Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A plea for pity and mercy

Someone has to say this, but it's not going to be popular:

In the ongoing Greek tragedy of climate denialism, it seems more than just merely ironic that the states suffering the most from extreme weather, such as Texas with hurricanes and drought, or Missouri and Oklahoma with tornadoes, are those that return climate denialists to power year after year.

While here we sit in New England, relatively safe from such things, having returned relatively sensible politicians for year after year.

The only word I can think of to describe the feelings we have as a far-away witness of such things is macabre, but even that doesn't begin to describe the depths of futility and despair that come up. And this is only the beginning of this "bitter cup." There's more, much more and much worse to come.

This all sounds callous of me, I know. I'm not unaware of the horrific tragedy, believe me. I'm an emergency responder and so would be having some of the hardest working days of my life right now if I lived in or close to Moore, Oklahoma. I have a very good understanding, from first experience, of what it must feel like to be a firefighter or paramedic right now in Moore.

When the best that can be done for folk in a pitiful state is triage, then it's time for pity and mercy.

I was taught to run triage, as part of my military medical training. Triage means that you sort the casualties logically into three groups: Those who will survive untreated, those who will almost certainly die if treated or not, and those who will live if you treat them. It's a method for economizing on scarce medical resources in a mass casualty situation.

When your shift ends, if it ends, all you will be able to do is weep. I've been there.

So, Senator Inhofe, where's the pity and mercy?

Because this is only the beginning. These kinds of things will happen more and more.

Whereas, if we reduced climate emissions beginning now, and found some reasonable way to get some of that carbon sequestered out of the atmosphere, if we were lucky enough to get CO2 down below 350 ppm, we would almost certainly have far fewer such events.

I think the good senator probably thought that this climate denial thing was a political game that he could play according to the normal political rules.

But it's not.

You can't filibuster the laws of physics.

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