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Ignoring the Climate Crisis, Fixating on Phony Ones

by: TheGreenMiles

Sun Dec 30, 2012 at 20:34:43 PM EST


Water DamageWhen our children are wondering why we didn't solve the climate crisis when we had the chance, I'm sure they'll be thankful we took the time to try to gut their retirement benefits.

This morning I watched Meet The Press host David Gregory and his panel not only agree Social Security and Medicare must be cut, but to brainstorm aloud strategy for making it happen. This very same panel had just gotten done unanimously agreeing that objective journalists are not allowed to say that Republicans are the problem in Washington. But they were now designing their very own political campaign.

Despite massive public opposition to social safety net cuts, why did these champions of objectivity assume gutting the social safety net is as American as apple pie?

Because people in the insular, wealthy world of Beltway politics will never need to put off a trip to the grocery store until their Social Security check arrives. The threat of going hungry could never compare to the alleged threat of the budget deficit.

TheGreenMiles :: Ignoring the Climate Crisis, Fixating on Phony Ones
Except the same people who push deficit hysteria in public tip their hand at the negotiating table. They don't care about deficits - what they're really after is tax cuts for the wealthy:
In a tremendous irony, Republican requests for lower tax rates, a high estate tax threshold, and a permanent AMT fix; combined with Democratic requests to delay the sequester, include a "doc fix" for Medicare physicians, and extend emergency unemployment benefits; have left the parties negotiating toward a plan that would result in no net deficit reduction over 10 years, according to Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin.
Republicans know it's all a charade - Social Security is solvent through 2038 and Medicare is solvent through 2024. And even then - at least a decade from now - the programs face not crippling bankruptcy but the need for a bit more funding. Considering effective federal tax rates have never been lower, this is not an insurmountable problem.

Meanwhile, James Hansen warned of looming climate insolvency in 1988 and the crisis went full-blown ten years later when we shattered the record for Earth's hottest year. Congress did nothing. After 14 more years of unlimited carbon pollution, 2012 has seen what will likely be America's hottest year on record, record drought and wildfires, and a climate-fueled Superstorm Sandy.

Less than two months later, global warming is once again off the radar in DC - even though just as many Americans recognize global warming is a serious problem as oppose social safety net cuts. This actual crisis, battering America right now, is rarely mentioned on television news and wasn't mentioned in any of this year's presidential debates.

Instead, pundits focus on imaginary social safety net problems and the voluntarily-created fiscal cliff austerity crisis, while ignoring the climate cliff we're already tumbling down. When The Onion gets it and Meet the Press doesn't, we're in big trouble.

Cross-posted from The Green Miles

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The whole point... (4.00 / 1)
...of generating phony crises is to distract from the real ones which bought-off politicians don't want to deal with.  Just tie the government in knots so it can't do its job effectively, then maybe big business can get away with a little more and the wealthy won't have to pay their fair share.  

And yes, the fact that the media goes along with the whole circus, and brings much of the public with them is discouraging.  

What we have to do in response is keep shouting that the Emperors have no clothes until we wake enough people up to that reality.  Re-electing Obama and a Democratic Senate was no small start, but there's unending work left to do...

For a Sustainable Virginia. Now on Twitter.


Did you see how ThinkProgress managed to come up with (4.00 / 1)
a dozen progressive resolutions for 2012, but somehow managed to completely ignore what is, by FAR, the most important issue facing humanity? Un-be-frickin-lievable.

Follow me on Twitter. Follow Blue Virginia on Facebook and Twitter.

[ Parent ]
Keep nibbling away (0.00 / 0)
This article makes the argument that even though Congress is gridlocked, much can and will be accomplished within the existing framework of laws and regulations.
http://e360.yale.edu/feature/w...

I have a fatalistic attitude towards this issue, which is basically, "pay now or pay later."  After Hurricane Sandy, the pay later option is starting to be clear to more people.


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