20 June 2010

The Compassionates — and What We're Up Against

"Our side" doesn't have a name, does it? Joseph Romm calls us climate science realists. That doesn't resonate in my heart, though. But since the easiest way to get across what we're doing is to use the term "the precautionary principle" (yup, you just have to know the very basic physics that more CO2 = more heat in the atmosphere, and ask yourself if we want to take chances like that with our children's future), then maybe we should call ourselves The Compassionates. It certainly stands us apart. 

Even though we "Compassionates" spend much of our time, money and energy working to help protect life on this planet and safeguard the future, we just don't have the arsenal of strategies that the other side gets to use. 

A wonderful young activist friend of ours said it recently. "It's not fair. Everything we say, we have to back up with all the latest scientific research. We always have to be so careful and scrupulous and up-to-date in what we say. But the other side gets to distort the truth, cherry pick and tell outright lies — and they always get away with it. How can we ever win?"

I just don't get why there even are two sides to this. Why wouldn't ALL human beings want to ensure a climate-safe and healthy future for their children? Why can't ALL human beings look around and see what's happening? Why do ANY human beings choose money over life?

I just don't get it. It's so discouraging. 

Not only that, but have you noticed that they seem to have a cheat sheet? It's like there's some secret club and they all have to spout the same BS to be part of the club. Even in a raggy local newspaper, the "denialists" and skeptics, contrarians and delayers (and all the others who have an obvious hate on for their grandchildren) rant on and on, using the same old tired stuff that a quick online trip to RealClimate.org would explain, refute or rectify. But everyone seems too blinkin' lazy to go beyond their cheat sheet, to do their own thinking or research synthesis. So they trot out years-old lies, misrepresented "facts" and malicious created misconceptions. They quote research from only a dozen or so notoriously slanted scientists (if they quote research at all). And then quite often they'll throw in a little defamation or ad hominem attack (while accusing us of doing that after we've made sure we didn't do that). 

Like I said, I just don't get it. It's so discouraging. But I do know one thing. Global warming and climate change? Caused by these guys. Without all their delay tactics, we'd be well on our way to that safer, cleaner, healthier, more equitable and more peaceful world of perpetual energy some of us can picture.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?