Posted by: Dr Pano Kroko Churchill | January 18, 2012

Green Tea Party

Sadly the US political mind set is now controlled by the tea party infusion of bigotry, relative racism and simplistic ideology of ignorance. After their recent victory on the fake hostage crisis of the debt and their ”beer hall putsch” for the upcoming elections, nowhere is this toxic poison more evident than in the intentional forced blindness of the Republicans and their erstwhile allies towards the changing climate and the warming planet.

And it’s cause and effects are well known to us but we are hard pressed to believe it’s not known to them. Because although climate scientists on the frontlines of this battle have suffered badly from the poisonous political atmosphere the science is crystal clear.

Republican rightwing talk radio demagogues and television pundits, have promoted the idea that climate science is a worthless charade, where data are simply manipulated to obtain a politically motivated result. Scientists have been abused on blogs and via emails and some have even been physically threatened. Government officials have misused their positions to intimidate and harass prominent scientists, following a strategy of attacking the messenger when they don’t like hearing the message.

In order to understand the current state of play, one has to recognise that the issue of global warming is being completely manipulated by a group of individuals, businesses and organisations that have entrenched financial interests in making sure that the United States does not enact any legislation to control greenhouse gas emissions. At the extreme, these groups believe in complete market fundamentalism – that free markets, stripped of all constraints, will take care of any and all problems that we may face. Shell, Koch, BP and the coal lobby  to name just a few, have been spending hundreds of million US dollars in poisonous PR to discredit the science and efface reality. They are succeeding…

To bolster this fundamentalist strategy, they provide major financial support to specific pseudo scientific organizations and fake think tanks that promote nonsensical ideas, such as the idea that global warming is a Hollywood hoax perpetuated by Al Gore and his merry men and that the IPCC reports are full of omissions and intentional errors to obscure the fact that all is hanky dory with the world and the sun is shinning bright above stupidville.

They also flood the electoral system with money, to ensure that like-minded rightwing politicians are elected to Congress. These politicians then dutifully hold hearings, inviting hand-picked scientists often with no qualifications in climate science, to provide testimony which sows the seeds of doubt about the reality of global warming. The political objectives of these hearings are rarely discussed by the media. The general public just hears that more scientists disagree about an issue they find hard to deal with, and so they conclude that if scientists can’t agree, why should they support legislation to control emissions? In this way, the cynical but very effective strategy of the rightwing runs its course, and the US sits on its hands while atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations approach levels not seen on Earth for more than 2.5 million years.

If climate scientists were indeed all working together to manipulate data and create a fictitious scenario of the future, that would require a truly remarkable feat of coordination, and a sense of common purpose. What could the motivation of this cohort be?

Republican Congressman James Sensenbrenner, now vice-chairman of the US House committee on science, space and technology, carefully explained that the Kyoto protocol was a conspiracy by developing nations to cripple the US economy. Since these developing countries, could not compete on a level playing field with the US, they had devised the Kyoto treaty to tilt things in their direction, and climate scientists were complicit in this strategy.

He seems to believe this and therefore he is patently stupid…
And for those who subscribe to Sensenbrenner’s bizarre idea, it is only a small step further to frame the argument in patriotic terms. If you support Kyoto protocol, or its goals, you must be anti-American, or at the very least a socialist if not a Stalinist commie to boot.

The Republican party in the United States is now in thrall to the extreme right wing stupidville, which is in turn financed and coached by the fossil fuel industry and those with the financial & PR muscle to promote their narrow ideological agendas that profit shape their regulatory regimes to their favour. And of course in order to obtain the backing of these groups, you have to toe the line, and speak the words their dogma requires:

1) Global warming is not happening, and it’s an elaborate hoax like Y2K.

2) Whatever warming has occurred is just a natural oscillation.

3) Even if humans had something to do with it, it’s not a big deal and we can adapt to it.

4) We can’t afford to control greenhouse gases, as such action will result in massive job losses.

5) For any politician seeking the Republican party’s nomination for any office, it is a dangerous strategy to cross the line on this topic.

To the idealogues who have invested millions to support their political factotums in the US Congress, their money has been well spent, as meaningful legislation to control greenhouse gases has virtually disappeared from the congressional agenda.

But not content with that success, they have now drawn a line in the sand for all those seeking political office:

Global warming is off limits entirely. It is not something they want to be discussed at all. Guess who leads this country? The BP oil polluters of the Gulf and the Yellowstone? Or the citizens?

So I propose we start a new conversation and a new political party:

Because it’s time for a new Green Tea Party to enter the scene.

We all love tea after all.

Please join up and remember that you heard it here first.

Email us your CV and we’ll hook you up…

Yours,

Pano

PS:

Meanwhile, the rest of the world has recognised the reality of global warming and acknowledged the real dangers that it poses for the future. Although taking steps to address the matter is difficult, many countries have embraced the opportunity to reduce energy consumption, implement conservation strategies and promote new technologies that involve energy production from non-carbon based fuels.

Renewable energy and the wealth inherent in this new industrial revolution towards green is real and the rewards in jobs and economic growth already felt across the globe.

And growing economies while making money is something that even Republicans cannot argue against. Such is the case of Germany, China and Japan that all three have embraced the reality of climate change and grow their green energy industries accordingly.

Let’s see who will be left behind.


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