The debate over climate change is ill-tempered even by the debased modern standard of public discourse. And, to be fair, there have been other periods in human history when Donald Trump’s Twitter feed would have seemed mild, including the 1820s in the United States and the Roman Republic. But it is discouraging, wearisome and degraded. So we are happy to present an entertaining Beaverton piece about a frustrated Mother Nature unable to attract the attention of jaded humans. “’I’ve tried everything – heatwaves, hurricanes, mudslides. I even tried out some sexy new wildfires, but once again, [humanity] would rather look at their phones and watch Netflix,’ admitted the exasperated planetary climate system.” We disagree with everything in the piece… except its uplifting tone.
One of the dreariest aspects of the debate over climate is the torrent of mud generated not by a disintegrating biosphere but by human beings. Anyone who moderates comments on anything climate-related encounters endless surly, misspelled, poorly punctuated, ill-informed and malevolent comments about funding by the Koch brothers or, on the other side, the UN globalist hoax-conspiracy.
Of course there’s a lot at stake and it’s tempting to start yelling like ill-mannered tourists when those idiots over there don’t understand the spoken word. But precisely because the question is so important, we need to restrain our uglier passions and count to 10 before repeating ourselves even more loudly and adding a few choice adjectives about our adversary’s mental or moral state. They do nothing to further our understanding of the situation or our willingness to work together constructively, and to discuss evidence in a level-headed manner.
In that spirit we applaud this Beaverton piece. It’s factually wrong and misleading in its implications. But with wit and even hint of charity.
To show we mean it, we won’t give away the predictable punchline from Casablanca.