Saturday, December 8, 2012
The Ugliest Thing- Doing Nothing About Climate Change
latest round of Doha talks seem about to break up without an agreement once again on how to proceed other than continue to talk about talking about the problem. The absurdity of the bureaucratic pace of negotiations is evident to anybody paying attention. It seems that the human race is hopelessly mired in egotistical one-upsmanship, unable to summon the collective will to save itself. Where does the blame lie? Despite bleating from the political class that the Chinese or the Indians, or whoever, is making an agreement impossible, I believe that future generations will have little difficulty seeing that Americans, overfed, bloated, dysfunctional victims of our own prosperity, failed in our self-appointed role of world leaders at this most crucial juncture. The funny thing is how beautiful failure can look and how comfortable it can feel. That could just be a temporary illusion, however as the economic pain from climate change begins to sink in to the collective nervous system. Here in my town, dependent on the ski industry for a large chunk of our revenues, how many responsible adults are looking out at the landscape and seeing another disastrous year for the ski, snowboard, and ice-fishing aficionados that fund our town's essential services? More than a few, I'm guessing. Not much further afield, acidification of the oceans caused by carbon deposition is creating havoc in the shellfish industry of neighboring states. It looks increasingly like doing nothing about global warming and its consequent climate change will be the ugliest thing we never did.