(Clicking any of the underlined text in blue will take you to a reference on it.)
Clayton Williams, the Republican nominee for Texas governor in 1990, quipped that rape is like bad weather: “If it’s inevitable, just relax and enjoy it.” Williams lost that election to feminist Ann Richards, but his remark forecast environmentalists’ possible surrender to forces that are raping the planet. According to a New York Times article today headlined “Fossil Fuel Industry Ads Dominate TV In Campaign,” Al Gore’s advocacy group has conceded the television advertising battle on climate change. The organization, founded and partly funded by Gore in 2006 as the Alliance for Climate Protection, spent $32 million on ads urging legislation to combat global warming during the 2008 presidential campaign. This time nothing; the group’s chief executive says that “Whatever we would spend, it would be washed away in this sea of fossil fuel money.” The Times article asserts that so far in 2012 “estimated spending on televisions ads promoting coal and more oil and gas drilling or criticizing clean energy has exceeded $153 million.”
Environmental advocates’ retreat comes when the evidence of global warming, and human causation of climate change, is clearer and clearer. See the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) study and other materials discussed in previous posts. In fairness, one can look at the evidence – the BEST graph of global warming at increasing rates over the past few decades, melting polar ice caps and glaciers, rising greenhouse gas concentrations, positive feedback loops and methane, deforestation, recent severe drought in the Midwest – and conclude that it’s most sensible to live in the present and ignore environmental deterioration. Just be happy, and assume that the planet’s resilience, and human adaptability, will take care of the future. I’m not there yet; I keep looking for good news and thinking of my grandchildren and of what their lives could be in 20 years if Earth rape continues, and of what their lives could be if we all act now to stop, or even slow, the abuse of everyone’s mother.
Image by John Cummings (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons