Americans So Stupid And Oil-Addicted They Are Dooming The Planet

Weather extremes of a particularly destructive nature are just one great gift of climate change (which isn't just about global warming), an idea which was the subject of the disaster movie, "The Day After Tomorrow". Extreme cold won't be banned in the new terror-weather future of climate change. In fact, with new extremes of weather, such a scene as Alfred is insouciantly ignoring could even happen in some places, maybe a lot sooner than we would like to think. Point being, the American "just don't worry about it" idiocy is deadly to all humanity.
As a New York Times piece points out today, the unbelievable stupidity of the American people (what?—that's mean?—then explain 2004 Bush reelection, assholes), and their obscenely dumb addiction to cheap, petro-poison-fuels, is dooming the planet.

Combined with another Times article, a report on new evidence confirming, once again, that human-caused radical climate change is happening, and has been happening, for years, the message is one of a world held hostage by American capitalist values of greed and stupidity.

Americans, only matched by similar oil junkies in the Middle East in their skepticism regarding climate science, are pushing for more and more drilling for oil and gas, while believing, against all the scientific consensus on the issue, that human-caused climate change is not a big concern.

As the Times explains:
"Americans rarely cite environmental concerns when asked in polls to name the most important problem facing the country. In the last several years, the economy, jobs, the budget deficit and health care garnered the most mentions, with the environment barely registering."
This is in spite of the fact that large sections of the USA are already experiencing rapid warmups of 2-3° F compared with average temperatures in the early-mid 20th century. While pockets in the Southern USA are resisting this trend, thus contributing to shortsighted skepticism regarding the seriousness of the problem, statistical variations of this sort are expected in any large-scale climate change. The overall trend, globally, and in the USA, is towards a much warmer, much more weather-extreme, world.

For most Americans who can remember the weather of 50 years ago, or longer, the changes in the seasonal cycles have been obvious and dramatic. The problem is then whether those changes are believed to have been caused by humans, and if one accepts this, what should be done about it. The obvious answer—get rid of petroleum fuels dependency—has potential economic impacts most politicians in the USA have been too cowardly to confront. Even Democrats, in petroleum-producing states (which with fracking, is pretty much all of them), will seldom speak an unkind word about Big Oil.

In part, this is caused by years of anti-scientific, right-wing, punditry, with conservative websites hosting reams of baseless conspiracy theories about "socialist" scientists trying to wreck America's economic leadership with "fraudulent" data. Many Americans, whose scientific understanding is minimal, have bought the petroleum industry's (and Republican) propaganda, and refuse to face the increasingly harrowing facts.

Which bring us to the topic of the Keystone Pipeline.

Despite numerous pipeline accidents of late, causing huge amounts of ecological harm, and threats to American citizens health, the push for this pipeline project is a popular thing. Understand that it is virtually the only shovel-ready construction project the Republicans seem much interested in approving—despite huge infrastructure needs in the USA.

And the nature of any positive economic impact is dubious on at least two counts. First, because pipeline construction projects always inflict a boom-bust economic impact as projects are completed and jobs dry up, there is no longterm economic benefit to workers or the various regions temporarily getting an economic boost (as there might be with a highway or bridge construction project for example).

Second, and far more troubling, the petro-poisons produced from "oil sands", the type which will be pumped through Keystone, will have a much bigger negative impact (in terms of carbon pollution) on the climate change problem than the usual crude crud. In fact, in a Washington Post article published back in February, climate scientist Dr. James Hansen's position was quite alarming regarding Keystone's enabling of oil sand exploitation:
"NASA climate scientist James E. Hansen, who just retired from his federal job so he could become a full-time climate activist, said if all the oil was extracted from the oil sands it would be “game over” when it came to the effort to stabilize the climate."
Actually, many scientists believe it is already game over on that count. The best that can be achieved at this point is to begin radical efforts to stem the degree of catastrophic impact on the world caused by climate change. But, as I have noted repeatedly in the past, this is not happening. In fact, the spew of petro-poisons just increases every year. At some point, the collapse of the climate into a truly, and completely unstoppable, dire threat to humanity (and all other kinds of life) will overwhelm the climate-change deniers and their suicidal skepticism. But by then it will be far too late.