Top Leaderboard, Site wide
October 20, 2014
Truthdig: Drilling Beneath the Headlines
Sign up for Truthdig's Email NewsletterLike Truthdig on FacebookFollow Truthdig on TwitterSubscribe to Truthdig's RSS Feed

Get Truthdig's headlines in your inbox!


Edward Snowden and the Golden Age of Spying
Climate Renews Famine Risk to Africa’s Sahel




Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh


Truthdig Bazaar
Lineages of the Absolutist State

Lineages of the Absolutist State

By Perry Anderson
$17.91

more items

 
Report

Froma Harrop: Will Americans Sacrifice for Posterity?

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Dec 18, 2006

Froma Harrop

Americans can adapt, one supposes, to an Alaska without polar bears, a New Hampshire without fall colors and a Florida without its bottom third. But most would probably like to save these things for their descendants. A recent Time/ABC poll found that 88 percent of Americans think global warming threatens future generations.

President Bush was never one to lose sleep over future generations—just look at his budget deficits. Add in another matter he’s supremely indifferent to, the environment, and we have the Bush policy on global warming. That is, do zero to cut U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. Actually, do less than zero. His early doubting that humans even play a role in climate change demoralized those trying to grapple with the problem.

The glad tidings are that the Bush administration no longer matters much. Even if its lawyers succeed in denying states the right to sue the Environmental Protection Agency for not regulating greenhouse gases—the case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court—it won’t make much difference. The Bush administration will be gone in two years, and the environmental grown-ups are already taking over.

For one thing, Democrat Barbara Boxer is replacing Republican James Inhofe as chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. Inhofe famously called human-made global warming “the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people.” Boxer talks a bit differently. She says: “This is a potential crisis of a magnitude we’ve never seen,” and, “Any kind of weakening of environmental laws or secrecy or changes in the dead of night is over.”

For this attitudinal change, we can thank the Democrats’ new majority, however slim, in the Senate. It’s another reason to pray for the speedy recovery of South Dakota’s Tim Johnson—and for all Senate Democrats to look both ways when they cross the street.

Advertisement

Square, Site wide
The 2008 election, meanwhile, will produce a new president, who could not possibly be as environmentally negligent as the current one. All likely Democratic candidates and the leading Republican, John McCain, have identified global warming as a serious problem to which they would apply themselves.

In the Supreme Court case, Massachusetts and 11 other states are demanding that the federal Environmental Protection Agency regulate greenhouse-gas emissions from vehicles. The arguments so far have largely centered on whether states have the right to sue the EPA: States must prove that they’ve been injured by EPA policy. One harm, explained the lawyer from Massachusetts, is the prospect of losing “sovereign territory” to rising oceans—in his state, 200 miles of coastline.

The EPA argues that the Clean Air Act covers only pollutants that are dangerous to breathe. Global warming is caused by the accumulation of otherwise harmless gases found in nature. The agency further contends that with the economies of China and India growing like mad, any cuts we make in greenhouse gases will be swamped by increases in theirs. Of course, the United States now produces 25 percent of these gases, so if we do nothing, why would anyone else?

It may be too late to save the snows of Kilimanjaro—they’re going—but the snows of Greenland are still hanging on. If Greenland’s massive ice sheet melts in earnest, an event that could start in this century, then coastal civilizations from London to Los Angeles might disappear under the waves.

There’s no way to replace the dead Bush years of inaction. But we may have a last chance to deal with global warming. Will today’s Americans sacrifice for a posterity they will never see?

This is about family values put to the acid test.

To find out more about Froma Harrop and see works by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

© 2006 The Providence Journal Co.


New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Skruff, December 29, 2006 at 7:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hondo.

You are still mildly amusing, shame I don’t have any more time you you.
Get a grip on that hostility. maybe some Chris Rock would help.

Report this

By Hondo, December 28, 2006 at 8:21 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Skruff, you really opened my eyes. First, you hit me with some X-Files/Fox Mulder/It’s-All-A-Conspiracy rantings from a left-wing blog. Do you really believe that crap about the Bush administration “planning” 9/11? Man, you are certifiable!
Then you hit me with some 60’s folk song that I’ve never heard of. It must be some sort of liberal code, because you sure acted like you really proved a point with it. Perhaps you could send me the secret decoder ring so that I can join the Liberal Club House.
Eleanore—You continue to offer up press releases from left wing organizations which quote “many scientists” as saying that we are in real big trouble, but you have yet to offer any explanation whatsoever as to why 50% of the world’s scientists believe that this whole global warming thing is a load of crap. I am not a scientists, but half of the people in the world who are scientists are not on your side, Eleanore. That says to me that we had better put the brakes on any of this wacky Kyoto garbage and look at real scientific studies untainted by the political process or the cancer of liberalism. Of course, as a loyal worshipper at The Church of Liberalism and Freaky Voodoo, you will no doubt find that reasoned suggestion to be completely out of line.

