2012

7 November 2012: A warmer climate might be the new normal

A warmer climate might be the new normal

The Day After and at the point of this writing, it’s not been decided who will be president.  When reading this though, it’s likely you know who is as well who our new commissioners and district attorney are.

The work, the passion, the energy, dedicated by candidates and their supporters along with the money spent are now of history.

My thanks and congratulations to all who participated, from voters and election judges to campaign workers and the candidates themselves.  It’s our task as citizens to keep making democracy happen.

The Frankenstorm is too of the past; remaining are the cleanup and rebuilding and the horrific memories.  The place, primarily the mid-Atlantic seaboard, is different than New Orleans after Katrina or Tuscaloosa, Alabama after a tornado flattened a good portion of the town in April 2011.  While those in Hurricane Sandy’s bull’s-eye have endured other challenges, this is something rare, not a 100-year storm, but a 200-year one.  The closest weather historians can find to this cataclysmic storm is in the early 19th-century when records were not recorded measurably, but anecdotally.

Besides New Orleans and Tuscaloosa, I can list many more places but it’s unnecessary.  All we need to understand is the recent weather-wise past is prologue: The atmosphere is warming and with that more and more violently intense storms are certain; and as long as denier mythology is given the same intellectual respect the same credibility as is real science, it will continue.  Get used to the new normal.

There are three types of climate-change deniers: fanatics, fossil fuel corporations, and everyday people who opt to hide behind the falsehoods disseminated by  the first two groups because of the inconvenience it would cause by sharing ownership for the warming trend

Deniers’ arguments rest on baseless data and are, thus, irrational.  Disciples swallow it and then adhere to it dogmatically.  Accordingly, climate change has become an emotional issue, making it near impossible to dispassionately bring those of such persuasion to the truth.  One might as well try to rationalize with a would-be suicide bomber of the illogic of his act since he’s guaranteed only 70 virgins once he gets to heaven.  Across eternity, once he’s done deflowering the 70 nymphs, what’s next?

If one insists on taking actions that result in his/her ostensibly being rewarded or damned in an afterlife and those actions cause me no harm, I don’t care.  It’s akin to Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes maxim, “Your right to swing your fist ends at my nose.”

Same-sex marriage and abortion are moral issues for only those of a particular religious persuasion.  For the rest of us, they are human and civil rights issues.  What we do to our planet, however, is a moral issue or ought to be one for all, and the consequence for depravity will not be hell as a post-life destination but, instead, a hell on earth of our own construction.

As I opened with, at the time of this writing the election results are not in, but my hope is that we locally as well as nationally were wise enough to elect dedicated stewards for our most precious treasure: our natural home.  For in the end, if we should destroy the very environment that facilitated mankind’s rise and sustains our existence, it won’t matter how the stock market preformed or how many of jobs were created the last quarter, which leads to a broader notion.

Through this election season, I’ve come to realize that both Republicans/Tea Partyers and Democrats and both conservatives and liberals have faith, but in very different arenas.

For RTP’s and conservatives, the emphasis of faith lies in the other: mystical forces, mysterious powers and unseen hands-at-work, whether God or capitalism, beyond human understanding.  For Democrats and liberals, faith tends to relate more to the here and now, in our case in America and Americans and in pragmatic problem-solving based upon science, data, and experience.

When one has faith based upon evidence, it requires no leap; for the rest, it does.  In that regard, there is no rational space between religious fanatics and climate change/global warming deniers.

As it is with the difference between a frog leaping out of the hot water when tossed in and another placed in cool water and then slowly boiling to death due to it acclimating to its ever-warming environment, so it is with humans.  I guess one can call it a perverse way of making lemonade out of lemons, which perhaps in a generation or two will be viable crop to harvest in our Colorado high country should we continue to sit on our hands and do nothing to slow the warming rate.

That too could be part of the new normal.

 

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