We all share the weather.
A Republican and a Democrat walk into a bar. MAGA hat and rainbow teeshirt stride up to the counter together. MAGA gets a Bud, Rainbow a craft IPA. They eye each other sideways. They both grip their pints in their hands. The bartender stands back a little. Then MAGA hat guy looks straight into Rainbow guy’s eyes. You know what he says? He says, “Some weather we’re having today, huh?” And Rainbow replies, “Yeah, I’ve never seen it like this before.” MAGA comes back, “Strange, it’s like that everyday.” And they laugh and drink their beers.
From the side of party politics, I find it’s a good exercise to ask what issues join all of us, regardless of our political affiliations. Not what do the Republicans think, or what can the Democrats use to engage working class voters. Now that I’m not in a party, I’d like to think about what’s most important to everybody, not just to one side or the other.
To me, the one issue that affects every single person in this nation, in fact, everyone in the world, is the current and growing environmental crisis, the ecological collapse our civilization has created. We all live in the same environment, whether we agree with each other about all the issues or not. We all breathe the air. We all need food and water.
The environment is the one thing we all share. We all draw our water from the same springs of life. We all share the weather.
I’m convinced that if the current environmental science was broadly known and understood, most people from all sides would come together to work on this one issue, the great crisis of our age. If we really saw what we were facing, we’d forget our politics and join together as people do in catastrophes. As people will do in the great catastrophes that will come if we don’t make the changes we need to make now.
If we don’t join together to work on this issue, giving up for now our partisan ways, well, as my Irish friends would say, “We’re all fooked, man!”
I’ve said before that the absence of climate crisis news is one of the major failings of mainstream media.
But a big climate crisis story has hit the mainstream news today. Glaciers around the planet are melting much faster than predicted.
This new data also reveals the broader problem with predictions based on computer models, especially in the modeling of highly chaotic systems. The models are necessarily based on probabilities and averages and incomplete data. The predictions could be wrong— as climate change skeptics have so often pointed out.
But the thing is, the models could be wrong in either direction. Models could perhaps overstate the effects of CO2 buildup. The climate could, in reality, be a lot better off than the scientific models project. On the other hand, the models could be wrong the other way. Things could really be a lot worse! This new study repeats what all the climate scientists I’ve been reading lately say. The skeptics were right that the earlier models were wrong. But they were wrong in the direction of the error. The climate system is breaking down much faster than the models predicted. And we’re all fooked.
Many of the scientists who talk about the coming climate disruptions use the term, “existential crisis.” I think this is a bad way of talking about it. When someone says “existential” I remember trying to read Sartre and Camus in philosophy class, I picture a guy in a beret. I start to drift off.
Every time I see the words “existential crisis”, I want to translate them into more effective language, like “If we don’t do something now we’re all going to fookin’ die!”
And our fookin’ kids, too!
That’s why I’m a climate voter in 2020. I won’t vote for any candidate of either party who doesn’t put protecting our shared environment at the very top of their priorities.