not only doable but inevitable, which is why he asserts we will see this in our lifetime (meaning in the next 30 years). If history is any indication, anyone who bets against Musk and Co. almost always loses. So there is much to be excited about as far as finding and implementing a real world feasible and profitable solution; there is a lot of infrastructure work needed to mitigate the worst effects we will have to endure. This is a scientific and engineering issue and not a moral one. Most importantly, we will not have to rely on any government to implement this necessary change but people really need to wake up to the very real dangers climate uncertainty poses. For example, I wish I could read in mainstream media that California has had to adjust not to one 1000 year flood but five 1000 year floods… in the last five weeks. That’s the real cost of allowing business as usual measured in lives, property damage, and dislocation not just here but everywhere. People may not like Musk for a variety of reasons. But he is the right person at the right time with the right vision. This will get done.
Thanks. I agree that Musk is a visionary and he needs a place at the table. I love the Australia example, as their government money helped fund an effort from companies in three separate countries. There are two books that tell a huge story of how America used to and needs to invest on big things. One is called “That used to be us – how America fell behind in a world it created and how to get it back” by Thomas Friedman and Michael Mandelbaum and “The world is curved” by David Smick who advised two GOP presidential candidates (Jack Kemp, Ronald Reagan) and one Democrat (Bill Clinton). They speak to this blend of public and private money funding big things.
Musk’s issues usually are self-inflicted as he does not know when to remain silent and not unlike many idea creators, they are not necessarily the best managers. So, I would suggest people listen to Musk and partner him with excellent operations managers. He is not unlike Steve Jobs in that regard.
Good comments. Keith
The city of Delta, BC, Canada (a suburb of Vancouver) is actually built below sea level on reclaimed land. The city is home to the Vancouver International Airport, servicing over 3,000,000 people in the Lower Mainland. i don’t know how strong or high their seawall/dike system is, but I doubt it was built to withstand a large rise in the ocean’s waters. This is a disaster area waiting to happen.
I cannot understand what Republicans and other Climate Disaster deniers are hoping to achieve by downplaying the truth about the environment, because it is going to affect their political strongholds sooner than it will affect many other areas of this globe. And when that happens people will be forced to see what kind of stupidity they are supporting.
I watched a documentary of ice cliffs in Antarctica falling into the sea. There were chunks as big as Texas. They are causing changes in sea level, not to mention the melting of ice around the North Polar Region. Disaster is but ecological moments away.
Yet so little is getting done to prepare for what is coming. We have only ourselves to blame.
Rawgod, all these major cities at, just above or below sea level are at risk. They hold millions of people and keys to commerce. You think the latter issue would get business people’s attention, at a minimum. There is another good documentary called “Ice on fire” which actually breaks down solutions into two categories – stop putting as much carbon in the air and start looking at ways to take carbon out of the year – both natural and man-influenced.
Thanks for sharing the Vancouver story. Keith
Stupid, aren’t they? You just can’t fix stupid.
Marilyn, dealing with problems should not be viewed as stupid, but too many just can’t go there or admit that they do. I recall an excerpt from Miriam Horn’s excellent book “Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman” where farmers could only get Nebraska legislators attention for their severe water shortage by avoiding the use of the term climate change. Legislators would not help an effort that was called as a solution to climate change – now that is stupid. Keith
AT this point, refusing to acknowledge what is obvious — and getting more critical by the day — IS stupid. Putting the world and your country at risk… and for what exactly? A little more power? A few dollars more? Seriously? Stupid. There are stronger words I could use, but that’s close enough for folk music.
Forrest Gump summed it up, “stupid is as stupid does.”
You have laid the case correctly and concisely Keith. Whichever weather metaphor one cares to use, it is ‘a’ coming’. To deny otherwise is to pretend we have complete control over the dynamics of the entire planet (and the Sun). Our place here is conditional.
The mindset reminds of an old joke told between russians during the Brezhnev era- a mixed affair with stability but mired in stagnation: Anyway….
In a train carriage sits Stalin, Khrushchev, and Brezhnev. Suddenly the train lurches to a halt. Nothing happens for an hour. Stalin stands up.
‘I will fix this,’ he says and storms out, reaching the engine where the driver and the engineer are standing perplexed. ‘What is the problem comrades,’ he demands, the driver shoves the engineer forward.
‘Oh Comrade Stalin,’ stammers the man ‘A vital piece of the engine has broken. I have been asking for a replacement for months-‘
‘Nonsense!’ interrupts Stalin ‘You are spreading lies about our system to mask your own errors. You are an enemy of the state,’ and draws his revolver shooting the engineer dead. He goes back to the carriage and sits down.
After another hour of not moving Khrushchev, cheerily says ‘I will sort this out,’
He ambles down to the engine and finds the driver trying to hide, notices the body and asks what has happened, the driver nervously gives an account. Khrushchev looks solemnly at the body then says to it.
‘Ah comrade you were a victim of a misguided policy and poor judgement. You are reinstated,’
He goes back and sits down.
Another hour passes.
‘I suppose,’ says Brezhnev ‘I had better go and see,’
He walks along, sees the body asks the driver what has been going on, says nothing and returns to the carriage.
‘I know what we shall do!’ he announces ‘We shall pull all the shutters down and pretend the train is going,’
You can have fun at family or friendly get togethers rearranging that joke with different persons and variations on the first two actions, as long as the punch line stays the same. It covers many situations
Roger, now there is a metaphor! Then, Putin came in and fired him for embarrassing Putin.
Many of our blame game tribal politics counts on the public having a poor memory. For example, this is not the only reason for our inflation, but a contributing reason was the tariffs placed on imports by the former president. Tariffs rarely if ever work and he upset supply chains and distribution channels when reactive tariffs were placed on our exports. Then, the pandemic put s nail in the coffin on supply chains which we are only slowly recovering from.
This is why Denmark creating a long term plan to deal with climate change shows leadership. It was bipartisan because it needed to survive regime change. Our legislators only care about raising money and staying in power.
I do like that additional punch-line Keith 😂.
As for tariffs, I recall a time (back in the 1960s-1970s) when it was Conventional Wisdom that indeed tariffs never and led to several sets of economic woes; on the simple basis that one causes an equal and opposite reaction from ‘the other side’ thus escalating. And as you indicate, it does assume the tariff imposer does have a very steady and solid alternative or internal supply chain. Also it leaves a nation vulnerable to what the British Prime Minister Harold McMillan referred to in a slightly different context as ‘Events’ (see ‘Pandemic’).
You also highlight another problem faced by democracies; when there is lack of consensus and bipartisanship over certain key issue. One group gets to win and election then spends time, effort and treasure dismantling some of the previous incumbents key work, just ‘Because’ and to no benefit of the population.
Oh what a great analogy!!! As always, Roger, you are spot on!
I owe this one to the phlegmatic humour of the Russian people Jill, heard it first back in the 1980s; never grows old, never looses its basic relevance to many situations.
Like I said to Keith you can have fun adapting it….just keep the punch line.
I absolutely will!!!
Thanks again Roger. There is a recent example that shows what tariffs can do. Brazil benefitted from tariffs placed in retribution on American products by selling more crops to China as a result. As evidence of this John Deere tractor sales declined in the US and increased in Brazil thereafter.