Report this

By Skruff, December 28, 2006 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hondo says: “the disease of liberalism “
here we agree.

Left Gatekeepers:
the “stand down” of the foundation-funded liberal / left “alternative” media
Progressive Censorship about the reasons for the “War on Terror”
non-profits usually depend on someone else’s profits

see also http://www.oilempire.us/denial.html - Not See’s and Nazis

something from my generation.

Love Me, I’m a Liberal

I cried when they shot Medgar Evers
Tears ran down my spine
I cried when they shot Mr. Kennedy
As though I’d lost a father of mine
But Malcolm X got what was coming
He got what he asked for this time
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

I go to civil rights rallies
And I put down the old D.A.R.
I love Harry and Sidney and Sammy
I hope every coloured boy becomes a star
But don’t talk about revolution
That’s going a little bit too far
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

I cheered when Humphrey was chosen
My faith in the system restored
I’m glad the commies were thrown out
of the AFL-CIO board
I love Puerto Ricans and Negros
as long as they don’t move next door
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

The people of old Mississippi
Should all hang their heads in shame
I can’t understand how their minds work
What’s the matter don’t they watch Les Crain?
But if you ask me to bus my children
I hope the cops take down your name
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

I read New Republic and Nation
I’ve learned to take every view
You know, I’ve memorized Lerner and Golden
I feel like I’m almost a Jew
But when it comes to times like Korea
There’s no one more red, white and blue
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

I vote for the Democratic Party.
They want the U.N. to be strong
I go to all the Pete Seeger concerts
He sure gets me singing those songs
I’ll send all the money you ask for
But don’t ask me to come on along
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

Once I was young and impulsive
I wore every conceivable pin
Even went to the socialist meetings
Learned all the old union hymns
But I’ve grown older and wiser
And that’s why I’m turning you in
So love me, love me, love me, I’m a liberal

By Phil Ochs
(Born 1940, died 1976)


Hey Hondo… I had you wrong.. You do keep me amused!

Report this

By Eleanore Kjellberg, December 27, 2006 at 11:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Eleanore, in typical liberal fashion, makes no attempt to refute the scientific evidence I presented by way of the Cato Institute. You see, that would require some logical reasoning ability on her part, but the disease of liberalism has destroyed that ability. So instead she simply calls the Cato Institute a radical right-wing organization.”

Mr.Wizard—-Oh, I mean Hondo,

Guess what, you and those laissez faire “scientists stand alone—-I’m sure those libertarians at Cato will find another cause to rally around, maybe they will convince Americans that smoking is good for their lungs and obesity is fine for their heart.

Even the “wackos” at the White House realize that fossil fuels are devastating to the environment—-only Hondo, winner of the “IGNOBEL PRIZE”—-given to the most IGNORANT and IGNOMINIOUS among us knows best.

Perhaps, you should tell your friends at Cato to conduct their research from a melting ice cap—please, send us the photos—-we need some amusement, you’re creepy cabal has made life on this planet a bit dreary.

By the way:  “The Bush Administration yesterday kicked off a process to determine whether polar bears should be added to the United States endangered species list because their habitat is melting.

The action is “a significant acknowledgement of what global warming is doing to the Arctic ice,” said Kassie Siegel, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity in Joshua Tree, California.

In December the conservation group, along with Greenpeace and the Natural Resources Defense Council, sued the U.S. government to protect the world’s polar bears from extinction.

According to the conservationists, Earth’s steadily rising temperature is causing the polar bear’s habitat to melt. Many scientists say the warming is due, in part, to human activities such as driving cars and burning coal, which release heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere,
If the bears are given federal protection, they would be the first U.S. mammals officially deemed to be in danger of extinction because of global warming.”
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/02/0210_060210_polar_bears.html

Report this

By Hondo, December 27, 2006 at 2:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Eleanore, in typical liberal fashion, makes no attempt to refute the scientific evidence I presented by way of the Cato Institute. You see, that would require some logical reasoning ability on her part, but the disease of liberalism has destroyed that ability. So instead she simply calls the Cato Institute a radical right-wing organization. Her “proof”? Titles of articles she pulled off their website. Of course, she doesn’t offer any facts, logic or reason to refute those either. How absolutely typical!
Skruff does the same thing. He says that, “in his opinion” the Cato Institute is just a radical right wing propaganda machine. Just like Eleanore Kilamajaro, he doesn’t offer any proof of this statement. It’s just “his opinion.” Very wise!
Please, all of you, do all of us a favor. Don’t embarrass yourselves by attempting to debate me with nothing more than poppycock liberal opinion. Speak directly to the facts I presented, or stay at home.

