Thursday, August 5, 2010

Why is society not acting on climate change?

John Holdren, chief science adviser to US President Barack Obama, lamented the recent failure of Democrats in the US Senate to push forward legislation on global warming, in a speech to the Ecological Society of America conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, yesterday:

He told the audience that the Senate’s failure to act was particularly disappointing during a summer in which the planet has experienced record heat, drought and wildfires.

“Societies are not taking the actions that the science indicates are needed and the technology indicates are possible. It’s important to understand why not,” he says.

He says he believes the hold up is “rooted in human behaviour” and there is an urgent need to involve social science and humanities researchers in questions on climate change to understand how to make progress.

Holdren dismissed concerns that last November’s “climategate” controversy had damaged the scientific evidence supporting climate change. Rather, he said, the incident showed that “climate scientists were human too”, and that they “resist sharing data with those they believe have no interest in truth-seeking”. He added that Obama understood this.

Holdren also warned that the world was failing to meet the Millennium Development Goals which aim to end the poverty of people living the developing world by 2015. In particular, he said “we are not remotely on track to end hunger” and that the world was “doing even worse” on meeting its targets to conserve biodiversity and stop animals and plants from going extinct.

He called for socio-political and environmental factors, such as competition for land and water, to carry greater weight in development efforts, saying they still play second fiddle to economic considerations.

“In the past, development has mainly referred to strengthening the economic pillar. But development must mean improving all three,” he said.

Let's get one thing straight: We have the technology to solve the climate problem. We just don't have the money to implement it. And, we don't have the money because the big vested interests who pay your salary are stopping it. There's no mystery here. Get real, guy.

We applied four times for an Energy Dept grant to solve the climate problem under the ARRA. We asked for $5 million over 18 months. Surely, a pittance to a government that spent a trillion dollars creating such wonderful public monuments as a tunnel to nowhere or a sidewalk to a ditch. But, each time, your bureacrats, who are probably on the payroll of BP, found some rationalization why we didn't qualify. They never argued that the science was wrong. No, they gave us answers like, "Not transformational." What? How do you answer that?

It's clear that you aren't in the loop, Holdren. Why don't you try asking your boss Obama why? The answer will probably be that we didn't offer the highest bribe.

No comments: