Pi Attitude Zone: Conformity & Stability

Climate Change? Surely You Jest

The American newspaper funnies have recently taken to ridiculing the climate change deniers.  Many cartoons have shown frogs in jacuzzis, cheerfully ignoring the fact that the rising water temperature will soon boil them alive.  The joke seems less comical with each passing day – certainly with each new extreme weather event that buffets the United States. 

Here’s a for-instance that bothered New York City’s outgoing mayor, Michael Bloomberg.  Mother Nature has been forced over four centuries to give up more and more reclamation land to property-hungry Manhattanites.  Now, it seems, she wants it back.  The New York districts damaged by Hurricane Sandy’s storm-surge in late 2012 were almost identical to the land drained and reclaimed in the four hundred years since 1600.  It includes a broad ribbon of commercial and residential property ringing the southern tip of Manhattan Island. 400,000 people live in what a century ago was still a flood plain, and before that was under water.  In 2007 then-Mayor Bloomberg released PlaNYC, a set of precautionary measures aimed at mitigating Biblical catastrophe.

One of the more bizarre reactions to all this has been the blanket denial of climate change by US legislators, particularly those among them who lean rightwards.  It’s all a hoax, they insist.  Since it manifestly isn’t, one can only assume that these cynical gerontocrats have calculated that they will personally all be dead before they or anyone else in a position of power gets held to account for their inaction and insouciance  – a chilling example of what “public service” has degenerated into in America. 

Some individual states have been taking looming disaster more seriously than the federal government, but others have new records for fecklessness and stupidity.  The right-leaning legislature of North Carolina risibly declared that scenarios of accelerated sea-level rise will not be recognized “unless consistent with historic trends”.  Who knew the Carolinas were governed by the heirs of King Canute?

But politicians are not the only frogs insisting that their jacuzzi is still a perfectly comfortable temperature.  The property industry is doing the same thing, for equally suspect reasons  -- protecting market values.

The really chilling thing is that the forces promoting denial seem to be hindering the general public from realizing what is really going on.  Property-buyers are proving wonderfully gullible.  Offer values for land and housing in flood-plain areas have risen steadily for years, and continue to do so.  Americans are still rushing to build homes on their beaches.

Pi wonders when attitudes will get around to accommodating reality.  Will it take news stories about frogs being boiled alive?

Zone: Conformity & Stability Country: USA / North America Product –