The decade of lame excuses: “Catastrophism” and abrupt climate change

3:51 pm in Uncategorized by cassiodorus

I think that’s how future historians will remember the “teens” — that glorious decade between 2010 and 2020 when we suffered chronically higher unemployment and paid for improved access to health care with something less than 8% of our gross annual incomes and with continuing insurance company hegemonic control over the whole process.

For this is the decade of lame excuses, the decade of “we didn’t have sixty votes” and “Obama can only do so much” and “the Democrats don’t have enough money to contest every race” and “the Republicans invented the sequester” and “Obama can’t close Gitmo” (did I say “Obama can’t close Gitmo“?) and so on. And that’s not to mention the far more numerous Republican lame excuses that are floated every day! (I might add that this isn’t about Obama or the Democrats so much as it’s about the decade of lame excuses — if we didn’t think they were credible, we wouldn’t be making so many of them.)

At this point I think that the heartland of the realm of lame excuses, now in the fourth year of this decade, has got to be in the public discussion of climate change. For how could it be otherwise? The linchpin of the movement to mitigate climate change is the effort to stop the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, but opinion polls suggest that Keystone XL is broadly popular, and they’ve already created other pipelines that do the same thing (according to a great diary by Lefty Coaster).

Now, I’m OK with climate change mitigation being a lost cause. It’s definitely not a lame excuse to say “this is a lost cause, but we’re pursuing it anyway.” What I’m not OK with is this: Lost causes would be much, MUCH more fun if we didn’t have to make and support lame excuses for why we’re not pursuing the SAME cause in a way which might actually stand a chance of winning.

I think we’re also making lame excuses in that we can’t bring ourselves to support this flawed climate-change mitigation movement while at the same time working to improve the movement itself — and in this regard I will discuss a book titled “Catastrophism.” I will explain below. Read the rest of this entry →