July 24, 2021
photo above: Credit…Noah Berger/Associated Press
WN: As the author’s last line states: Après moi, le déluge –This is generally regarded as a nihilistic expression of indifference to whatever happens after one is gone, though it may also express a more literal forecasting of ruination.[3—Wikipedia.
Tragically, this fits Trump to a T; a significant number of Republicans; white evangelicals; conservative Canadians, etc., etc.
Heat waves are getting hotter. Forests are ablaze. Floods are obliterating. An iceberg nearly half the size of Puerto Rico broke off from Antarctica.
Florida’s fleurs du mal, algal blooms known as red tide, have become more toxic because of pollution and climate change. They are responsible for killing 600 tons of marine life, leaving beaches strewn with reeking dead fish.It’s Mad Max apocalyptic. Crazy storms that used to hit every century now seem quotidian, overwhelming systems that cannot withstand such a battering.
It may be too late for negotiating incremental change.
The heat wave that stunned the Pacific Northwest, killing nearly 200 people, was followed by a bolt of lightning igniting the dry earth in Oregon. The Bootleg Fire has now devoured 400,000 acres, with flames so intense, they are creating their own weather pattern capable of sparking new fires. The smoke has traveled from the West to the East Coast, tainting the air.
As Angela Merkel and President Biden touted a climate and energy partnership on her recent visit here, nature mocked them. While the two leaders had dinner, rains submerged huge swaths of Germany, including medieval towns.
Remember when the weather was just a matter of small talk, or a cool lyric for a Cole Porter song, “Too Darn Hot,” or a great double entendre title for a Billy Wilder comedy, “Some Like It Hot”? Now, the scariest thing on TV is the Weather Channel.
We’ve been living in a culture of dread for a long time now. Republicans have been weaponizing fear, trying to scare us about gays and transgender rights and ambitious women and people with darker skin.
When fear doesn’t have a basis in reality, it is deeply irresponsible and causes great social damage.
Republicans invent things to provoke paranoia. But when it comes to climate, the fear has a basis in reality. We should be scared out of our minds watching the weather run amok.
“Everything we worried about is happening, and it’s all happening at the high end of projections, even faster than the previous most pessimistic estimates,” John Holdren, a professor of environmental policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, contended in an interview with The Los Angeles Times.
It may be too late for negotiating incremental change. We just went through four years of proudly unscientific Donald Trump, who once told me, “I’m not a believer in man-made climate change.” (Who can forget when he attacked Greta Thunberg and told her to “chill!”) As the planet sizzles, many Americans have gone from not caring to glazing over, from indifference to fatigue.There have been spots of progress. Antediluvian Republicans can no longer destroy opponents who worry about climate change by mocking them as sandal-wearing tree-huggers. In January, G.M. rocked the auto industry when it revealed plans to phase out petroleum-powered cars and trucks and move to zero-emission vehicles by 2035. The Times story about it was a pre-obituary for gas guzzlers, saying, “The days of the internal combustion engine are numbered.”
Everything we worried about is happening, and it’s all happening at the high end of projections, even faster than the previous most pessimistic estimates.–Professor John Holdren
But there are still plenty of Republicans shilling for Big Oil and pushing back against climate change provisions in the big legislation before Congress. As we go through the debilitating politics of Covid, we have to go through the debilitating politics of the environment. Scary plagues are ravaging the planet while drivelers drivel.
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