Climate change is here, climate change is happening, climate change has happened. We have already crossed that Rubicon and now it isn’t a matter of trying to stop it but rather a matter of mitigation.
This opinion is nothing new for me as it is one that I have held, mostly privately, for quite some time now. So what has prompted me to make a statement like the one that opens this posts?
Well the above, and what follows, was sparked by a Twitter message from Franke James a.k.a. @frankejames on Twitter and a post she shared this morning titled What can “Anybody” tell Obama about the Keystone XL?
Now if you are not Canadian or involved with the Canadian government and the climate change movement her name might not be that recognizable. However this artist has become a very vocal opponent of the Canadian government’s stance on climate change and the Alberta tar sands to the point that Franke has been called “a wicked thorn in Stephen Harper’s side”.
For those not familiar with the name Stephen Harper, he is probably Canada’s equivalent to past US president George Bush and in my opinion has been one of the worst Prime Ministers this country has had (well with the exception of one recent PM); and needs to be replaced.
However that is for another post for another time; this one is about the inevitability of climate change to alter our world in ways we can’t even conceive of right now. Yes, as you can tell by what I have written so far I do believe that we have reached that climate change tipping point and that we are only just beginning to see that change’s effect on us.
Now lest any bright lightbulb out there hoist the old weather cycles argument as a defense for the current weather changes we are seeing let me cut you off at the bridge. I know weather cycles, I’ve lived long enough to see a few of them. I also know that we live in a cyclical world where everything comes and goes in cycles. Everything from political to war there are cycles. The problem here is that cycles don’t explain one of the worst droughts that the US has seen since the Dust Bowl, and shows no signs of improving.
It also doesn’t explain the increasing number of “super” storms that we have seen to date, or the worried pronouncement from climate scientists that they are only a sign of what is to come. It also doesn’t explain the increase of earthquakes in places that aren’t suppose to experience them; although many are pointing to the increase in fracking operations as a “possible” cause.
Of course one of the prime areas of argument is around the science of climate change with both sides of argument firing shots across the river at each other. Claims of data manipulation echos around the halls of government with each proven case held up like a victory banner by each side.
The problem is that even though there have been cases of climate scientists “playing” with the data on the side of those fighting against climate change deniers they are in fact outnumbered, out-moneyed, and out-powered. The reality is that big business and their lobbyist controlled governments have, and will continue to control the halls of power.
If you don’t think so, or you don’t believe that big business won’t do everything it can to protect their massive profit margins and power base obviously don’t remember the Tobacco War years of the 50′s and 60′s when the tobacco companies successfully called into question the “science of tobacco”. During that time the tobacco giants were some of the biggest lobbyists on Capital Hill, and state hills, pouring billions into government campaigns in order to protect their fortunes.
Sure things have changed, as the anti-smoker coalitions like to trumpet, but look how long it took, some 40 to 50 years. Think about that for a minute. 40 to 50 years to bring about a social change. Even today there are still court battles going on over the whole tobacco industry, even today they are still pouring money into lobby groups.
With that kind of time scale as a reference; and really when it comes to money, only a fraction of what the energy industry is currently pouring into the coffers of lawyers, lobbyists, and government officials, how long do you think the battle over climate change will continue?
The problem is we don’t have the time. Actually we ran out of time while the pro and con fought their war of words and backroom funding. As long as the argument continues, and the money continues to flow, climate change will be this generation’s Big Tobacco War except this time we will all lose.
If, and this is a big IF mind you, you believe that climate change has already crossed that “tipping point” and that now it is a matter of mitigation, and learning how to live in a world that will be fundamentally changing within this and the next generation, who do we hold accountable; and will they be held accountable.
I know that I will probably get ridiculed for this post, after all the Internet mentality is one of slamming first and forgetting to think, but as I said in the beginning this is my own opinion, and one that probably won’t change, so you can say what you want about it. Just realize that the real world doesn’t move in Internet minutes and this change has had many, many, years to come about and really we are all to blame in the eyes of our children and their children as we leave them with a totally screwed up world.