Friday, June 27, 2008

Somebody liked my Churchill metaphor

This is vain, but I'm going to post it anyway, mostly because Aimee complains I read too much "world crisis" history. These are some responses I got to my recent post on NYT's Dot Earth blog, re Hansen's idea to prosecute CEOs of energy corporations for climate change "crimes.":

June 26th,
5:46 am

When the world comes to its senses about the combined energy/climate crisis, we will take Jim Hansen very seriously, and while we might not, by the Constitution, actually be able to seriously consider prosecution of certain energy CEOs, we certainly will feel very differently about them.

I’m thinking now not not so much about those “just doing their jobs,” “following orders” from shareholders and boards to make profit at any cost, but those who deliberately funded the disinformation campaign that is responsible, since the early 1990s, for much of the public confusion about climate change.

It’s fairly well documented now that leaders of ExxonMobil and other energy corporations funneled money to fake scientists, lobbying groups and commentators who would spread the notion that scientists lacked consensus on climate change.

Now that this has been exposed, let’s begin to put it in perspective. And I like the 1930s metaphor.

The combined climate-energy World Crisis is already ruining lives and killing people all over the planet. The climate effects: from extreme storms, floods, wildfires, and drought; are combining with the energy effects: high prices, food shortages, a major recession; to create unemployment, poverty, hunger, starvation, and the unhousing of millions. And this is just the beginning. More is to come, a “bitter cup” from which we will now have to drink, “year after year.”

Now, with the midwestern floods, grain prices will likely skyrocket this fall, adding to the gathering storm.

Hansen is our climate Churchill. When we get beyond this crisis, into the “broad sunlit uplands” of a renewable energy century, we will look back and excoriate those who, for pure greed or ideological lunacy, delayed our response, much as we look back on the appeasers, isolationists, and apologists for Nazism of the 1930s. The climate denial lobby are the Lindberghs, Mosleys, and the German-American Bund “in our time.”

Unfortunately, the crimes they have committed (so far) are ones against compassion, reason and truth, not against the law.

— Posted by Mick Womersley

June 26th,
10:57 am

Mick Womersely, #53,

What a damn great post!
To my usual heroes in here, (you know who you are). Keep speaking the truth.
Elizabeth Tjader

— Posted by Elizabeth Tjader

75.June 26th,
11:38 am

Elizabeth Tjader #71, Mick Womersely, #53

I am glad that there are two people agrees with me of the urgency. (Maybe I should re-post poem here again.)

I have reread the September 2005 special issue of Scientific American,”Crossroads for the Planet Earth”. It is still quite current, though I wish somebody can revise it by now. I would recommend to folks in dotearth blog circle to read it too. What amounts to the crisis is that we need a Churchill, a FDR, and a general Gorge Marshall, to arose the people, to inspire the people, and to organize people.

Yu-tsang Hwang

— Posted by Yu-tsang Hwang

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