Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Little Less Respect Please

At Bill McKibbon's Do the Math event in New York, I was happy to hear the torch bearer say it's time to go on the offense.  I haven't seen too much of that lately, but hopefully it's coming soon. 

In the world of nonprofits and real scientists there is perhaps a little too much courtesy, a little too much apology, and too little basic anger.

During Do the Math, a minor remark about the head of Exxon-Mobil came with an "with all due respect" to that same CEO.

Maybe we should show a little less respect.  This is the man who has made it his life's work to pollute the world.  As Naomi Klein said at the same event, these are industries whose "business plan is to declare war on life on Earth."

We are up against the wall here.  The third number McKibbon uses in his math is the scariest.  The 2,795 gigatons in reserves.  That's what the oil and gas industry plans to burn.  Only the Earth and its inhabitants cannot afford that, not nearly.  The goal is to leave it in the ground.

The opposition certainly will not stop.  In a recent fine article, Eliot Negin from the Union of Concerned Scientists soundly refutes the Koch brothers' latest disingenuous disinformation.  The "report" from their faux think tank, the  Heartland Institute, concluded that we cannot afford to move to renewable energy because electricity rates will go through the roof.

"The facts on the ground tell a different story. Despite the Koch juggernaut's scare tactics, some evidence is already in, and so far the impact of renewable electricity standards on rates has been, for the most part, negligible," according to Negin.

But still, his story is defense.  It's another back-of-heels response to something tossed by the Koch Brothers & Company to see if it would stick, to obscure.  It's time for those who are trying to save the planet versus burn it to throw their own stuff.

Time is a factor, as Negin noted.  "Besides the fact that we can afford to transition away from fossil fuels, keep in mind that we can't afford not warming, hands down, is the biggest long-term threat to the economy we face," he said.

image: rodneydangerfield

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