American Exceptionalism

Climate researchers at Scripps Institution Of Oceanography recently published a report projecting a 5% chance of abrupt climate change within the next 30 years, leading to human extinction within 50 years. This is the first dire warning issued from a mainstream research center. Some researchers feel both the timing and the odds to be optimistic.

The fourth National Climate Assessment, a compilation of research results from over 15 Federal agencies, was recently released, stating that humans are causing global climate change. No other explanation can account for what is occurring worldwide.

The 23rd Conference Of The Parties, a global discussion about climate change, met last month in Bohn, Germany. Climate change is a global problem, and global cooperation is required to deal with the changes. Every country on the planet is working to avert a global threat to all of humanity. Every country but one, the United States, which thinks climate change is just a Chinese hoax. This is American exceptionalism in the 21st century.

Climate denial in the United States is a disinformation campaign, well funded over many decades by fossil fuel industries, the morbidly rich, and some evangelical organizations.

There is documentary evidence that all major oil companies knew about the adverse effect of atmospheric CO2 starting in the 80's, but made the decision to hide the evidence and fund denial and confusion, thus protecting their annual profits of hundreds of billions of dollars. But oil discoveries have not kept up with the depletion rates of established fields and new oil is too expensive in a weak global economy. As affordable oil and gas are getting scarce and profits are declining, some of the majors, like Shell and BP, have abandoned climate denial and begun investing in renewable energy.

The morbidly rich are those who have more wealth than they know what to do with, but are devoted to gaining even more, which requires the death of people all over the planet. They tend to be heavily invested in fossil fuels.

Some evangelicals are still fighting the old war between science and their particular interpretation of God. This anti-science bias is a hold over from the time when the Catholic Church could burn people for disagreeing with doctrine. In an age of smart phones and nuclear weapons, a time of massive changes in human life, they claim climate change cannot be caused by man. Only God has that kind of power. Younger people, who will be alive when the consequences of this denial will be lethal, are questioning the wisdom of current leadership.

Climate deniers have currently taken over the Republican Party, with their cheerleader being President Trump. Fossil fuel executives are now in positions of power, and climate change scientists are being purged. Despite traditional Republican dogma about the power of the free market, obsolete 19th century coal technology, and bankrupt, toxic, 20th century nuclear technology, are given special taxpayer subsidies. Rather than investing in 21st century renewable technology, American consumers and businesses will be paying more for electrical power, and be less competitive in the global economy.

Rather than subsidizing renewables, which are surging elsewhere on the planet, climate deniers are attacking solar regulations at state levels, to prevent American development. Stiff tariffs are being placed on solar cells from China. Domestic solar production faces an uphill battle and won't fill the gap, blocking thousands of good paying jobs in the renewable power industry.

The federal electric car subsidy is being eliminated at a time when the world is shifting to electric transportation. American auto companies, discouraged in producing electric vehicles, will find limited markets for gas engines as the rest of the world moves to renewable energy. The Chinese have made serious commitments to renewable and electric car innovations. China already produces more cars than any other country, and while their economy is second to the US, they are growing faster than we are. Instead of American industry competing economically and leading in a rapidly changing global technology, we are being left behind with obsolete technology.

The loss of political leadership is already happening on the global climate stage. As the US removed itself from the discussion, China has stepped in and taken the lead. The American economic empire began to decline in 1972. Being the only country to deny man made climate change will not make America great again: it will make America irrelevant faster, and the Republican Party is responsible.