Realpolitik is just one of those facts of life that you learn to accept as you get older…well, maybe not accept, acknowledge I suppose is a better word. If I accept that the struggle against climate change may be futile, perhaps it would be better to just let it go. Most of the effects will likely happen after I am gone. Mass species extinction, rising sea levels, dramatically altered weather patterns leading to drought and starvation – it is probable that all of this really won’t impact me at all. If the statisticians are right, I will die at around 80 or 90, baring some heart attack or accident just around the corner. So whatever happens after 2055 or so is out of my corporeal time line.
But what about my friends who are younger? Those 20 somethings, those teens who are, really, oddly, so remarkable. Most of them will see 2080, when the ocean should be up to about 46th Ave.
And Gabriella, and Amanda? What will they see, when 2090 comes? What will my grandchildren, not yet born see because I accepted something I should not have?
I think I choose rather to acknowledge that some things are horse shit, as my hero of the day Michael Reynolds says in his movie Garbage Warrior. And even if that is the way things are, I can shout into the wind.
So the NY Times depressed the shit out of me on Sunday when it ran a minor headline “Leaders Will Delay Deal on Climate Change” effectively cutting the balls off the Copenhagen talks in 19 days. And I was mad. Pissed. I felt that President Obama had abandoned me, personally. What good was throwing Bush out on his ass and putting in a new congress if we abandon a binding agreement.
Then today new’s analysis “Obama hobbled in fight against global warming” brought realpolitik’s cold water to my face. Even though we have 58 Senators in congress, without 60 to force a quorum and override a filibuster, only jack and a little shit will happen. And only the Senate can ratify a treaty, which is one of the reasons the Kyoto Protocols went right into the trash after Clinton brought them to the Republican Congress. Even with Barbara Boxer and other advocates on our side, the energy just isn’t there. We have jobs hemorrhaging from our economy after 28 years of disastrous Reaganomics. 2 wars, where our soldiers have been badly abused by chicken hawks eager to send other people’s kids off to fight,but scared shitless of going all in with a draft and a war tax. Health Care – where 18,000 people die each year because our health care system serves only corporations, not people.
And I want the Senate to give a fuck about Copenhagen?
So I acknowledge Copenhagen is not going to produce the change we must have. Global CO2 went up by 2 more parts per million from last year. The current number is 384 ppm – and the line by which dramatic climate change is acknowledge to be inevitable is 350 parts per million. I acknowledge this is a body blow to our future as a species.
But I think I will chose not to accept it. So whether it is the car I drive, or the house I live in, or the food my family eats, we can do something, anything, every single day. I will acknowledge that the steps are small, and taken alone probably as insignificant as my ranting here. But the accepting it part can kiss my brown/white ass.
19 days to Copenhagen. Tomorrow I am going to call my Senators and the White house.