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Posted by on Nov 1, 2006 in At TMV | 8 comments

The Real Threat of Global Warming

It’s the money stupid…

From the Wash Post:

Failing to curb the impact of climate change could damage the global economy on the scale of the Great Depression or the world wars by spawning environmental devastation that could cost 5 to 20 percent of the world’s annual gross domestic product, according to a report issued yesterday by the British government.

The report by Nicholas Stern, who heads Britain’s Government Economic Service and formerly served as the World Bank’s chief economist, calls for a new round of international collaboration to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming.

“There’s still time to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, if we act now and act internationally,” Stern said in a statement. “But the task is urgent. Delaying action, even by a decade or two, will take us into dangerous territory. We must not let this window of opportunity close.”

Okay, so what’s it gonna take to move this out of the partisan arena and unto the collective global stage? How long are we going to wait until we actually do something about this?

I’m sorry people, but too many scientists, economists, what-have-yous are saying that this is a mounting problem…but we’re too busy trying to score political points by saying this boogey man doesn’t exist.

But let me say this…global warming has the potential to do far more damage to our way of life than any band of Islamic extremists ever could. We’ve messed with Mother Nature for a long time now, and the signs point to her getting some retaliation sooner rather than later.

So again…what will it take for us to adopt some type of environmental policy that addresses these realities?

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  • So again…what will it take for us to adopt some type of environmental policy that addresses these realities?

    Having talked to tons of people about this issue, I think it’s been too politicized for the current Republicans to ever be able to anything about it. To even admit that global warming is real now generates a litany of “liberal fearmongering” criticism from the far-right – if you don’t believe so, try to start an intelligent discussion on the topic on any right-wing web site, and remember that Inhofe still claims that global warming is the biggest hoax ever perpetrated.

    If the Democrats gain control in the next election they will almost certainly begin taking steps to address global warming issues, and provided it is sold as “ending the addiction to Middle East oil” (another benefit) there may be some chance to get legislation passed. Improving CAFE standards and promoting renewable energy would be two big wins. However, without Democratic control I don’t think there’s any way that the current Republicans could propose anything without having to backtrack on a long record of equating global warming science with liberal propaganda.

  • vwcat

    I do not know why this is taken to a political wedge issue. It’s about the earth and the people and being responsible for where we live.
    If the oil companies are so threatened by this then they should get off thier backsides and do something about developing alternative energy.
    And as for alternative energy, gee, that would be a great way to improve the job situation. We could have jobs that afford the middle class dream again instead of minimum wage jobs being created now.
    I see it as a win win situation.
    Real jobs, new technology, new ideas, economy stimulation and all this bonus for saving our planet. I cannot see why it would be such a threat to do something to take care of our earth

  • Kim Ritter

    Its probably a wedge issue, because most environmentalists are on the left, and more of the business community is on the right. The business community and wall street are interested in the bottom line, and know a serious effort to combat global warming would cut into profits. It is easier and more profitable to stay in denial, and support the myth that this is just the result of some kind of junk science.

    The right sometimes will find one or two scientists out of thousands who agree with them, and then they claim that the matter is still in dispute. Usually works pretty well. They have tried to portray Al Gore as a pathetic nut job, who is obsessed with this issue, but who doesn’t live in the real world. It works as a wedge issue because its divisive and still creates controversy.

  • C Stanley

    The GOP has missed an opportunity and I hope they wise up. Many Republican voters are concerned about the environment and we don’t want the interests of Big Oil to trump those concerns. We DO want sensible regulation though, and the portrayal of some environmentalist groups as extremists does ring true to us.

    The GOP should coapt this issue the way Clinton coapted welfare reform. Stop saying it isn’t an issue, but start saying that we’re going to handle it sensibly. Tie it in with national security because we need to establish our energy independence. Propose initiatives that reward companies for investing in new technologies. Propose sensible regulation. Build a sensible energy/environmental protection policy and Republican voters will support it.

  • So again…what will it take for us to adopt some type of environmental policy that addresses these realities?

    Here’s my list:

    1. Two more Katrinas;

    2. Two or three more years of massive forest fires; and

    3. A dust bowl or three.

    Even for the hard of hearing and the hard of thinking, THAT ought to be enough to snap them out of it!

    BWT, I’m not kidding. That’s how much faith I have in my fellow humans.

  • GreenDreams

    Ouch, El Loco. Indeed I have come to think of the American motto as “too little too late”

    C Stanley, Bush did try to co-opt this issue with his alternative energy photo op. But like so much else, the photo op was all there was to it, further building on the Bush image as the Wizard behind the curtain. All hat and no cattle.

    I remember Sting’s tune “If the Russians love their children too.” Don’t Republicans love theirs? How can we trash our kids’ future just to improve the next quarterly report?

    Take a look at these alarming pictures of glacial retreat and oceanic dead zones.

  • C Stanley

    Greendreams:
    I totally agree about the photo op with no substance approach, and it aggravates me to no end because now it will be even harder for any Republican administration to prove that it is serious, if it does try to take a pro-environmental approach (ironically, a “conservative” approach)

    And yes, I get your point about caring about our kids. I think it really must be that some people are deluded; they took a certain stance and refuse to see that they were wrong.

  • Mikkel

    Interestingly enough, the new Secretary of the Treasury is a Chairman of the Nature Conservatory. He correctly believes that pro-business policy is environmental in nature because the sustainability of our growth is directly connected to how we manage our resources and the environment. He even thinks Kyoto is a good idea and we should ratify it. I’m not so convinced about this. From what I’ve read Kyoto sounds like something that won’t actually help the environment that much but hurt the economy as well. However his reasoning is:

    Until the United States passes its own limits on global warming emissions, innovative companies based here will lose out on opportunities to sell reduced emission credits to companies complying with the Kyoto Protocol overseas. Additionally, without enacting our own emission limits, U.S. companies will lose ground to their competitors in Europe, Canada, Japan, and other countries participating in the Protocol who are developing clean technologies.

    In any case, I hope he can start convincing people that the issues isn’t about being pro-business or not.

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