Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Too Little, Too Late. Koo, Koo, Kechew.

Today's NYT has an article that shows just what those of us concerned about global warming are up against. In spite of having elected a Democratic Congress and Senate, our margins may to too thin to push through measures that seriously address environmental issues. While an environmental spokesman says that "“I think you'd have to go back to the Enlightenment to find such a big change in worldviews," and that "“I think we're still looking at a big turnaround in the tenor of the debate, and the nature of information coming out of Washington,"” it's clear that what we can expect in the short term is likely limited to hearings to expose the problems and half-hearted measures that, while attempting to slow the rate of increase of carbon emissions, do nothing to reallly save the planet. Slowing the rate of increase is simply not enough.

Hearings can be worthwhile, especially if the results are widely-reported and result in a change in the public's attitudes. But we need immediate and serious action NOW if we're going to save even some of the planet. We've wasted a lot of the time that could have been spent gradually working up to real measures.

I've long had a theory that an airline that advertised that there was no security check to get onto its planes, that if you got on and there were terrorists, then you'd have to take your chances at beating them into submission, could sell out every seat on every flight. Most of what goes on in airline "security checks," (aka making old ladies take off their flip flops when they get on the flight back to DC from the Caymans, I'm looking at you, American Airlines, making people empty their bottles of skin lotion, taking away people's nail clippers) is bullshit that doesn't protect anyone and simply inconveniencesninces everyone. If we aren't willing to enact serious measures to protect the environment, then we almost might be better off doing nothing. Simply inconveniencing people, while the planet continues to die off, will do nothing more than irritate people and convince them that there's nothing we can do to prevent global warming. At that point, hell, why not turn up your thermostat in winter and drive a big, comfortable SUV?

Al Gore, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

1 comment:

steve said...

I recently read a blog in which an irritated air traveller argued that we grow old in those security lines. If we add up all the passenger hours people have wasted in them since they started, Globally, according to Boeing there were 1.5 billion passenger trips last year. Assuming one third in USA, and an hour of extra waiting that would be half a billion hours. With a life expectency of 75 years, that amounts to 833 passenter years wasted per year. That's a lot of lives to waste on measures that have only the most casual connection with improving safety.