Thursday, August 06, 2020

If Saving the Climate Is the Question, Joe Biden Is Not the Answer


CO2 mitigation curves that allow us to keep global warming below 1.5°C, the only mark that keeps the planet reasonable livable. For discussion see "Poised on the Brink: A Tale of Hope and Change." It's rightly said that "the road to 2°C is steep; the road to 1.5°C is a cliff."

by Thomas Neuburger

The most important issue that humans have faced in their history is the impending catastrophic climate disaster. ... 'We have until 2030 to avoid catastrophe.'" — Noam Chomsky, in a new pro-Biden campaign ad, "#VoteTrumpOut"

In a new ad Noam Chomsky correctly says, "The most important issue that humans have faced in their history is the impending catastrophic climate disaster."

He's exactly right, the "impending catastrophic climate disaster" is an existential crisis, a crisis of our existence itself, and if we don't face it with the most radical of solutions between now and 2030, Americans and all of the rest of our species will scramble for cover and triage for most of the rest of this millennium. Scramble for survival, in other words, until the climate system stabilizes into a "hot new normal."

When will all this end? The planet will continue to heat until the day...

 • When humans stop emitting CO2, either by choice, by devolution to pre-manufacturing life, or by extinction; and

 • When all of the secondary effects of the carbon we've already burned have had their say. When loss of ice; loss of temperate zones; loss of wealth, habitat, and farmable arable land; loss of livestock and life-preserving species like bees; global and regional wars, famines and plagues; collapse of our economic systems; collapse of all social systems larger than tribes have each had their moment in the sun, then left the ravaged scene.

Only after these two conditions are met will the climate/life cycle system of the earth reach a new equilibrium and stop adjusting to the effects of human-emitted atmospheric CO2.

The "hot new normal" will not be as friendly as our comfortable old normal, the Holocene, the climate that gave birth to civilized man with all our wonders and delights, but it will at least be a stable and predictable environment for whoever is left to live in it, at least until the next great cataclysm  — a comet, a massive tectonic shift — forces its own rearrangement on our only home in the world.

So Chomsky is not exaggerating. The life of our species and our way of living that life is literally at stake. We could easily go from smart phones everywhere to homeless campfires set on rubbish heaps, a global assembly of disconnected pre-industrial and mostly non-farming societies in not too many generations.

With that as the opener of the ad, the statement of this great urgency, it's appropriate to say that Donald Trump is not the answer — is in fact the perfect inverse of the answer. "Another four years of Trump," Chomsky announces at the beginning, "may literally lead us to the stage where the survival of organized human society is deeply imperiled. ... Trump is the worst person in the world on this issue."

"Get rid of Trump, and then we have opportunities," he concludes. All true.

And yet I find myself wishing, if climate is the existential question, that Joe "Fossil Fuel" Biden was not the only answer on offer. Because I don't think Joe Biden, or whoever fleshes out his empty suit in the next four years, is capable of the radical change these radical times require.

After all, didn't Joe Biden, with the eager, happy help of the entire Democratic leadership, work to defeat the mildest "radical" of my whole life on earth, the rumpled FDR who ran against him?

Biden's own version of the Green New Deal, for example, "wouldn’t ban natural gas and oil fracking," says this glowing report. If Sanders was Biden's enemy, he of the actual Green New Deal, how on earth can Biden be our friend?

Does this mean Don't Vote for Biden? No, nor does it mean Don't Vote. It simply means if climate is your question, this election offers no answer.

Labels: , , , ,


At 9:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

name one relevant question of the day for which biden could possibly be the answer.

ditto the democrap party

I'll wait.

does that mean don't vote for biden/democraps? I'd say yes.

A vote for biden and/or democraps is just another vote for corruption, neoliberalism, fascism, racism, misogyny and stupidity... the non-trump variety.

if you are ok with this... you are the problem.

At 10:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Chomsky IS correct, but still advises supporting Biden.

Yet this week, Mother Jones reported that Biden seems to like the fossil fuel firms a whole lot, which means we cannot expect him to do any more than his former boss obamanation did: talk a good line, then walk in the opposite direction thinking we don't notice.

"In the years since Obama’s presidency, there’s been a divergence among Obama administration alumni about their legacy on natural gas, [Jeff Hauser, director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research’s Revolving Door Project] said. His worry is that individuals who do not express remorse about that record at this stage in the fight against climate change will ultimately land key posts in a future Biden administration."

Nothing. Will. Fundamentally. Change.

Now vote for the lesser of two evils and go die for profits.

At 12:54 PM, Anonymous wjbill said...

The DNC and democratic leadership look at any challenge to the status quo as their existential threat ..... ironic isn't it. We can not count on them in the fight vs climate change.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Ten Bears said...

Of all the lesser evils, when not writing in Mickey Mouse, Fritz the Cat and None Of The Above, I held my nose and voted for, this is the evilest. I've written of Kabul theater leaving the rubes feeling participant, this is those paying attention forced to vote the corporate quo. That in the confusion they slipped him in the side door presumptively declaring him much as they did his predecessor (((The Candidate))) lends a degree of credibility to some of that Bilderberger CFR Davos deep state stuff. Trump a Beast Rabban softening up the populace for a pre-prepared messiah.

We dropped the ball, our generation did.

At 7:16 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is one and only one new energy source that stands a chance of ending global warming enough to save the human race: space based solar power. That is what the Clinton administration was perfecting before Bush took office. He then directed NASA to work on going to Mars. Start with this: enough energy lands on the geostationary orbit in four minutes to power all of human energy needs for a year. It would supply enough energy to start removing CO2 from the atmosphere. Nothing else will work. The current amount of CO2 in the atmosphere won't finish raising the temperature for another 20 years, even if no more C02 is added, Second, the permafrost is melting. There is four times as much carbon in the permafrost than the amount of C02 in the atmosphere. Worse, much of it is being released as methane which has fifty times the retention rate as CO2 when it is first released.

At 7:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

the Clinton admin was doing no such thing. they were on their back for the extraction industries just as much as W and obamanation.

and the current atmospheric C guarantees temp rises for at least another century. and temp rises guarantee more C releases. the definition of resonance.

CH4 is far more efficient as a greenhouse gas. However, it breaks down/recombines to CO2 and water within a month of release. And water vapor is ALSO a far more efficient greenhouse gas.


Post a Comment

<< Home