People are fond of using this phrase in opposition to the Keystone XL; it comes from James Hansen, a scientist of recognized integrity and towering intellectual achievement.
Hansen’s ethics and responsibility are unimpeachable.
But this meme is profoundly wrong.
Because in a game, an unsatisfactory outcome lets you try again, right away.
If you lose a game, you can have another round…or wait for next year, or argue with the ref.
Climatic destruction isn’t “game over” — it’s the destruction of the playing field (if your game analogy is athletic), it’s fried electronics (if your game analogy is video). A shattered climate needs recovery times on the order of tens of thousands of years.
It’s not a game if there are no winners, only losers.
James Hansen deserves credit for a concise phrase that conveys a terrifying truth in language that’s easier for our professionally ignorant politicians and media figures to grasp; America’s ADD-formed political culture is ill-equipped to deal with long-term threats.
But Earth’s future ain’t no game.
Go and submit a few public comments about the Keystone XL.