Time is short and the clock is ticking

“Our collective tendency is to wait until big problems become catastrophic before dealing with them. Most of the time we’d rather not pay attention. We have all we can do to make a living, bring up our kids decently, save a bit for retirement, hopefully have a bit of fun along the way. We assume others will take care of the biggest threats. …

“Americans speak a lot about ‘revolution’. We’re a nation born of revolution. What we don’t talk about enough is a revolution in our thinking and behavior – realizing that we are not above and outside the natural world but part of it, that we cannot continue to exploit and plunder for profit, that there is something called the common good that requires personal sacrifice, and that those of us who are better off have a moral duty to sacrifice the most.”

A simple breakfast with a friend presented a serious dilemma and pointed to both the need and precedent for action

When sorrows come, they come not single spies

Belize, Fiji and Mozambique (among many other countries) “owe staggering amounts of money to various foreign lenders. They face staggering climate risks, too. And now, with the coronavirus pandemic pummeling their economies, there is a growing recognition that their debt obligations stand in the way of meeting the immediate needs of their people — not to mention the investments required to protect them from climate disasters.”

Another reason to prefer the term “climate destabilization”

“Electric grids can be engineered to handle a wide range of severe conditions — as long as grid operators can reliably predict the dangers ahead. But as climate change accelerates, many electric grids will face extreme weather events that go far beyond the historical conditions those systems were designed for, putting them at risk of catastrophic failure. …

“[U]nless grid planners start planning for increasingly wild and unpredictable climate conditions, grid failures will happen again and again.”

Republican climate change denial is ruining the planet

Paul Krugman in NYT: “But why have Republicans become the party of climate doom? Money is an important part of the answer: In the current cycle Republicans have received 97 percent of political contributions from the coal industry, 88 percent from oil and gas. And this doesn’t even count the wing nut welfare offered by institutions supported by the Koch brothers and other fossil-fuel moguls.

“However, I don’t believe that it’s just about the money. My sense is that right-wingers believe, probably correctly, that there’s a sort of halo effect surrounding any form of public action. Once you accept that we need policies to protect the environment, you’re more likely to accept the idea that we should have policies to ensure access to health care, child care, and more. So the government must be prevented from doing anything good, lest it legitimize a broader progressive agenda. …

“The only way that either American democracy or a livable planet can survive is if the Republican Party as it now exists is effectively dismantled and replaced with something better — maybe with a party that has the same name, but completely different values. This may sound like an impossible dream. But it’s the only hope we have.”