In the climate change con, we are the victims

Here is a very nice wrap-up of the state of the debate over climate change in US Congress.

As this guy notes, the big climate marches Sunday were only needed because people are wilfully ignorant. I just went through my old papers and I turned up a copy of the newsletter No Sweat News from fall 1993. Here are pages 14-17, scanned for your pleasure.

No Sweat News Fall 1993 No Sweat News Fall 1993 page 16Yes, 1993. It is, here in the northern hemisphere, now fall 2014. This newsletter is now old enough to drink legally in the Puritan States of America. And it is still on point. The debate has barely moved.

That despite the cover article of the Summer 1995 issue, “Climate Change, Insects and Plague,” which explains why insects are among the quickest adaptors to climate change, happily moving upslope or up-latitude as conditions permit. Even 19 years ago, they were noting that malaria-bearing mosquitos had increased their range in response to climate change. And now here we are, in the middle of a host of outbreaks, from Ebola to Chikungunya to measles to mysterious weirdness, and people for the most part know not to mention climate change because it’s just going to break down into a stupid screamfest when we all need to just get together and fix these symptoms asap.

This blog is about scandals in the energy industry. The biggest scandal of all has nothing to do with Spanish con men or Nigerian governors or Venezuelan get-rich-quick schemes. The biggest and worst scam out there is that we continue to burn so many fossil fuels. We are all suckers in a huge con by the energy industry. Man-made climate change is now well underway, matching the form but exceeding the scale of predictions from 20 years ago, and we, like the victims of any con, continue to deny that we’ve been had, believing the con man’s promise that the payment will come next week, that it wasn’t his fault. Like the victims of any con, we blame ourselves. Like most victims, we refuse to react with righteous rage, instead slinking back home to have a drink and lament our fate. It’s a bad way to go.

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2 thoughts on “In the climate change con, we are the victims

  1. Greg

    I greatly enjoy your posts, but I think we victimize ourselves. I think the ability of the energy industry to sway public opinion is minor, compared with the ability of the public to delude itself so we can enjoy cheap energy as long as possible. And people are often keen to take advantage of any change of circumstances, so even among those sensible enough to listen to the science there will be many hoping for relative advantage. Finally, don’t you think climate change would be so vastly expensive to beat that we would never pay the price to stop it?

    1. Steven/Setty Post author

      Yes, we totally do victimize ourselves! I agree with all you say. But that’s true of many cons. People fall for advance fee frauds because they are greedy. But just because our own vice (short-sightedness or a desire to get ahead) plays a role doesn’t mean we shouldn’t point fingers at those who are actively promoting the problem and obstructing our better natures.

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