Friday, September 21, 2012

Climate change: we're all doomed.

Even the unprecedented melting of the Arctic is not enough to signal to us that things are going wrong. We're all boned because the failings of both the market and our democratic system of government (not that anything else would do better) will be incapable of acting until the consequences are irreversible, because this is the sort of thing where consequences generally lag causes by decades. The Arctic situation, unfortunately, seems to be degrading quickly, quicker than we had expected, and the feedback loops associated with it are the sort of thing that we cannot control once they go past a certain (rapidly approaching perhaps impossible to avoid) point.

I have little hope that we can avert the problem. Per capita American energy usage is 5 times the world's, twice Europe's. Our energy usage is, surprisingly, more carbon intensive than the world's. It is a sad country where Obama's position is a subject of mockery, when a mildly objective consideration of the facts indicates that it is perhaps, on the American spectrum, perhaps the farthest "right" that should be included in political discourse (using common American political positions - to my mind, real conservatives should be Roosevelt-style conservationists).

Do the math, kids. Cut your energy usage now.