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Author Topic: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️  (Read 76838 times)

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Re: 🚩 Global Climate Chaos ☠️
« Reply #1680 on: March 28, 2019, 07:04:03 pm »

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Our House is On Fire, But Bret Stephens 🦕 Is Still Pondering Insurance

This week’s Green New Deal debate has certainly generated its fair share of fireworks, highlighting the growing rift between deniers who are insane (like Utah Senator Mike “Climate change? Fu-ck it!” Lee) and those who are pretending to be sane (like Matt “Holocaust denial’s fine but climate denial isn’t” Gaetz).

But if proposed solutions involve dumping piles of money on the fossil fuel industry to develop carbon capture technology or improve fracking as part of an “all of the above” energy portfolio, then they’re just delay tactics. As Kate Aronoff put it on Twitter, any climate policy the fossil fuel industry supports is probably not going to be effective at solving the problem fossil fuel use caused in the first place.

It’s no surprise the GOP is apparently incapable of offering a plan to kick our fossil fuel addiction, given that the industry funds their campaigns. Oil Change US found this week that the fossil fuel industry gave more than $55 million to politicians who voted “no” on the Green New Deal, while “no” voters received 11 times more fossil fuel money than the “present” voters over the course of their careers.

However, some people are apparently willing to say super dumb stuff on climate change without the benefit of a campaign contribution. Take, for example, everyone’s favorite WSJ-turned-NYTimes columnist and hatemonger Bret Stephens. Stephens went on MeetThePress daily this week to talk about the GND. His take would have been perfectly intelligent...if it were 10 years ago.

Back then, we hadn’t yet concretely connected the dots between extreme weather and climate change. We knew the shape of it, that warmer air can mean stronger rains and more flooding, and that hotter temperatures can mean more drought and wildfires, but it was still largely an issue for the future tense. It was still a risk we needed to address with an insurance policy.

And that’s Stephens’ current approach. He said on air that climate policy is “something like a question of there could be a fire in your house” and so “we have to take out fire insurance. That is a sensible thing to say.”

That would be a sensible thing to say before one’s house is aflame. But it’s not too apt an analogy now that our house is on fire, literally and metaphorically. Floods are drowning military installations, farmlands and coastal communities. Pests are mowing down forests, drought is drying out crops, heat waves are killing us, and the smoke from Paradise burning down was inhaled all the way in Boston.

And when your house is on fire, that’s not the time to think about insurance. That’s the time, as Stephens’ fellow panelist Heather McGhee suggested, to “fight the fire.”

For some reason, Stephens simply ignored the correct answer from the woman of color on the panel, instead soldiering on with his decree that “what you can’t say is we’re going to bankrupt ourselves in the process of insuring ourselves against the potential risk.”

But as anyone who isn’t a fossil fuel stooge or has done even a cursory amount of due diligence knows, climate action pays for itself in reducing damages from impacts and saving people’s lives. And more importantly, when the house is on fire, the risk is no longer potential. It’s real, it’s here, it’s our fault, and it’s time to fight it..

Obviously, though, that isn't a viable position for the fossil-fuel funded denial machine, which will do whatever it takes to keep pumping profits out of the ground by pumping pollution into the air. So while it’s incredible that the Green New Deal’s sudden popularity has forced the GOP out of denial and to the table with proposals, those proposals have to recognize that it’s not insurance that we need at this point, but a whole fleet of firetrucks.

And if that sounds too expensive, consider whether you’d rather be broke and unburnt or lavishly entombed.

► Beto O'Rourke, and every other presidential candidate, must say no to fossil fuels (The Hill, Annie Leonard op-ed)

► EPA pretends climate change and water quality are separate issues — they're not (The Hill, Bob Wendelgass op-ed)

► Sen. Schatz: Democrats are right on climate change (MSNBC, Brian Schatz interview)
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23


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