Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Geoengineering is humanity’s last hope to combat climate change, but we’re not doing that, either.

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Kevin Drum has a good post that begins:

Last night was dex night, so I spent some time hanging around Twitter. At one point I ended up writing something that I’ve hinted around at here but have never quite come out and said outright. So let’s take care of that.

I’ve been watching the climate change fight for 20 years now, waiting and waiting for evidence that the public takes it seriously enough to do something about it. Not just say it’s important when a pollster calls, but demonstrate a real-world willingness to make lifestyle sacrifices that would make a difference. By chance, Paul Krugman wrote about this today:

It has long been painfully obvious that voters are reluctant to accept even small short-run costs in the interest of averting long-run disaster. This is depressing, but it’s a fact of life, one that no amount of haranguing seems likely to change…. Emission taxes are the Econ 101 solution to pollution, but realistically they just aren’t going to happen in America.

Needless to say, I agree. Two years ago I wrote a long piece for Mother Jones based on exactly this observation, and I’d add that it’s true of other countries as well. Neither Chinese nor Indian voters have any interest in freezing or lowering their standard of living at a quarter of our level just because we happened to get rich first. And it’s hard to blame them. Nevertheless, it just adds to the mountain of evidence—which I outlined in my article—that the public simply can’t be counted on to support any serious action.

Not in time, anyway. A decade ago I wrote in Democracy that by 2024:

The fact of climate change will become undeniable. The effects of global warming, discernible today mostly in scary charts and mathematical models, will start to become obvious enough in the real world that even the rightest of right wingers will be forced to acknowledge what’s happening.

I was only half right. The effects of climate change are becoming undeniable, but it hasn’t made even a lick of difference. The Republican Party remains unanimously opposed to clean energy because they oppose anything that raises the possibility of corporate regulation. This is very unlikely to change by 2024.

At the time I wrote about all this two years ago, my conclusion was . . .

Continue reading.

Written by Leisureguy

19 July 2022 at 1:35 pm

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