Report this

By Eleanore Kjellberg, December 27, 2006 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“I provided scientific evidence that shows that the global warming alarmists are wrong. You pretended as if I didn’t provide scientific evidence, and you mischaracterized what I said. I called you on it, and you pretended as if I didn’t. Then you lied about not being a liberal. More proof that liberalism is a cancer that destroys the heart, mind and soul”

Hondo or is Professor Hondo—an expert on all subjects—a true Renaissance man, a Jack of all trades and a master of none.

No one is fooled by the mouthpieces at Cato, promoting pseudo scientific conclusions designed to fool the public, and to give further credence to industry so that they can continue to exploit the environment.

The assuredness in which you cite your evidence is equal to the confidence professed by philosophers and scientists of Classical Antiquity, who confidently agreed the Earth was flat, yes, many Greek philosophers were convinced the Earth was shaped like a short cylinder with a flat top, but then along came Pythagoras.

Below is an excerpt from the Cato Institutes website—-an organization that would consider Ann Coulter a moderate:

“The holiday season is in full swing. It is a time of merrymaking. But beware; this holiday season is not without a Scrooge or two when it comes to how you enjoy your time. Whether it’s environmental exaggerations, smoking bans, zero-tolerance drinking laws, or the ongoing “war against obesity,” the season is not immune from those who wish to use the power of government to curb individual choice.
•  “The Gore Who Stole Christmas,” by Robert L. Bradley Jr., December 16, 2006.
•  “Stop Doing What I Said,” by Radley Balko, June 23, 2006.
•  “Nanny State Makes Poor Babysitter for Americans,” by Radley Balko, May 24, 2006.
•  “Trimming Waistlines by Trimming Government,” by Radley Balko and Michael F. Cannon, October 27, 2004.
•  “Alcohol Prohibition Was a Failure,” by Mark Thornton, Cato Policy Analysis no. 157, July 17, 1991.”

And Hondo, for your further edification James Hansen director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York twice briefed a task force headed by Vice President Dick Cheney on global warming and was also one of the first government scientists who briefed congressional committees on the dangers of global warming, testifying as far back as the 1980s.

Hansen has repeatedly said that many attempts have been made to suppress data about global warming by this administration: “In my more than three decades in government, I have never seen anything approaching the degree to which information flow from scientists to the public has been screened and controlled as it is now,” James Hansen told a University of Iowa audience.

Report this

By skruff@myway.com, December 27, 2006 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

You have no idea who I am… So I’l forgive the “you lied” garbage. 

I have vowed not to converse with flamers, or people who (because they will never see face to face the consequences of their posts) feel free to be rude and obnoxious on the net.

In my opinion your “scientific evidence” is nothing but a bunch of jumbled opinions, and and the Cato institute nothing but a corporate sponsored public relations device. 

Being a realist (myself) I believe what I see with my eyes (like the Rhode Island sized piece of ice, which floated by here two years ago. the black flies which now stay till October, and the incredible number of cancer deaths hereabouts.

Been to Greenland lately?

Report this

By Hondo, December 26, 2006 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Skruff, I think you are a little bit confused. The link I provided takes you to a series of articles from the Cato Institute, written by a man who has studied climatology and who has interviewed thousands of scientists whose life’s work is climatology. What does that have to do with Genesis 1?
Thank you, though, for the teachable moment. For the record, Skruff, our “debate” can be summed up thusly: I provided scientific evidence that shows that the global warming alarmists are wrong. You pretended as if I didn’t provide scientific evidence, and you mischaracterized what I said. I called you on it, and you pretended as if I didn’t. Then you lied about not being a liberal. More proof that liberalism is a cancer that destroys the heart, mind and soul.

Report this

By Charlie, December 26, 2006 at 1:59 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Whether the alarm is accurate with or without a high enough perspective, or congruent evidence, would you rather drink the ground water draining from the likes of a “Love Canal” or live in the asbestos fields, or continue to use Tampons which are bleached with DIOXINS?

Further, the companies we push out of the USA or Europe will move to third world locattions where the bribery and jobs are more attractive than the need to listen

I prefer to listen to the warnings, take action globaly and DEMAND your companies keep earth clean.  Wouldn’t you?


