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Thursday, November 18, 2010

leading the future

--climate happenings are at the data bank--

Not all U.S. Republicans are corrupt, dim-witted climate skeptics. Meet the exception: Rep. Bob Inglis, Republican of South Carolina, ranking member of the Energy & Environment Subcommittee, and a man of integrity, who went yesterday on record against deniers at a House Science subcommittee hearing on the science of climate change. The only buzz-kill is that Inglis is an outgoing House Representative. He was defeated. He stated that his "belief in climate science was partly responsible" for his election defeat.

Okay. I want you to stop right here and savor this turn of phrase. His belief in climate science. In American English this is now a proper phrase. It is acceptable, grammatically and culturally, to speak of one's "belief in climate science." Just as there are some who believe in Santa Claus, and some who don't, there are the select few Americans who believe in climate science.

This is what deepening disenlightenment means. And this sickness of the American mind is bound to enter the history books. In the twentieth century, eighty years ago, there were some Germans, not many, but a few, who believed that Jews were people like you and me. Others, the many, the loud, and the well-funded disagreed. They believed that Jews were their misfortune. The majority of Germans then decided that the Jews were a race out to get them. They even had think tanks committed to the cause. Where did they get this wit and wisdom from? Beats me. I guess they pulled it out of their asses. But remember, this stuff stays in the history books.

For all times to come, for all future generations, the Germans will be known as the one people who once went nuts and evil and fired up the ovens at Auschwitz in the 2oth century. And for all times to come, for all future generations, due to Tea Partiers & Republicans-sans-Inglis, the Americans will be known as the one people who went nuts and evil and caused global heating in the 21st century. And pulled the plug on policies such as cap and trade. Yesterday the only national carbon cap-and-trade exchange in the United States, the Chicago Climate Exchange, called it quits.

In the 1950s, it was a somewhat iffy proposition to walk around in Europe and show that you're German. In the 2030s, I predict it's going to be an equally iffy proposition to move about in the world and show that you're American. Watch out, America! Don't go so nuts and evil on the world! Historians track every move you make.

This is what Inglis said:

"And we're here with [an] important decision to be made. And I would also suggest to my Free Enterprise colleagues--especially conservatives here--whether you think it's all a bunch of hooey, what we've talked about in this committee, the Chinese don't.

"And they plan on eating our lunch in this next century. They plan on innovating around these problems, and selling to us, and the rest of the world, the technology that'll lead the twenty-first century.

"So we may just press the pause button here for several years, but China is pressing the fast-forward button. And as a result, if we wake up in several years and we say, geez, this didn't work very well for us [...] then what we'll find is we're way behind those Chinese folks. [...]

"And you know what? They plan on leading the future."


Seventy-three months left.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Is it sad that I am not proud to be an American?

Yorick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Yorick said...

More specifics on how the Chinese plan on innovating around these problems and the environmental costs of those innovations:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/asia/july-dec09/china_12-14.html

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19753-us-reserves-of-rare-earth-elements-assessed-for-first-time.html?DCMP=OTC-rss&nsref=environment

Jim said...

I certainly hope it isn't the PRC who is leading the 21st century and beyond. I'd almost rather see global societal collapse driven by climate change than have an authoritarian regime like the Chinese communist party calling the shots. Sorry China.