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Friday, 12 February 2010 01:32

No, not fire nor even ice: climate change stupidity will end the world

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By Steven C. Day

Well, I guess it’s official. Meaningful climate change legislation — and with it, quite possibly, the last real hope for humanity’s future — is dead in Congress for the foreseeable future: killed, at least in part, incredibly enough, by the current blizzards on the East Coast. You see, if it snows a lot in Washington, D.C. in February this proves that the scientific consensus on global warming is wrong, or so the talking points go. And this is true even though extreme winter weather, just like that reflected in these storms, is predicted to occur under climate change models.

But then why should we care about all that pointed-headed intellectual scientific stuff anyway? After all, we always have Sen. James Inhofe to set us straight.

Robert Frost once famously wrote:
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice. 
How ironic that it turns out that probably neither fire nor ice will do the world in: instead, mind numbing stupidity will do the job – or perhaps, more accurately, the soulless manipulation of that stupidity.
The truth is, of course, that something much worse than mere stupidity is at play here — something more along the lines of criminal selfishness. Sure, there are plenty of just plain dumb (or at least ignorant) folks out there — some stupid enough to buy into the current GOP blizzard-based campaign of global warning denial. Those, however, aren’t the people responsible for selling out this planet.

At the end of the day, global warming legislation isn’t being killed by tea partiers, Rush Limbaugh or even Matt Drudge (although intelligent public discourse is). It’s being killed by our elected representatives in Washington, a majority of whom fully understand the threat climate change poses, yet have chosen not to act. In the case of the GOP, they’ve made the political calculation that it will help their party in the upcoming elections to obstruct all of Barack Obama’s proposals, including those relating to climate change, regardless of their merits. And as to congressional Democrats, all too many seem to have made an equally immoral political calculation that it is simply too politically risky to fight back on this issue.

These politicians, knowing full well the danger we face, are placing a higher priority on their own personal political interests than on the safety of the earth and the future of human kind.

That goes beyond craven — beyond immoral even. It’s nothing less than a crime against humanity. And if there were any justice they’d all burn for it.

Sadly, however, it will probably our children and grandchildren who will burn in their place.