I didn’t go to science school, or anything amazing like that, but I’m fairly certain the following mathematical equation—which I just made up like 20 minutes ago—accurately and succinctly summarizes the current state of the climate-political complex in the United States.
X + Y = we’re screwed
Please sit tight as I define the variables of my newfangled equation:
X = The World Meteorological Organization recently released a report on the years 2001 to 2010. As reads go, it was royal snooze. As warning shots go, it was a howitzer of the first order. According to the study, the first decade of the twenty-first century was the hottest since the start of modern measurements in 1850. The hottest. In 160 years!
This heat surge lead to “a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice and accelerating loss of net mass from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and from the world’s glaciers.”
The most tragic thread of the report? That'd have to be the 370,000 people that were killed by climage-change fueled extreme weather events like hurricanes and droughts in the last decade. This is a 20 percent increase from the 1990s.
And now for the really depressing news:
Y = Last week, Climate Progress published a truly vexatious infographic that exposes just how deeply intertwined the tentacles of the fossil fuel industry are with some members of the one hundred thirteenth Congress.
Says the report: 115 current beltway baby-kissers have welcomed with open arms—and no doubt smug smirks and sly winks—more than $51 million in campaign contributions from big oil and gas. As part of this quid pro quo deal, these members of Congress are then responsible for standing in lockstep opposition to any legislation—be it Obama’s appointment to the EPA or, say, the House's 2009 climate change bill—that would in any way, in any way, curb greenhouse gas emissions. These are the very same emissions, need I remind you, that 97 percent of peer-reviewed climatologists unquivocably say is causing climate change.
So, to summarize:
We’re speeding for the climate cliff and the traffic cops have dropped their radar guns to count their bribe money with both hands.