Here’s one link from the scientific community, theres more if you really want to know.

http://sequestration.mit.edu/research/survey2006.html#info

http://www.futurist.com
http://www.trendsetters.com

Report this

By Skruff, December 25, 2006 at 6:51 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Comment #43479 by Hondo on 12/22 at 10:45 pm says:

Skruff, I would bet money that you never even clicked on the link I offered. Typical mindless liberalism!

Yawn….Seen the link Before Hondo.  Guess what.. I have an index finger and a computer also.  I do have a hard time taking “scientific evidence” from a group of folks who believe the world was created in six days by a creature from a “void.”

However, a am left to wonder what makes you think I am a liberal.  Bet the farm I’m more conservative than you.

Report this

By Hondo, December 22, 2006 at 11:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Skruff, I would bet money that you never even clicked on the link I offered. Typical mindless liberalism! You people remind me of a little kid who plugs his ears, closes his eyes, and screams, “Na, na, na, na, I can’t see you, I can’t hear you!” If you actually used some of those fine motor skills and clicked on the link, you would find scientific evidence. That would probably be too much to ask!

Report this

By Polly Ester, December 22, 2006 at 6:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Please allow me to share some factual material that shows how bogus the Al Gore Traveling Freak Show and Global Warming Revival is.”

Hondo,

Right-wing fundamentalists don’t believe in global warming—they believe in Rapture, they’re just sitting back and waiting for the “second coming,” BTW, Jews aren’t invited to this very special experience—unless, of course they denounce Judaism.

Report this

By Skruff, December 22, 2006 at 7:19 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

A xtian conservative blog to “prove” scientific theory..

Pardon me (ha ha ha) sorry Bahh Ha Ha Ha! Oops.. hee hee Huh…

Ok, I’ve got it under control now.

Proof that I can see and feel trumps anything I see on this website!

Report this

By Hondo, December 21, 2006 at 7:35 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So far, nobody in this thread has provided anything factual to show that Al Gore and Ms. Froma Harrop actually know what they are talking about. Please allow me to share some factual material that shows how bogus the Al Gore Traveling Freak Show and Global Warming Revival is.
http://christianconservatives.blogspot.com/2006/12/al-gore-science-fiction.html

Report this

By Lovehere4U, December 20, 2006 at 5:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The Art of, or origin of Science is Truth and Truth is Almighty.

There’s scientific evidence to be found, that states over 50% of scientists, whether they be Medical Doctors, chemists who develop vinyl chloride and PCB’s, or enviornmentalists,

Unfortunately, much of the so-called scientific “evidence,”
is in reality selective and manipulated and presented to the unwary, whether they be law makers, or neighborhood watch groups, who are expected to believe information based on lies,
determined by the almighty dollar.

Rachel Carson and Dr. Huber were pioneers who warned and correctly foretold of issues now approaching cataclysmic climax.

Report this

By Skruff, December 20, 2006 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Hondo;

MAybe you are right. maybe not.

It is a fact that here in Maine we used to have -40 tempatures lasting for up to two weeKS. We used to get 2 foot snowfalls, and the black flies were out-o-here by the end of June.

Now we have year round house flies, lady bugs still here in December, Humming birds in late October, and air conditioning in Washington County… once Summer was a warm dry period of two months, not it’s a HOT wet period lasting four.

As I said, maybe Al Gore is wrong, maybe those mid-west power plants that dump their acid rain on us haven’t effected our weather… maybe it’s not the cars, the carbons the melting north pole ice….

BUT

Something is doing it, and it’s effecting our way of life..  There are no more Puffins in Whiting Bay, no more northern lights on crisp winter evenings, and flu where we never experienced that when I was young.


We’re way up north so we’ll feel it first, but get ready it’s commong for you.

Who ya gonna call?

Report this

By Sylvia Barksdale Morovitz, December 20, 2006 at 12:11 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Everything has it’s limits, no[?]  Obviously, some of these lame brains think not.  Human abuse of Mother Earth is phenomenal.  Who knows how long she’s been in existance?  No one really but definitely longer than the mere human mind can grasp.  But for a few small groups in America, the Earth is not respected for her limits.

All the scoffing at Al Gore and our scientists who’ve proven that humans are to blame for the boundless damage done to the Earth, literally makes me want to vomit.  I’m aware that the greed that completely governs some in America will never admit that they had a part in the destruction we’re facing.  To them, money means more than life for their grandchildren or anyone elses’ descendants.  Could they possibly do harm to their own?  You bet.  They’d kill their own flesh and blood Mother’s for the almighty dollar.

