Posts in Environment

Did you catch the Democrats on Cable News Network the other night discussing the climate crisis? Too bad—you missed some great dancing. Not a debate, but a return to a series of town halls where they interact with the studio audience and a moderator but not each other, it seemed to be set up in the early summer pyramid format, with the front-runners in the middle, sloping downward to the least popular candidates in the polls around teatime and closing time at the disco, save for Amy Klobuchar, who somehow bogarted her way into the middle past Kamala Harris, who I heard had some droopy polls, but nothing that would put her below Klobuchar’s 2%.

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Another year over, and what have we done? Yes, 2018 is at an end. We can look back at the past, and forward to the future, and celebrate an arbitrary date chosen to begin a new year – January 1. People will make (and break) resolutions, promise things will be better in the new year, and proceed to do the same things the way they always do them, because the new year isn’t magic. There is no reason to expect things will change, because New Year’s Day is an imaginary day…oh, the day actually exists, but there is no reason to believe things start over that day. It’s really just another day to which we have chosen to add significance.

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Back around the early years of this century I had occasion to acquaint myself with the musings on global heating of a college instructor who opined that nobody was denying climate change any more; oh, they might call it cyclical, they might deny that it was anthropogenic, but as for denying that the earth was getting hotter, that wasn’t happening any more.  If she was ahead of her time, she was a long ways ahead of her time, for I’m still hearing that, and worse; I could introduce you to people who think it’s getting colder.

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You may have heard the different descriptions given of environmental scientists by the left and the right. The right prefers to describe the environmental scientists as Cassandras, mockingly pointing out that they spread a message of gloom and doom. The left prefers to paint them as Don Quixotes, misunderstood knight errants wandering the land in search of evil giants and damsels in distress. The preferred frame of reference you use in referring to this branch of science can immediately give away your political leanings.

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