Our Fading Planet:
Once more, we face an August end with a storm bearing down on New Orleans. This one isn’t too bad, even though the media is hyping this like they’ve been hyping the election. The better to keep you glued to the TV. The better to be able to talk about anything but the huff and puff of hot airborne hatred emanating from Florida’s mid-urethra region.
No, this hurricane is not in and of itself a product of climate change. But all things are connected, you know, and Isaac is not not influenced by the accelerating heating of the earth. It is not not influenced by things like the melting Arctic ice, which, by the way, was just revealed as being at the smallest point in summer since scientists have been recording such things. Alas, poor Santa. Pity the elves.
By this point, climate change “skeptics” should be treated like Holocaust deniers. They should have no place in our discourse. They should not be invited onto news programs except as circus freaks to boost ratings. To act otherwise, to behave as if they have any credibility at all is to contribute to our doom.
This summer, the Rude Pundit saw the film Chasing Ice, and if you have any climate change deniers in your life, you should get them to check it out. It's about the journey the nature photographer James Balog takes from skeptic to true believer due to the simplest of reasons: he saw it happening with his eyes and with his cameras.
See, Balog is obsessed with photographing ice in nature - its curves and forms, its layers and depths. And upon visiting a glacier he had visited several years before, he noticed that it had receded at a much faster pace than he had seen. Balog set up the Extreme Ice Survey to document the melting of glaciers around the world through real, actual pictures, thousands upon thousands of them. And it turned Balog into an activist.
The movie reaches a sickening apex when, at the end, we simply, silently review the evidence, as photo after photo shows us that these glacier fields are disappearing and not returning.
Of course, over the next two weeks, from both parties, we will hear endlessly about oil and pipelines. We may hear a passing reference to "responsibility" or a plan or two about saving the earth. But mostly they will be talking about a fantasy where this coming cataclysm is solvable with a tweak or two to how we do things.
They will talk about getting rid of a gangrenous leg with a bandage and a little Neosporin when you really need to cut the limb off to survive.