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Thinking for a cooler world

Ranty Islam | Ideas

Climate wars

It’s getting pretty lonely here. Once a fertile soil this place was home to a colorful lot of different walks of life: neighbors – cooperating, sometimes bickering but never questioning the other’s right to exist. But this place has become increasingly barren, lifeless in an age of global warming: This desert, of course,  is the political middle ground in the US climate debate.

Ok, we are not quite there yet. But the signs are alarming. The climate debate, especially in the US, is becoming an increasingly shrill shouting match between extremes so far apart that a normal conversation between neighbors is impossible, with some media outlets taking the lead. The fact that more than 90 percent of Fox coverage on climate change is factually wrong or at least misleading, for instance, does not come as a surprise. Over the last year the situation has gotten worse, even personal. And the launching of attacks is by no means confined to the camp of climate change deniers.

Exxon hates your children” is the title of a TV ad that bluntly takes aim at the fossil fuel industry.

Christmas in the year 2050 - Navidad en 2050 - Weihnachten im Jahr 2050And while climate scientists warning about global warming have been known for a while to receive hate mail and death threats, the other side responds in kind. The latest example is an Australian professor calling for the death penalty for climate change deniers.

The harassment of climate scientists by deniers appears to be of a more organized nature, but who knows when the warriors against climate change will catch up.

Maybe, it’s just the heat – the worsening extremes in the climate debate are in fact accompanied by unprecedented extreme weather. Eventually, nothing is impossible. Pigs can’t fly, they said, and rivers do not run upstream. But even that may be in doubt: Climate Change is set to reverse the Chicago river in the North-East of the US.


January 11, 2013