Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Monday, May 23, 2016

Climate Monday: It's looking like a problem

Among disturbing signs of the "new normal" is weather that is extraordinarily deadly--like a heat wave in India where the temperature has hit 51C (that's about 124F) and new records are being hit monthly.

Good thing we aren't at risk of electing as president a climate change denier who says the whole thing is a hoax, isn't it?


Formerly Amherst said...

Hi Vixen. You have a nifty new background on your blog. Very attractive.

I'm surprised to see a climate change post. I had the impression that you had left that subject behind a while back. It's true that we don't hear much about climate change these days.

Most of the pollutants are coming from emerging nations going through some kind of industrial phase, like India and China.

In the US and much of the Western world a great deal was addressed long before “climate change” became a cause célèbre. We have so many environmental regulations, compliance ordinances, anti-pollution statutes with real enforcement mechanisms behind them – fines, even jail time. Naturally you can find people trying to get away with stuff, but we are on the side of the angels in the United States when it comes to protecting the environment.

We've had 7 years of a Democratic president, and the first 2 years with a Democratic Senate and House.

I don't blame them, however, because there's not much we can do about India. When Westerners bring it up, India and China disregard us and accuse us of imperialism and colonialism, and other isms and trying to impose Western value systems on their cultures, which they consider to be older and wiser than our own.

As far as “deniers” go, I will have to say that the only people that ever had a position on this are the 30 or 40 million people who stay tuned into politics. Where I live I doubt if the entire county thinks about “climate change” more than 5 minutes a year. They don't have a position one way or another: no one thinks about it sufficiently. After all, you have to think about it to come to some position, and it's really not on the agenda of your average American.

Vixen Strangely said...

I think I got burned out writing the same post over and over "look, here's major flooding": "This drought has gone on for months"; "Here's new record high temperatures". What is happening in India isn't necessarily even that anomalous--they've had temperatures where roadways buckle and melt, and cell phones just quite (not the coverage--the phones themselves). But the duration and the dependability that this sort of weather is going to happen becomes worrisome, because even if the world as a whole can't lecture to individual countries how to manage their energy and environmental affairs--the reality is that all localities will in some ways feel impacts that will need to be dealt with in infrastructural ways--as even Donald Trump , who, in one of my favorite moves being a literature major, literally Quixotically tilted at windmills in court to keep wind-generation turbines away from the stunning views at one of his golf courses--acknowledges climate change in wanting to build a sea-wall to prevent sea-level rise from devaluing another property.

I think one of the reasons the problem doesn't get adequately addressed anymore is the scope and size of it--people thing locally, and about what effects themselves and how they personally can help. This is why movements like trying to clean up water systems in urban areas like Flint and in rural areas where mining has leached chemicals into the water like parts of West Virginia and Western PA matter--it gets people thinking about how they are immediately impacted, and looking along the systems at what changes are necessary and possible for them as communities. It's people taking power in their own self-interest, over trusting in a kind of world agreement to dole out "good" as it sees fit.

Of course, the global climate is affected, but still and all, we're dealing with personal changes. It is true--people don't know what COP21 was, but they do care if their kids are drinking tainted water or if Zika-carrying mosquitos are heading north. How their local issues relate to the bigger picture is for them to study on and learn for themselves. And maybe that self-learning is where the urgency builds from, rather than getting the news told to them.

I've done some thinking about the effectiveness of advocacy and come to the conclusion that a choir-centered ministry isn't going very far.