Nations have so dragged their feet in battling climate change that the situation has grown critical and the risk of severe economic disruption is rising, according to a draft United Nations report. Another 15 years of failure to limit carbon emissions could make the problem virtually impossible to solve with current technologies, the experts found.
Delay would likely force future generations to develop the capability to suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and store them underground to preserve the livability of the planet, the report found. But it is not clear whether such technologies will ever exist at the necessary scale, and even if they do, the approach would likely be wildly expensive compared with taking steps now to slow emissions.
Short version: we’ve dithered away our time, and all responses from here on are going to be conditioned by the psychology of emergency behavior. More expensive, carried out with less regard to long-term consequences than to the exigencies of the moment. That is, we’ve locked in collective epistemological business-as-usual for the foreseeable future — at exactly the time a new approach is desperately needed.
And here’s why it has to be us:
A Media Matters analysis reveals that news coverage of climate change on ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX picked up in 2013 over the previous year, but remained lower than a 2009 high. Furthermore, while one Sunday show interviewed scientists about climate change, distinguishing itself as the first such program to do so in five years, these shows continued to rely largely on media figures and Republicans to dictate the conversation around global warming.
Musicians and performers are among the very few people who get access to microphones and audiences outside the corporatized media system. We have a responsibility to our listeners, and to our fellow humans.