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Joseph Britt @Zathras3
, 12 tweets, 4 min read Read on Twitter
I've been thinking about this lately -- not the precise subject @EricHolthaus addresses here ("climate grief") but more the "quiet panic" about #climatechange I saw @matthewstoller refer to earlier today. <thread>
2. The @IPCC_CH report earlier this month revising estimates for how much time was left to restrain the pace of global temperature rise sent this feeling into overdrive, for me and many other people. It's not just that we have less time than we thought.
3. It's that we're dead in the water, as far as policy responses that might make a significant dent in carbon emissions are concerned. Not only is US political leadership acting like people who don't worry about climate change because they expect to be dead before it hits.
4. As well, no other country has the power and will to lead global action to reduce carbon emissions. The single largest source of carbon emissions, China, is in some respects pushing in the other direction. And even after Trump is gone from the White House... would take a new administration years to restore the capacity and credibility needed for a major emissions reduction program. In the United States, public discussion of climate change is still circling around the legitimacy of climate science --...
6... a basic question that should have been fully resolved 20 years ago. I have no bad word to say about local and private efforts directed at reducing carbon emissions and improving resilience and sustainability. If nothing else, they are helpful for morale purposes.
7. However, anyone willing to look can see the effects of climate change already: in melting icecaps, coral bleaching, more violent storms. These will get worse. Individuals resolving not to fly or eat meat, or businesses putting in solar panels, won't help that much.
8. We're in the soup, facing a worsening situation that will not wait for us to pull ourselves together. If the @IPCC_CH report is even close to correct, we are about to waste most of the time left to us to avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change.
9. We can all make the appropriate snarky comments about the elderly fat man in the White House watching his TV, playing golf, and burbling away about climate scientists with political agendas. But all Trump has done is add a bit of fuel to the fire already warming the planet.
10. The political problem that must be addressed for us even to get started is straightforward: major reductions of carbon emissions will require unpopular measures. There is no "win-win," sunshine-and-lollipops solution that will get us where we need to be.
11. Even the Obama administration's persistent hedging about the dangers of climate change, and about the costs required to mitigate and adapt to it, did not prevent determined and effective opposition to merely acknowledging the problem.
12. As a political strategy, hedging and sunny optimism have been tried and found wanting. Responsibility for our future demands a new Congress be more direct about the costs of averting catastrophic climate change, and the consequences if we do not. [end]
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