Climate report, meet climate bill
A new report on climate change and its effects, both already-occurring and projected, dropped on Black Friday. The report comes from the federal government, and distinguishes itself from other recent warnings (such as that from the IPCC) chiefly for the specificity of its predictions. The report comes at an imposing 1,656 pages, but a quick and useful summary can be found at nca2018.globalchange.gov. It’s worth reading, even if you already can guess the gist.
One theme that stands out to me is that climate change will hit the global poor first and foremost. This is no surprise. Almost by definition, being poor means being devoid of protections from either catastrophic events (such as extreme weather associated with climate change) or the slow ratcheting up of economic pressures (such as what happens to farmers as growing seasons shorten on a warming planet).
Now consider a second prediction: the net effect of climate change may impact the size of the American economy by as much as 10 percent by century’s end. This, to me, really drives the first theme home. While poverty is a real and serious problem in America, by and large, our countrymen are not who people are referring to when they speak of the global poor. Yet, within this very century, this report, from the Trump administration, is predicting net negative impacts on the U.S. economy measuring in the trillions of dollars. Effects of that size will be felt by our immediate descendants, but they will herald, I fear, much worse effects for those peoples not fortunate enough to live in a country whose affluence offers at least some protection.
While this sounds imposing, it most certainly should not paralyze us. Instead, it should galvanize us into seeking out large-scale, impactful solutions. One such solution just landed on the floor of the House. It’s called the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividends Act of 2018. Perhaps what’s most unique about it is that it’s a genuinely bipartisan piece of legislation (three Democrats and two Republicans introduced it) that nonetheless does not compromise on effectiveness. You can find a succinct explainer of it here, citizensclimatelobby.org/energy-innovation-and-carbon-dividend-act/, and if you agree that it should play a central role in U.S. climate solutions going forwards, give your representative a call and say as much.
Free speech anyone?
We know now that an American (Washington Post) journalist was horribly executed for doing his job and reporting news.
Had the dead so-called “journalist” been named Hannity, I suspect our “president” would be outraged (and heartbroken) to the point of sending in troops or locking up toddlers… or anything at all.
Not content with merely using his office for personal enrichment, our president-select has devolved into despot envy and oligarch worship.
Thank God for America’s Constitution… Comrade 45 really should read it sometime, as he did take an oath to protect and defend it… didn’t he?
They’re not ducks
Sarah Haas’ article (Re: “Dioramas: the theater of science and discovery,” Buzz, Dec. 6, 2018) is very well written. It draws the reader into the article much the same as a diorama draws a viewer into the scene. However, I believe the diorama on the paper’s front page and page 23 depicts snow geese, not ducks. Thank you for the interesting article.
Jill Bernal/Hemet, California