I know that I shall be long gone when the time comes, if allowed by Earth, that all those who’re denying that humans destroyed the Earth, have to go back to the horse and buggy days.

You big boys out there better be breeding those thoroughbreds!!

Report this

By Polly Ester, December 20, 2006 at 9:44 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“Good grief! Another “true believer” from the Al Gore Church of Science Fiction is heard from. Apparently, Ms. Harrop is unaware of the fact that about 50% of the world’s scientific community thinks (based on scientific evidence) that the Al Gore Global Warming Tour is pure B.S. Oh, well! Never let the facts get in the way of a good liberal lie, I always say!”

Hondo,

Maybe you’re right there is no such thing as science—case in point, let’s examine your brain and we will see that some “human” life never evolved to a higher level—a brain that has less logic than a chimps!

Report this

By Hondo, December 20, 2006 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good grief! Another “true believer” from the Al Gore Church of Science Fiction is heard from. Apparently, Ms. Harrop is unaware of the fact that about 50% of the world’s scientific community thinks (based on scientific evidence)  that the Al Gore Global Warming Tour is pure B.S. Oh, well! Never let the facts get in the way of a good liberal lie, I always say!

Report this

By Mike #2, December 20, 2006 at 1:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I have serious doubts about the American people’s willingness to make sacrifices now for future generations.  Few want to think that far ahead, and even the idea of “sacrifice” is sacrilege to many.  Remember Bush’s exhortation for people to keep shopping after 9-11?  Looks like the public jumped on that suggestion, running personal debt (and defaults) to record highs.  If a Dem gets in the White House in ‘08 and pushes for changes that threaten the status quo, big business and media will pound him/her into the ground.  They are only interested in the next quarterly report and their personal retirement accounts.  Screw everyone else.  Isn’t that the American Way???  Personally, I hope the next prez is very dedicated to pushing for the necessary changes and will stand up to the forces of evil, and let the chips fall where they may.  The public will decide who and what policies they want for our long term future. The time for that to happen is actually NOW, but it’s going to have to wait for 2 more years.  It will take presidential leadership to get the comatose American public to wake up and smell the auto exhaust.

Report this

By Bluestocking, December 19, 2006 at 8:19 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Four words…

DON’T HOLD YER BREATH.

Report this

By Eleanore Kjellberg, December 19, 2006 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The incessant propaganda that is so successful in getting us to purchase things we don’t need, should now psyche Americans to purchase smaller vehicles, hybrids or electric cars. 

We now have the technology to build energy free homes, no longer requiring oil or electricity to heat and cool.  Why can’t we re-build the middle-class with “Made-In-America” technology employing U.S. scientist and engineers to create energy independence? There is no goal that can be considered more patriotic—-hiring the working and middle class for high level technical jobs—careers that no longer exist—-displaced by globalization.

We can take aggressive steps to conserve the environment through alternative energy sources, and ward off the effects of global warming.  Why can’t we create a comfortable and healthy life for future generations—-let’s stop the madmen from running this asylum—-their greed knows no limits.

Report this

By Skruff, December 19, 2006 at 2:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

sadly, the answer is no… BUT on the up side, maybe we could just change without sacrifice..

Hydrogen is plentiful, can be produced cheaply, and polutes not at all.  Converting 50% of cars, and all northeast heating units to Hydrogen burners would go a long way toward making the world a better place for our offspring.

Personally, I plan to be disconnected from my local power company, and compleatly non-carbon fuel by 2010.  One at a time will eventually do it!

Report this

By dave, December 19, 2006 at 11:39 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I don’t why anyone is worried about climate change. It’s happened in the past, it’ll happen in the future. People will suffer. Get over it.

It might be a great driver for Evolution and produce a better species of humanity. What are you afraid of?

Report this

By Ranger Tommy, December 19, 2006 at 7:59 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

When Bush said in one of his State of the Union addresses (back when at least a handful of people thought he was still somehow presidential material) that he was going to push for further development of fuel cell technology, I thought then (and have no doubt now) that he wouldn’t know what a fuel cell was from a chain saw.  Did anyone really believe him then, in their heart of hearts, and is there any indication whatsoever that he has given one moment’s thought to the State of the Union (or the World) we’re leaving for our children and grandchildren?  Where are the checks and balances, and why is this man still in Washington??

Report this

By Christopher Cuttance, December 19, 2006 at 6:00 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Apparently the Greenland ice sheet is already dumping over 50 cubic miles of water into the Atlantic every year.  I think that constitutes ‘melting in earnest’.

Report this
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.

Like Truthdig on Facebook