Two recent stories, the first from Brazil:
President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil fired the head of a government agency that had revealed a steep increase in deforestation in the Amazon.
The second from America:
… for the first time, regulators would be allowed to conduct economic assessments … when deciding whether a species warrants protection. Critically, the changes would also make it more difficult for regulators to factor in the effects of climate change on wildlife …
These stories illustrate how denial of climate change by the authoritarian populists, Bolsonaro and Trump, is leading, without ambiguity, to a tolerance of extinction. These leaders and those who support them, explicitly or by their silence, are willing to not only eradicate species and biospheres but take all of us all down with them if it helps speed up the rush for spoils, grabbing the last good stuff, seizing the remaining power and wealth. As illustrated so presciently by The New Yorker.
It may seem cynically extreme to say that those in power, public or private, whose job it is to assess risk and respond appropriately care little for civilizational survival so long as they see short-term gain. Let’s instead assume they’re operating on a 3D Strategy: doubt, deny, delay. Acknowledge climate change, if need be, include it in the long-term assessments, fund a few programs, but keep any disruptive change that requires immediate and large-scale response off the agenda. Or use it against your opponents.
But that only makes sense so long as nothing substantially changes in the short term that confirms the long-run predictions and starts to scare people. And unfortunately the changes are coming fast and looking uncomfortably furious:Read more »