No 'Chinese Hoax,' Climate Change Cannot Be Ignored

Curt Wechsler | April 18, 2018

Climate scientist Ben Santer fights 'alternative facts'. He's not alone. The consequences of global warming denial affect every person on the planet. Santer advises human actions must be part of the solution:

"You jump through hoops. You do due diligence. You go down every blind alley, every rabbit hole. Over time, the evidence for a discernible human influence on global climate becomes overwhelming.

IMG 1421"You tell others what you've done, what you've learned and what the climatic 'shape of things to come' might look like if we do nothing to reduce emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases. You speak not only to your scientific peers but also to a wide variety of audiences, some of which are skeptical about you and everything you do. You enter the public arena and make yourself accountable."

Donald Trump is more hostile to modern science than any previous president, adds history of science professor Robert N. Proctor. "We now live in a world where ignorance of a very dangerous sort is being deliberately manufactured, to protect certain kinds of unfettered corporate enterprise." 

We can't afford to wait years for a change in management. We must create a political situation where the Trump administration's program is repudiated, where Trump and Pence are driven from office.

"The Trump administration has promised vast changes to U.S. science and environmental policy," headlines the National Geographic. "The stakes are enormous." Writers Michael Greshko, Laura Parker, and Brian Clark Howard are tracking them as they happen. Their list is pretty damn comprehensive, and well worth a read.

"For a society so worried about things that can kill us, we've focused very little of our attention on the thing that surely will," observes Tom Engelhardt, author of The United States of Fear. "Warming of the planet -- thanks to the fossil fuel system we live by and the greenhouse gases it deposits in the atmosphere -- is already doing real damage to our world.

"When we speak of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), we usually think of weapons -- nuclear, biological, or chemical -- that are delivered in a measurable moment in time. Consider climate change, then, a WMD on a particularly long fuse, already lit and there for any of us to see."

War and militarism fuel climate change. "The Pentagon is the single greatest institutional consumer of fossil fuels," notes Environmentalists Against War Gar Smith. "Oil barrels and gun barrels both pose a threat to our survival. The amount of oil burned -- and the burden of smoke released -- increases whenever the Pentagon goes to war."

But "the real danger is that the way we live our lives as Americans, no matter our optimism about the future, is no longer sustainable," warns Eddie Glaude Jr., chair of the Department of African American Studies at Princeton. 

"We can't continue to live with the current level of income inequality. Hard working people are working longer hours for less pay. And politicians and their benefactors continue to argue for trade policies that have decimated the working class in this country. We can't continue to lock up black and brown people or watch them killed in cold blood by people sworn to protect us or fail to publicly educate all of our children. We can't continue to bomb people around the world into oblivion." 

We should not cower in fear, counsels Professor of Theology and Culture Mark Lewis Taylor. "Privileged citizens and residents need to bare their rage at the structures of abuse. . . we need to renew our commitments to the political movements on the ground and at work in contesting both the right and the 'lesser evil' of today's corporate and imperial state." But "any fresh vanguard for revolutionary change, must come from the most vulnerable themselves, from the communities long targeted by racist and misogynous power in the history of U.S. capitalism's structural violence. It is these communities' movements that put material pressure on the more privileged and protected to resist the corporate state. 

"Those most vulnerable to a Trump regime are not powerless. They are not primarily -- surely not only -- victims. They are also resisters with powers for throwing off oppression, building movements for justice and to redress wrongs and imagine new political life. All the while they can also extend at times astonishing acts of love and human dignity."

We must not let ignorance win. People all over the world need for us to succeed. Read, share, add your name to the new Refuse Fascism Call to Action that diagnoses the existential threat to humanity posed by Donald Trump's war on science and the only way to stop it: The Trump/Pence Regime Must Go!