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February 11, 2011


"That'll come back to bite them in the next election."

Oh, how I wish. Public opinion and the desires of the majority seem to have very little meaning to republicans and their base.

Brian - I find your Churchless blog very interesting and challenging and generally agree with your "existential" (if you will) stance. The HinesSight blog which you subtitle "how things look through an Oregonian's eyes", does often digress from things with which Oregonians should properly be concerned - and that is what goes on in Oregon. This whole global warming issue is one to which just as many Oregonians are indifferent, as those who are concerned. I am not from Oregon, but I can assure you that statistics would underwrite my assertion.

I have no dog in the climate change hunt. My life is for the most part behind me. My three sons will most likely never father any offspring, so I am not personally concerned that my own admitted lust for the luxuries afforded by burning hydrocarbon fuels will have an effect upon later generations. I can afford to be apathetic.

I will offer a prediction. I would take large bets if there were some way to devise a method of collection, but all bettors will be deceased long before my prediction comes true.

Human beings will not, under any circumstances, desist from burning hydrocarbons.

Level-headed Democrats will never succeed in passing legislation that will have a significant impact on the burning of hydrocarbon fuels.

Bat-shit crazy Republicans will not be remembered as being to blame for the awful cataclysms which will inevitably occur when the chemistry of the atmosphere rearranges all the furniture in the comfortable living room we call Earth.

It's a done deal.

Brian, Joe Romm is looking for a better, stronger phrase than “climate cranks” to describe the GOP and hard core climate change deniers in general. Maybe you should suggest "bat-shit crazy." I think it fit’s the bill quite well.
(Climate Progress 2/15/11 - Calling out the climate cranks: Galileo moment for GOP)

Note to Willlie R. - Any Oregonian can have thoughts on anything that anyone else has thoughts on. Not to mention that there are plenty of reasons for Oregonians to be concerned about climate change. The US Global Change Research Program most recent national assessment (2009) describes impacts of climate change for each region of the US (many of these impacts are already happening):

For the Pacific Northwest the key issues are:

--Declining springtime snowpack leads to reduced summer streamflows, straining water supplies. [Not only is the Pacific Northwest very dependent on the timing of the melting snow pack for water for agricultural, industrial and household use, 70% of the electricity in the NW comes from hydropower, more than any other part of the US. The declining summer stream flow may be coupled with a decrease in summer precipitation.]

--Increased insect outbreaks, wildfires, and changing species composition in forests will pose challenges for ecosystems and the forest products industry. [Also affecting agriculture, especially fruit trees, which are a large part of agricultural production in the NW.]

--Salmon and other coldwater species will experience additional stresses as a result of rising water temperatures and declining summer streamflows.

--Sea-level rise along vulnerable coastlines will result in increased erosion and the loss of land.

Willie R., you’ve made it clear that you don’t care about anyone beyond your own narrow circle, but that’s no reason to fault Brian for his concern.

(Tried to post this earlier, but it didn't seem to take. Apologies if it goes through more than once.)

Laurie - I am not faulting Brian about anything. The point I wish to make is that human concern, or lack of it, will have zero effect on climate change. Even if it is beyond doubt that humans are entirely responsible for the destruction of the environment, we are still going to destroy it. Existence is temporary. We are naturally occurring creatures serving as energy transformers. That's all.

Rules I live by:

You either embrace the solution or embrace the problem;

Almost everything everyone does will - all by itself - seem insignificant, and when you take all those little things together that's what makes history... so its vital that you do them anyway.

What matters most is the stories that are told by whatever people are still around a couple centuries from now. Will those stories be ones of limits and stewardship? Or another 'round of cultural stories justifying brutal competition for scarce resources?

Those stories have their roots in the stories we tell today. Tell the right story.

"Once upon a time, the leaders became bat-shit crazy. And then...."

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