Courtesy of WaPo:
Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous seven degrees by the end of this century.
A rise of seven degrees Fahrenheit, or about four degrees Celsius, compared with pre-industrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists. Many coral reefs would dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Parts of Manhattan and Miami would be underwater without costly coastal defenses. Extreme heat waves would routinely smother large parts of the globe.
But the administration did not offer this dire forecast, premised on the idea that the world will fail to cut its greenhouse gas emissions, as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: The analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed.
The draft statement, issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), was written to justify President Trump’s decision to freeze federal fuel-efficiency standards for cars and light trucks built after 2020. While the proposal would increase greenhouse gas emissions, the impact statement says, that policy would add just a very small drop to a very big, hot bucket.
“The amazing thing they’re saying is human activities are going to lead to this rise of carbon dioxide that is disastrous for the environment and society. And then they’re saying they’re not going to do anything about it,” said Michael MacCracken, who served as a senior scientist at the U.S. Global Change Research Program from 1993 to 2002.
It really feels that Aaron Sorkin was channeling Nostradamus when he wrote this bit for HBO’s “The Newsroom.”
Yeah, that’s terrifying.
The good news is that it is highly unlikely any of us would be alive by 2100 anyway.
The bad news is that everybody else might die by then as well.
You know the whole idea about having a government is not just to solve problems happening at this moment, but also working to prevent problems that will occur in the future.
President Obama was actually working on solutions to avoid or at least minimize this outcome, and here we have the Trump Administration throwing up their hands and saying, “Fuck it, what are ya gonna do?”
There is actually still a lot we can do.
Yes, we should have been aggressively working on this for the last fifty or sixty years, but that does not mean there are no steps that can be taken to protect us, at least somewhat, from the failings of past generations.
And that is yet another thing that we need to keep in mind when we go to the polls in November.
We need to elect politicians with hope for the future and with fact-based ideas about how to get us there in one piece.
And yes, I would suggest that every single one of those choices is going to have a “D” next to their name on the ballot.