Too Darn Hot!

..

According to the Kinsey Report
Ev’ry average man you know
Much prefers to play his favorite sport
When the temperature is low,
But when the thermometer goes ‘way up
And the weather is sizzling hot,
Mister Adam
For his madam.
Is not,
‘Cause it’s too, too 
Too darn hot,
It’s too darn hot,
It’s too darn hot.

Too Darn Hot, by Cole Porter, from Kiss Me Kate

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I caught Al Gore on the Daily Show last week. I’ve had a soft spot for Gore ever since I shook his hand during his last senate campaign back in the day. He would have been President in 2001 if he had only run an honest campaign – if he hadn’t treated Clinton, and his successful policies like radioactive shit and had paid no attention to the “experts” trying to rebrand him every other week. On the other hand, I think his loss allowed him to become an actual human being.

Anyway, he was talking on the show about global warming. I agreed with everything he said. Its staggeringly stupid we, as a nation, treat climate change as just below the lack of Washington parking as a problem. One political party pretends climate change is a hoax, the other barely mentions it.

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The less developed countries, particularly India and China, ignore the issue, too, in their frantic effort to modernize. Think Beijing smog and add  another million plus cars then add another million plus in India (oh, yes, add about another couple of thousand coal fired power plants). When the West’s industries came of age in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries no country did – or even thought to do – anything about climate change. When America barely preaches on the subject of climate how can we expect China, India, Indonesia, Vietnam, and the dozen other nations clawing themselves up the economic ladder with dirty carbon based fuels.

Not that it really matters.

It’s too damn late to do anything about the climate. Think about this: suppose we could wave a magic wand and reduce carbon emissions to 1985 levels and kept them there for a decade or so. 1985 levels would not reverse global warming, it would only slow it down a bit. Indeed, if we could eliminate all carbon emissions global warming would continue for decades.

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Perhaps in another decade or so there will be such a catastrophic climate event world leaders will finally realize the seriousness of the problem. But what will they do? More to the point, will they be willing to drastically reduce emissions? By that time will serious cuts do any good? I suspect every industrial nation will demand the others go first (or falsely claim they are cooperating).

I’m a pessimist. If we discovered a huge asteroid hurtling toward earth with the potential to destroy all life on our planet, I have no doubt world leaders would quickly coalesce around a massive effort to solve the problem, no matter the cost.

On the other hand, its not beyond the possible that the GOP would decry the vast astronomical conspiracy to further th UN’s goal of  world domination…

But with climate change, the evidence will accrue so slowly that it will be long past way too late by the time the world gets even semi-serious…

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All photos by Mario Mercea, and subject to this creative commons license

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