Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Changing Face Of Climate Change

BREAKING NEWS:  The Vice-Presidential candidates for both parties not only mentioned that climate change was real, but both candidates pledged to do something about it as David Roberts points out at the Grist.

The questioner doesn’t mamby-pamby around with he-said she-said, he states flatly that “most scientists” agree and that future generations are at risk.

And neither candidate bothers with dissembling or dodging. Both acknowledge the problem and promise to address it.

Of course the catch is that the year is 1988 -- 24 years ago -- and that the candidates were Lloyd Bentsen and Dan Quayle:

So, Roberts asks rightfully, what the hell happened?  Corporate America happened, of course.

Now, what happened in 2008 that might have turned conservatives against climate? Hm … thinking … wait, wasn’t there an election that year? Why yes, I believe there was. Black Democrat took office, as I recall.

The sharp conservative turn against climate was part and parcel of the Tea Party phenomenon. When Obama and congressional Democrats championed legislation to address climate change — legislation not that different from what McCain championed in 2008 — the right immediately aligned against it, like a school of fish. Once cap-and-trade failed spectacularly, the issue went underground. The right is united in implacable opposition to all solutions. Burdened with so many coal states, the Dem coalition doesn’t have the votes to overcome the right’s opposition. So there’s just nothing to say. There’s no margin in talking about it. It doesn’t get Dems any votes they don’t already have. It doesn’t — despite the festival of self-delusion going on lately — move any independent or undecided votes. And it activates furious right-wing activism. So … who has incentive to talk about it? No one. As [Chris] Hayes says, Obama can’t single-handedly change this dynamic, no matter how many times he says the words “climate change.”

And so nothing will happen because the right will forever oppose anything a Democrat wants to see passed.   This goes times ten for Barack Obama.  The Earth will burn because of petulant children and corporate greed.

But of course, that's just humanity reverting to form.

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