~ PROLOGUE ~ HOW I MET THE CLIMATE ~ THE MEANING OF SCIENCE ~ THE STATE OF THE CLIMATE ~ BEGINNING
ONE CHANCE ~ TRIBES ~ SENTIENCE ~
~ AGONY ~ LETTER TO PRESIDENT REIF OF MIT
WHO IS AT FAULT ~ CRITIQUE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES ~
WORLD CLIMATE AUTHORITY ~ A BIT OF BIO ~ APOLLO 8 ~ EPILOGUE
As I discuss in subsequent pages, the impact of 1°C has been horrendous and there is ready admission that 2°C is likely the best that we can achieve and the 3°C and higher are possibilities. Simultaneously there appears to be an assumption that a commitment to to the best possible Earth for our is not possible because of the cost which would be assumed primarily by our generation. However, our generation is turning out to be far less moral than anything I would have imagined when I was a child in the 1950s. I believed to the depths of my being in Lincoln's government "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
However, despite decades of thinking I cannot understand why there has been a shift to the idea that the smallest possible government with the lowest possible taxes has some kind of superiority and is accompanied by a vile distaste for poor people and persons of color.
To my mind this is an abject failure of the human soul and of many of the religious practices in the United States and that these attitudes are prevelent in the greater part of the world.
The reasons are opaque. Partly, I believe, that there is the ignorance that it has been proven by genetic analysis that we are all Africans and that our color was primarily determined by how far north our ancestors settled. The further north, the less sun and the greater need for vitamin D and the eventual loss of dark skin pigmentation. That is precisely what racial color is.
Then there emerged a human trait, perhaps inherited from our hunter gatherer forbears, that we deserve as much wealth as we can get and our responsibility to our fellow man, while it has generally very slowly increased, in much of modern society is seriously lacking. The concept that a $5000 coat made possible by low taxes results in the death of children because of the lack of medical care escapes the awareness of those who have. This is inconcieveable to me for I believe, for reasons hard to explain except perhaps a holdover from some biblical teachings that we are responsible for each other and that there is no inferiority to be attached to the poor. Given the birth circumstances of the wealthly and the treatment the wealthy receive the poor would be just as accomplished and well off.
I presume that this rant seems out of place in a presentation on global warming, but it is in fact key, central, important and essential.
This planet got to this condition because the aggressive doers simply ignored the harm they were doing and so slowly the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased and warmed the planet. Simultaneously the ravaging of the landscape has been horrendous. There seems to be an attitude that one could strip the Earth of its wealth with no responsibility of returning it to a semblance of its original state and that the risk to which workers were very consciously put was of no consequence and that has raised its ugly head today with the sudden emphasis on the return of coal mining.
And the bottom line today is the cost of a negative emissions capability, that is the removal from the air of the CO2 pollution, is unacceptable because of its impact on our our life style. There is an implicit fear of asking the wealthy, who are the only ones that can fund this, and that what would likely turn out to be and uninhabitable Earth is the chance we have to take. This is beyond the pale.
I am advocating a World Climate Authority with all the necessary resources, authority and clear mission to RETURN THIS PLANET to as close to its original state as possible, but should that prove impossible to extend every conceivable effort to limit the damage.
For reasons unknown, we were given a jewel to live on, and we have treated it with unimaginable cruelty. We have some makeup work to do.