Friday, August 24, 2007

Hot Enough For You?

DC in August. Unless you've experienced it, well you just don't know real fun. But the summers haven't been as bad as often as they were when I first moved here. Climate change? Maybe. After all, global warming doesn't mean we all get hotter summers, it means the climate changes in some new & scary, probably unchangeable ways. Maybe that's why the White House & Congress have been slower than turtles on Quaalude's to act on climate change issues. They're betting on cooler DC summers.

I think we all know that it's not that, it's the debt (financial and otherwise) just about everyone in both camps owes to companies & organizations that make their money from products that help destroy our climate. For this crew, apparently money is more important than ensuring a functioning planet for their grandchildren.

This week, a federal judge told the Bush crew to cough up climate change reports that were due in 2004 & 2006. The administration is legally bound to provide us with updated US climate change research plans & impact assessments every 3 years. Apparently they're implementing the "hide under the covers & no one can see you" strategy for the plans. Guess what. We see you. And we know you have NO functioning plan for dealing with the climate. So don't bother trying to hide the fact. And stop trying to change entries in Wikipedia on the topic!

Experts who have actually been permitted to share their findings have many scary and fascinating things to say, as we all know. One that I found frightening is the impact of climate change on world hunger. The UN's Food & Agriculture Organization director, Jacques Diouf, noted today that while crop yields would increase at higher latitudes as the global average temperature went up 1 to 3 degrees centigrade (but dive bomb as temperatures rose higher than that), areas in low altitudes (which aren't doing so well at the moment anyway in much of the world) would suffer more fires, forest pest & disease outbreaks, damaging ecosystems and agriculture, with subsequent severe downturns in crop production.

And while scientist and expert after expert lays out the future we're creating for ourselves, we manage to still sit back and ask "now, is it REALLY happening?" "are we causing it?" "should we do anything" "isn't it safer to just sit and wait?" Or, if you're in the Georgia state legislature, you run a panel asking if climate change is fact of fiction. Let's hear it from Georgia house reps Jeff Lewis & Clay Cox (republicans, of course). Lewis argues that there is "alternate information out there" (yes, by all means, let's listen to experts funded by the oil & coal industries & the CATO institute), while Cox concludes that the argument has "affirmed my assumption coming in here that there are too many opinions on this subject" and so can't make a conclusion. Wow! That's a mighty brain trust in the Georgia legislature.

My favorite part of the Georgia legislature story is this line, "the hearing was followed by a lunch for lawmakers, sponsored by Georgia Natural Gas and AT&T."

And so it goes.


Blogger Carol Gee said...

Lapopessa, you know what the problem is. Georgia was already a hot place to live. When their climate changed, Legislative Fried Brain Syndrome was the result. News has it that LFBS has also popped up in Foggy Bottom.
Good post.

6:26 PM  

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