The Trial of Galileo
Image credit:via University of Missouri -Kansas City School of Law. Excerpted from the work by Joseph-Nicolas Robert-Fleury. "Galileo before the Holy Office", 1847. Musee Luxembourg.
Due mainly to habitat loss, well-known and deeply-cherished animals are disappearing at astonishing rates. Nothing proposed by the UN has appreciably curbed this extreme rate of biodiversity loss. (Animals that Disney made billions animating are disappearing rapidly because there are way too many humans and because resource extraction operates at full throttle to satisfy them.) Conservation is ineffective because of governments and resource extraction industries collaborating for self-serving economic reasons. A similar, poor prognosis exists for the curbing of climate change by treaty agreement.
Corollary: the next logical step into the Absolute Consumer Scenario (my term for this situation) would be to curb research into means of direct climate intervention, into any possible means of slowing climate change save emission cutbacks. Now, under the guidance of the UN, scientists and NGO activists have gotten together to recommend just that. Washington Post has the full story of this latest move in Geoengineering sparks international ban, first-ever congressional report
A senior House Democrat from Tennessee issued the first congressional report on geoengineering Friday, just as delegates from 193 nations approved a ban on such research under a global biodiversity treaty.This about closes the loop on mankind's greatest advance in Ostrich Maneuvering since The Trial of Galileo. Numerous politicians, the energy industry at large, and various think tanks supported by a wealthy band of free marketeers have successfully lobbied to end climate action by the US. They are working their lobbying magic on US States, now, and may well succeed, bolstered by collapsing tax revenues at the state and local level.
A return to the politics of the 1600's.
Additional evidence of the near-total defeat of science and humanism: the entire leadership of one US political party is in lockstep against climate action; while many members of the other party are afraid to speak up, knowing they will be indicted by political attack ads if they do. Attack ads are the modern equivalent of a Holy Inquisition (as pictured).
Further down the intellectual spiral.
"Geoengineering" research at meaningful scale will not happen unless government appropriations support it and unless government regulations allow reasonable liberties to those wanting to corroborate lab research with field tests. By recommending government not support even research, anti-science environmentalists (environmental moralists really), meeting under the Convention on Biological Diversity, have handed yet another political victory to proponents of "small government."
What irony that well intentioned scientists have unwittingly bolstered the case of libertarian absolutists.
Here's what I wrote about anti-science environmentalism in an earlier post. I think it still applies well as an analogy to those recommending a Ban.
Imagine driving safety activists advocating closure of hospital emergency rooms, on the theory that if automobile drivers knew there were no means available, following an accident, for stabilization, diagnosis, and treatment, that they (drivers) would proceed with greater attention and caution. Knowledge that there was no backup would make driving behaviors "safer,"
As a form of cow-tipping from the extreme right, following on this theme, we may even witness proposals to ban the planting of trees.
I wish I could come up with a more positive scenario but I can't find one that does not involve emergency conditions slapping the world upside the head.
Update: meanwhile, according to Fox News, saner voices still prevail at the Government Accountability Office.
The Government Accountability Office found in its report more than 50 current studies, totaling slightly more than $100 million, focusing on piecemeal strategies to reverse climate change, but none directly addresses what would happen if adventurous programs on carbon dioxide reduction and solar radiation management were put in place.
Additional posts on this topic.
Anti-Science Environmentalism: Iron Seeding Experiment Protested...Again
Why Are The Republicans The World's Only Major Political Party Denying Climate Change?
Geoengineering Risk Potential Not An Excuse for Inaction, Scientist Says
Does Morality Matter in Saving the Planet?