Wednesday, November 03, 2010

told you so

--climate happenings are at the data bank--

Disenlightenment deepened last night yet another notch. Der Spiegel calls the 2010 US midterm election an election of fury and writes (in German), "only two years after Barack Obama's victory of hope, the nation is demoralized, divided, and fuming. Now the angriest have screamed the loudest and managed to grab a seat at the table of power."

The Guardian's analysis of the election sums up what's most relevant for civil evolution in the headline, "Barack Obama's green agenda crushed at the ballot box." The lead is, "with a slew of new climate change deniers entering Congress, Barack Obama's environmental ambitions are now dead." It appears that the election's sleeper issue was the cap-and-trade system.

"It saw the defeat of a handful of Democrats from conservative states who voted for last year's climate change bill." So there will be no new climate legislation. The US cannot support any global mitigation attempts anymore. A new Chevron-backed proposition has passed that requires a two-thirds majority for new state taxes. The House of Representatives is poised for "sweeping investigations of climate science and of Obama administration officials such as Lisa Jackson,who heads the EPA."

In principle it is great that a third party arises from a grassroots movement, despite the quite undemocratic Electoral College whose winner-takes-all system perpetuates a two-party system in the US. But what an irony this is! Finally a grassroots movement goes to Washington and seizes power, and then it turns out that these revolutionaries and idealists are just the same old paleo-conservatives as the Republicans, both pushing for a predatory corporate agenda, both heavily funded by multinational corporations, both wanting a future of more consumerism, more arms, more oil, and both wallowing in denial of climate science.

So phase two begins. A biospherical storm is gathering at the horizon. And as the sky darkens and the wind picks up, the most powerful nation on the planet has decided to cross its arms in ideological defiance and proudly say there is no storm.

Seventy-three months left.


dgobble said...

It is really sad. While mostly lower class republicans elect their so-called liberators they unknowingly support tax cuts to the top 2%, getting left in the dark by their own kind.

Herb said...

It's pathetic, tea party voters have defeated _themselves_ at the voting booth and they are as yet completely unmindful of their error. I feel bad about democracy, about the capacity of the general public for self-government.

But as I bemoan the sorry state of things politically, I think back what the past was like: a nightmare of racism, militarism, and megadeath. There has been progress, although those a few years younger than myself don't have the historical experience to realize it.

I graduated from high school in 1961 in a small town in central Florida. When I rode Greyhound to Tampa I sat in the _front_ of the bus. JFK was in office. That was back then. Today, Barack Obama is "President of the USA". (OK. Yes. I agree, it's too bad the planet may overheat and most, if not all, humanity may die out unexpectedly soon. Aside from that, some things are notably better.)