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Sunday, September 28, 2008

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Question-- asked in all sincerity, not knowing the answer, as I've been having trouble finding answers from sources I feel I can trust:

Is global warming not an issue on which the Democrats clearly are better (if still very flawed) choices than Republicans? The Dems at least have a hero here in Al Gore (despite his not actually walking the walk in his Kyoto Treaty negotiations). Who is the Republican's avatar? Sarah Palin?

And if we have so little time to fix this monumental problem, is it not really in truth the Most Important Election Ever, after all?

Who is the Republican's avatar? Sarah Palin?

The governator, T. Boone Pickens, and a plethora of people interested in making money off of it.

And if we have so little time to fix this monumental problem, is it not really in truth the Most Important Election Ever, after all?

Depends on if we can afford to lose 90% of the global population. Do the Bangladeshi exist if I don't see them? They exist only in the availability of $5 shirts at WalMart.

I don't see us as going extinct. I see us as fighting for diminished resources and climate appropriate property. Our brains are too big to go extinct; we've got too much knowledge at our disposal -- it's just narrowly focused knowledge that's useful in point solutions, not holistic solutions.

Quin: And if we have so little time to fix this monumental problem, is it not really in truth the Most Important Election Ever, after all?

I'd say yes and no. "Yes" in the sense that it's almost literally now or never; we may get one more election before the tipping point is reached (or two if we're lucky), but time is about to run out. But "no" in the sense that it's effectively too late to do anything about it.

I'd actually argue that the 2004 election was the Most Important Election Ever, and the fact that Kerry didn't lose by a much wider margin erased the last best hope for us (very briefly: that a brutal drubbing for Kerry, based on his right-wing views, was the only thing that had any chance of pulling the Democrats far enough to the left in a short enough time frame to address the various globe-threatening issues we're facing). More here, if you're interested.

Also:

Is global warming not an issue on which the Democrats clearly are better (if still very flawed) choices than Republicans?

No, I wouldn't say so at all, because of things like this or this or this. It boils down to this: Democrats aren't enough better in enough ways to matter, and they're worse in a very real sense because they create the illusion of effective engagement while actually deferring or submarining any meaningful changes.

I've mentioned on here before that it might actually be better in terms of global warming if McCain wins, since his position is similar to Obama's but he'd be more effective in persuading right-wing loons to go along with some kind of action. But with his shift to the right (and the cracks in his sanity) over the past few months, I'd be hard pressed to say that now.

Honestly, though, I think it matters not at all, since neither McCain nor Obama have shown themselves willing to take anything like the deep, systemic, drastic actions that would be required to circumvent disaster at this point.

angryman: I don't see us as going extinct. I see us as fighting for diminished resources and climate appropriate property.

Yeah, agreed, and that's actually what I aim for with the locutions I use to describe it (though it's hard to come up with a good one). Some of us will survive, but it'll be in the midst of war, famine, natural disasters, displacement, disease, etc, etc...Thunderdome plus. But with less Tina Turner.

John: It boils down to this: Democrats aren't enough better in enough ways to matter, and they're worse in a very real sense because they create the illusion of effective engagement while actually deferring or submarining any meaningful changes.

That makes sense to me. So what you're saying, then, is that since neither do you feel hopeful of McCain doing any good, we're all doomed. Or at least, the captain of the ship is going to insist on talking shuffleboard no matter what, so the best we can do is start running up and down the decks yelling "ABANDON SHIP!" and hope some people listen. But of course all the lower-class passengers down below are screwed.

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