It seems America is not the only nation that can boast its share of Climate Change denying morons. Last week, most of you will have heard Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae’s bamboozling testimony on the case of Global Warming. You will be glad to hear that there’s nothing we have to do anymore to save this world because God, of course, controls the weather. How could we have been so foolish? As much as the voters of Kerry should feel ashamed of themselves for having enabled this crackpot’s rise to power, we should remind ourselves first that these ludicrous distinctions hold a great weight and advantage in the arena of politics. Let our focus now turn back to America; where the stakes are considerably higher.
It is now ten years since Al Gore’s groundbreaking documentary, An Incovenient Truth, was released and as Bill Maher put it recently, we are perhaps in need of that sequel, An Inconvenient Truth 2: What The Fuck Is The Matter With You People? Out of the three candidates remaining in the 2016 election, one of them firmly believes that Global Warming is a hoax. Can you guess who? The trouble is that such views create a dialogue, in tangent to the more crucial debates we should be having, in which areas to build turbines and on what level our investment for renewable energy should be, i.e. the specifics. The question still remains as to whether we can really trust the 99% of scientists who believe in the accelerated rise of global temperatures or to what degree human influence has been felt. And the Republicans who begrudgingly accept this theory (that is essentially consensus) have simply adopted the defeatist viewpoint that ‘well… it’s too late, innit?’ For many it seems this reality is too daunting. They’d rather bury their heads in the sand. Well that reality is upon us already; California is drying up, the Great Lakes of the US-Canadian border have reached record lows, and worst of all, the melting of Arctic ice has caused our beloved walruses to seek salvation off the coast of Alaska- where Sarah Palin lives!
To be fair there’s been some progress. President Mic-Drop, for example stood against the Keystone Pipeline and last year’s Clean Power Plan called for 30% more energy renewal generation by 2030 with a 32% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2005 levels. Economically, this makes sense too in that renewable energy will be the future. Obama’s plan is still not good enough though, considering scientific projections. A lot can happen in 14 years too: we may yet see President Yeezus and the great Kardashian Deficit of 2022; we will certainly hear about more politicians putting big money ahead of the environment; and naturally (with a pinch of irony) a barge load more of pollutants and fossil fuels will be ejected into the atmosphere. So just as President Kennedy ambitiously called for man to walk on the moon before his decade was out, why shouldn’t Obama or the next president switch that 30% to 50% and begin to prioritise the foremost issue of our day; the one which should dominate this election cycle because it the one which cannot wait.
Al Gore said ten years ago: “Each one of us is a cause of global warming, but each one of us can make choices to change that with the things we buy, the electricity we use, the cars we drive; we can make choices to bring our individual carbon emissions to zero. The solutions are in our hands, we just have to have the determination to make it happen. We have everything that we need to reduce carbon emissions, everything but political will. But in America, the will to act is a renewable resource.” Since that great renegade Carter before him was thrown out of office for tearing up the flag with his “Energy Programme,” America has fallen back on its worst habits of greed and self-consumption. Sacrifice is not a word anyone likes to hear but the eleventh hour has by this point surely been reached. So whilst we must never pay respect the likes of Healy-Rae, we must accept that their assertions are crucial in the greater scheme of things.