Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Lots of wind so trees down (image is ~3 blocks from me).  Less rain than I expected (dry basement is nice, particularly when there would not have been power to pump it out).  Power out for 27 hrs.  Frozen foods now safe. 

And this leads me to this article by Kevin Drum, and this one (that I don't agree with quite as much) by George Lakoff.

Yes, hurricanes like Sandy are more likely and more violent as a result of global warming, and yes there is a systemic causation similar to but weaker than smoking and lung cancer (i.e. you can get lung cancer without ever having smoked or even been exposed to smokers, but it is much less likely).  Yet, we are not going to do anything about it because politics...
If you were teaching a graduate seminar in public policy and challenged your students to come up with the most difficult possible problem to solve, they'd come up with something very much like climate change. It's slow-acting. It's essentially invisible. It's expensive to address. It has a huge number of very rich special interests arrayed against doing anything about it. It requires international action that pits rich countries against poor ones. And it has a lot of momentum: you have to take action now, before its effects are serious, because today's greenhouse gases will cause climate change tomorrow no matter what we do in thirty years.
It's depressing, but this will keep happening, and it will get worse, and rather than act to slow or stop it, we will just have to deal.

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