This article discusses The Right’s Climate Change Shame.
A cartoon popped up in my Twitter feed last week that seemed the perfect coda for the latest, congressionally mandated report on climate change. It shows a dinosaur looking up into the heavens at night, at all the twinkling stars. His smiling face utters the words: “The dot that gets bigger and bigger each night is my favorite.”
I’m relieved, I suppose, that Trump officials didn’t actually suppress, censor, or doctor volume two of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. All they did was release it on the Friday after Thanksgiving, suggesting that somewhere deep in what passes for someone’s conscience in this putrid presidency, some residual shame might linger. One of the more innovative arguments of the report was even pitched to the bottom line: high projections expect to knock ten percent off U.S. GDP this century — more than two Great Recessions put together. And so the last teetering argument of the carbon polluters and their enablers — that preventing climate catastrophe will cost jobs and reduce growth — was proven void once again. Au contraire, it turns out. There have been more jobs in solar energy in the U.S. since 2015 than in oil or natural gas extraction. Maybe a decade ago, the expense of wind and solar was a major obstacle and expense for a non-carbon future. Not any more.