What Climategate and Copenhagen are really about…

In a nutshell (Jeff McMahon at True/Slant):


[US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke] said unparalleled economic growth occurred in the 20th Century because of two factors: access to cheap, abundant fossil fuels and ignorance or disregard for the fact that those fuels produced greenhouse gas pollution that caused global warming. Both of those factors, he said, belong to history.

“Those days are over,  Locke said moments ago in Copenhagen. “What’s required is nothing less than completely redesigning the way we produce and consume energy ¦. We’re talking about creating an entirely new model of economic growth. The world has spent a century investing in petroleum infrastructure, Locke said: refineries, pipelines, stations.

“That creates vested interests in keeping things just the way they are,  he said.

Locke urged nations to stop catering to those interests.

The debate is explained nicely in this infographic (right).

Decades of educational neglect in the physical sciences and math, the failure of American journalism to deliver news and not entertainment, a lack of awareness of the externalities of our petroleum economy, a fundamentalist belief in American Exceptionalism, and a healthy dose of the Paranoid American style have created an intellectual climate where science is trumped by myth, all the while never considering the motivations of those most gleeful at the release of the Climategate emails “ the Russians, the oil industry and the Saudis.   I’m certain it is mere coincidence that these emails leaked immediately prior to the Copenhagen Conference.     Motive much?

We’re far more likely to believe a global conspiracy for one-world socialist government then we are an upward-sloping graph.    Those that do acknowledge ‘the numbers’ then can argue whether it is caused by man or simply part of a natural cycle, ignoring the river lapping at their porch steps and Rome drowns.   Even the most intuitive visualizations of the data will be unable to persuade the idiocracy.

The only way we’re getting out of this intellectual quagmire is if the Mythbusters, Bill Nye, and Penn & Teller (so long as Penn dials back the Libertarianism) team up for an epic cable-TV crossover.

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