Adaptation, Mitigation and Suffering

I think that covers our options.

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Real adaptation is as politically tough as real mitigation, but much more expensive and not as effective in reducing future misery

Rhetorical adaptation, however, is a political winner. Too bad it means preventable suffering for billions.

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We basically have three choices: mitigation, adaptation and suffering. We’re going to do some of each. The question is what the mix is going to be. The more mitigation we do, the less adaptation will be required and the less suffering there will be.
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August 27, 2010

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Thanks to Climate Progress for the steady work

Planet Earth’s attic is on fire.

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Arctic sea ice volume heads toward record low as Northwest Passage melts free fourth year in a row

Masters rebukes disinformers: “Diminishing the importance of Arctic sea ice loss by calling attention to Antarctic sea ice gain is like telling someone to ignore the fire smoldering in their attic, and instead go appreciate the coolness of the basement, because there is no fire there. Planet Earth’s attic is on fire.”

Volume NS

Arctic sea ice volume heads toward record low as Northwest Passage melts free fourth year in a row

Chris Mooney has a good piece in New Scientist, “Arctic ice: Less than meets the eye,” the source of the above figures.  Mooney focuses on the work of Canada’s David Barber — you can find his peer-reviewed work here:  “Where on Earth is it unusually warm? Greenland and the Arctic Ocean, which is full of rotten ice” — New study supports finding that “the amount of [multi-year] sea ice in the northern hemisphere was the lowest on record in 2009.”

Mooney also discusses the PIOMAS ice volume model developed by the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center in Seattle, which I have been featuring on CP this year.  Their analysis finds “not only has the total volume of Arctic ice continued to decline since 2007, but that the rate of loss is accelerating” [see also Arctic death spiral: Naval Postgrad School’s Maslowski “projects ice-free* fall by 2016 (+/- 3 yrs)”].

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How about a little Pablo Neruda?

From Peaceful Rivers:

Keeping Quiet

Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still.


This one time upon the earth, let’s not speak any language,

let’s stop for one second, and not move our arms so much.

It would be a delicious moment, without hurry, without locomotives,

all of us would be together in a sudden uneasiness.

The fishermen in the cold sea would do no harm to the whales

and the peasant gathering salt would look at his torn hands.

Those who prepare green wars, wars of gas, wars of fire,

victories without survivors, would put on clean clothing

and would walk alongside their brothers in the shade, without doing a thing.


There is more, of course, but you get the sense of it.

Fear – the Handmaiden of Intolerance

Talking Points Memo has the Robert Reich oped piece on intolerance. Intolerance, violence, bigotry seem to be in the air.

In times of fear, Americans will compromise their most basic civil rights for the false promise of security. Need an example? Look back at Japanese internment after the Pearl Harbor attack.

Reich’s piece is dead-on imho, but it is an uphill battle reaching the cerebral cortex of america when the reptile brain is responding so strongly to the fear-mongering.

What did FDR say? All we have to fear is what? Japanese among us? Mosques at Ground Zero? Communists in the State Department?

No, it was all we have to fear is fear itself. Come on, step up, be brave.

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The Anatomy of Intolerance


Connect the dots:
Many Americans (and politicians who the polls) don’t want a mosque at Manhattan’s Ground Zero.
An increasing percent believe the President is a Muslim.
Most Americans approve of Arizona’s new law allowing police to stop anyone who looks Hispanic and demand proof of citizenship.
Most would deny citizenship to children born in the United States to parents who are here illegally.
Where is all this coming from?
It’s called fear. When people are deeply anxious about holding on to their homes, their jobs, and their savings, they look for someone to blame. And all too often they find it in “the other” – in people who look or act differently, who come from foreign lands, who have what seem to be strange religions, who cross our borders illegally.
Economic fear is the handmaiden of intolerance. It’s used by demagogues who redirect the fear and anger toward people and groups who aren’t really to blame but are easy scapegoats.

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