I’ve got some bad news. The American media, and the international media, along with many scientists, have promoted the notion that the United States was making preparations for the coming effects of climate change.
Spoiler alert: This is not actually true.
We all know that upon Trump’s arrival at the Whitehouse, the new Administration began to swiftly erase any references to climate change from government websites. But you can still find these documents if you dig around a bit. Under the previous Obama Administration, you can still find what work has been done to prepare the country for climate change.
Here’s what I found: lots and lots of words. All told, they add up to nothing much. I’ve not had time to read all the words, but I’ve read enough to realize that what I’ve read scares the living shit out of me. They have no idea what they are truly facing.
They’ve grossly underestimated climate change impacts, the nation’s readiness and dependencies and the need to make truly meaningful preparations that will actually work to reduce widespread suffering and hardship. They’re also using seriously outdated estimates to base all their “actions” on which don’t even include telling you, the American people, that there even is a climate emergency.
I’ve always told my readers that they were truly on their own. Do not expect any help from your government when it comes to issues like collapse and climate change. I meant it and still do.
I used to be paid to write reports like this: Opportunities to Enhance the Nation’s Resilience to Climate Change (46 pages). My job was to distill the information down into a comprehensible format. But I was never allowed to actually “tell it like it is”. I actually worked for several of these agencies in this report. I eventually quit, realizing I’d never be allowed to actually do my job.
These kinds of reports are full of fluff and important sounding activities and effort, taken from many sources of input and contributors. But their reality is very, very different from the real world.
There is always a lot of self-congratulatory claims (generally, a prerequisite for a government publication) and little actual substance. There is no awareness of any pending or future catastrophe or collapse. Response ‘activity’ is correspondingly muted and seriously inadequate. No real urgency, no real emergency.
Government is very good at generating ‘data’ and reams of reports and position papers. Most government jobs are designed around this very process. Most of this paperwork is mindless, useless fluff, designed to be digested by do-nothing bureaucrats and other governmental employees. It’s a strange world that isn’t like what everyone else lives and works in. It’s a bubble, a ‘reality of deception’ reinforced by thousands of paid public employees who’s very jobs and careers depend upon producing these productions by the pound.
The Third National Climate Assessment (841 pages) upon what much of this report was based is much, much better. But it also suffers in many significant ways. Unfortunately, it too is already dated and underestimates the true impacts of climate change upon this nation. Again, no clear global emergency and thus, no effective response towards mitigation or adaption.
Inherent to both of these efforts, is the implication that solutions are in hand and that government, along with the public and private sector, will handily solve the issues discussed in time. Leadership of course, will remain the same: ‘trickle down’ from on high, delegating tasks and responsibilities and responses to everyone else. It’s a poor strategy.
It should be obvious that natural systems and the extreme energy imbalance now underway within the Earth’s climate is not going to be ‘taking orders from the US government’. It should also be obvious that the government organizational structure itself is very poorly designed to rapidly respond to the escalating threat of climate change. Using expired data certainly does not help.
It may be difficult to grasp this incredible disconnect, but it is true. Readers of this blog probably have a better understanding of the climate emergency then the paid professionals who are tasked with informing the public and taking action. However, as I recently discovered, readers don’t know what to do anymore then the US government does.
I have always found myself (well, usually) way ahead of the ‘curve’ when it comes to projections and impacts, understanding what is already hidden within the data. It’s always gotten me in trouble too, because I became an early adopter and vocal proponent of what the trends actually meant. My unpopularity didn’t concern me, but being right always did and still does.
So here it is: the US Government, as depicted in these two reports is grossly unaware and even more unprepared for extreme climate change (despite some minor mentions), and does not appear to even be fully aware of the actual and real threats facing Americans and the rest of the people on the planet. Proposed ‘actions’ are therefore grossly inadequate and will be extremely ineffective in short-order.
Like me, the more ‘extreme voices’ that are out there are not being included in the assessments or the calls to action (which in my opinion, are pathetic, insufficient and will accomplish little to absolutely nothing).
A good analogy would be a baseball game. The score is 23 – 1 with the opposing team (climate) winning. The bases are loaded and it’s almost the last inning. The government team is tired and discouraged, the umpire has just disqualified many of their top players, kicked out the cheer team from the stadium and told their fans to shut the fuck up.
A new substitute batter for the government steps up to the plate, it’s his turn now. He gets to swing away for the next four years… and he hates most of his own team. His head isn’t even in the game, hell – he’s never even played baseball before (and he wears as stupid red hat). All he’s thinking about now is making ‘deals’ with everyone else so that he gets what he wants. He doesn’t even give a shit about the climate. He wants this climate game over so he can go do something else.
So what does he do? He doesn’t even swing… and it’s indeed, “game over“.
We should be seriously concerned. In fact, more then a little panic is in order. Beyond what I’ve already read and digested over the years, I do not expect there to ever be any effective response to climate change from the US Government (or State governments for that matter). And if you realize that this was all done under the former Administration who just got done telling us what a great job he did on the climate during his years in office!
This is certainly “not news” to regular readers here. But it does reveal a terrifying lack of national and even global leadership to act swiftly, decisively, accurately and with clear intent to preserving a habitable future. What they’re preparing for I’ve discarded years ago as being ineffective, inadequate and doomed to fail.
They are not going to solve this. They’re not even going to be able to get ready for this. So here is what I want people to do in the years ahead that have opportunity to come back and read this: you are going to have to take matters into your own hands. Your survival, safety, protection, and security are entirely up to you. You should be planning ahead now for the very worst. If you do not, then you and those with you will suffer sooner and it is very likely, there will be no help for you because they’re not planning to help you much either.
This isn’t the last go-around. Not yet. They’ll try again (and again), eventually, but if this evidence is any indication (and it is, of course) then they’ll always be a “dollar late and a day short” and forever fail to get up to speed on the actual unfolding events and what should or could have be done about it. I do not expect any timely or meaningful direction, policy, process or effort to be be coming from this quarter. Nor should you.
An inadequate ‘response’ is almost the same as no response, so it looks like there will be almost no difference between Obama’s climate legacy ‘efforts’ and Trump’s ‘efforts’, however Trump intends to strip-mine, frack and build hotels on the national parks and public lands.