Sunday, October 7, 2012

Xtreme Weather

The truth is not just inconvenient anymore. It's obvious. Whether it's extended droughts, historic heat waves, wildfires that burn hotter and longer than ever, or more frequent and intense hurricanes and tornadoes, you don't have to go to the Arctic in the summer (where a third of the sea ice is gone) to get that global warming is already having a dramatic affect on climatological conditions all over the world.

As these photos from NASA's Extreme Weather Event Photo Contest demonstrate, global warming is going to be awesome.
Photo Credit: Grant Petty
Photo Credit: Jason Weingart
Not in the "The Black Keys played an awesome show at the Warfield last night" way, but rather the "The shockwave sent out by the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs and altered Earth forever must have been an awesome sight" way.

Photo Credit: Meggan Wood
Photo Credit: Brian Allen
Keep in mind, the federal government currently has the ability to borrow money at near zero or even negative yields. To put that into plain English, the federal government can borrow money from lenders who will actually pay us (the taxpayers) for the privilege. We can afford to end our country's leading role in the carbon emission contribution sweepstakes right now. We could responsibly borrow the money necessary to rebuild our infrastructure over the next few years to use sustainable sources of energy.

This would mean an upgrade to electrical grid that wastes ungodly amounts of energy right now. It would mean replacing coal power plants with wind turbines, hydroelectric dams, geothermal power plants, and lots of solar panels. (We could be putting solar panels on the tops of thousands of buildings like Germany has already done.) It would mean weatherizing every home in the country. It would mean building more mass transit networks to take cars off the road. It would mean paying people to trade in for more fuel efficient (electric!) vehicles (Cash for Clunkers was and continues to be a pretty good idea).

Photo Credit: Brian Johnson
The main reason why rebuilding America in this manner won't happen is that the oil companies would have to write off trillions of dollars in assets. Awesome.

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