Tuesday, January 22, 2013

climate change is not a tide - it's a heating up version of the Cold War

 Earnest people struggle to express the urgency of addressing climate change.  In response to a conversation about whether to frame the cause as a war, someone broached the image of not being able to hold back the tide.
I balk at that. Here's a comment thread from Climate Progress that includes my view.

David B. Benson says:
Please no more war on … whatever.
They always turn out so badly.
Len Conly says:
“The physics of climate change is implacable, absolutely implacable.”
Who gets credit for:
“There’s no turning back the tide on global warming.”
Joan Savage says:
Dunno. I’m not fond of the tide metaphor.
Tides go out on their own once or twice a day. And they are natural.
A climate change policy that is the equivalent of waiting until the tide changes isn’t the course of action we are trying to evoke.
Some of those who deny human influence on climate are very fond of the notion that it is all a natural cycle that could resolve itself without intervention.
We know it is not the case. This accelerated climate change is not a natural cycle.
Actually the metaphor that comes to mind is the build up of nuclear arsenals in the Cold War. It wasn’t until people on both sides began to understand the mutually assured destruction of both aggressor and target, and the ensuing nuclear winter, that disarmament talks got serious.

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