All because of the long-term effects of global warming.
A little overdramatic? Maybe for you, but not for them.
We've known about the greenhouse effect and human-induced global warming for decades, yet we've done nearly nothing to stifle its progress.
The global warming 'skeptics' - aka: the greedy, the misinformed, and the willfully ignorant among us who find some reward in questioning scientific consensus or fantasizing about environmental conspiracies - are a large part of the problem. But so are the rest of us. We are the adults who rightfully talk down to these people. We know and accept the reality of the situation and the daunting prognosis that shadows it. We know the threat posed and even the steps necessary to mitigate and eventually halt the warming process.
Yet we do nothing as a society. We still drive our SUVs, buy cheap crap from China, leave lights on all over the house, and drink water out of plastic throw-aways.
Glaciers recede, the Arctic melts, deserts grow, oceans acidify, weather patters go haywire and storms intensify.
Political will for action is cowed by constant campaigns and elections and by electorates more concerned about the heft of their pocket right now than the likely condition of the world in which their grandchildren will be raised.
"Not my problem!"
"Not in my backyard."
"It's their problem, not mine."
"They can take care of themselves."
"I have enough to worry about."These are common phrases you might hear in any discussion of something where the consequences don't directly affect the person talking - but the solution would require some effort on the speaker's part.
Immigration, genocide, war, starvation, human rights violations, disease, global warming.
Even when the perceived negative effects of global warming are believed, they are seen as at a distance, both in time (i.e. years away) and in geography. Rising sea levels and crazy, nasty weather is a much bigger danger to the shore-stretching shanty towns littering impoverished nations than it is to most people in the United States. (But don't tell that to anyone in New Orleans).
In short, People favor the occasional large (and in this case ambiguous) loss for a steady and small short-term payoff.
Gas up now... global warming disaster - later.
As a result, humans are incapable (unwilling?), in general, of visualizing and planning for the distant (read `more than a year') future.
So we continue as before, while a bulldozer of unstoppable force escorts us gently over the cliff of death - lemmings in the sense that we follow those who provide the most compelling rationale for doing absolutely nothing.
These are the soulless politicians who use their spotlight to cite dubious climate 'science' in an attempt to undermine the truth of climate change with false clouds of uncertainty - just enough to halt legislation that would cost their interests (coal, oil, polutters, etc.) millions, if not billions of dollars in lost revenue and increased expenses.
Profitability over people.
And political will fails every time. Just as you fear losing your job and being faced with all the accompanying painful consequences, so too do they dread losing theirs. Thus they are wary when the global warming deniers effectively mock the idea as they fearmonger the electorate, warning them of unimaginable expense - even tax increases - if the haggish, invasive government tries to regulate each and every one of their lives through - gasp! - climate change legislation.
It's too easy to scare the voters out of their pocket books. Way easier than it is to scare them into acting against global warming.
So the politicians bend - and eventually break.
Nothing gets done and we end up - right here. Sitting on our asses wondering aloud how we could possibly have come to this point.
Enter Obama. Think what you want about him, he is the greatest chance we have - or have ever had - to turn our nation and the world in a direction that embraces clean energies and efficiencies. He is our only hope to take the steps necessary as a nation to stem the acceleration of global warming. He has already begun to do this, and it is in all our best interests to give him the leeway and support that he needs to continue this fight.
That means we have to keep Democrats in charge. Otherwise he won't be able to do anything meaningful.
Now is not the time to punish Democrats if they didn't succeed in doing everything you hoped they would do in these first couple of years - since the dreaded W left office.
Go out and support your local Democrats. Do what you can to reelect them, and to give them the necessary sense of comfort that they, as humans, need in order to stand up for that which is right. Implement meaningful climate change legislation.
We have to get out and vote for the Democrats - here and now in 2010 as well as for Obama in 2012.
After all, what do you think will happen if Republicans take over congress in November? And if a republican becomes president in 2012? Will they be the rational stewards of our economy? Of our nation? Of the world?
They will do nothing - NOTHING - for the average American. They will not fight global warming. They will not support the middle class. They will not promote civil rights. They will do nothing, except...
...lower taxes for the top 1% of income earners in America.
There is a clear choice in November and it is our job not only to vote, but also to make clear the difference to friends and family. This is our chance to do something truly meaningful to fight climate change.
If Republicans win we are all s-c-r-e-w-e-d.
Democrats are our only hope.
KEYWORDS: Global Warming, Democrats, Elections, Activism
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