How Climate Change Is Worsened by Attacks on the Public Sector, Science and Regulation
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And the frightening thing is that one of the only institutions in the U.S. that seems to think about this is the Pentagon. And they don’t—you know, their job is to fight wars and prepare for wars. So they see this coming, and they are preparing for open-ended counterinsurgency on a global scale indefinitely. To their credit, they also say, you know, ultimately, we can’t handle this. If there is an appropriate policy from civilian leaders, who knows how civilization will cope with the next century and climate change kicking in very readily? But right now, the preparations are for policing this crisis. And that’s not going to help at all. That’s going to exacerbate it.
AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to go to Jeff Masters at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, climatologist with—a meteorologist with Weather Underground. Can you predict for us what’s going to happen this summer? And also, just sticking with this issue, since the way people understand the world is so often through the media—their own experience going outside experiencing the extreme weather, but then watching on television—is there discussion among climatologists to start raising this issue? Is there a push of underground weathermen to talk about this?
JEFF MASTERS: Right now, we’ve got moderate to severe to extreme drought over a large portion of the grain-producing area of the U.S., from Kansas into Missouri, Illinois, Indiana. And it’s only the early part of July. The forecast is for continued very hot weather at least for the next two weeks. And the way things are going, it wouldn’t be any surprise to me to see a sharp reduction in the American grain harvest because of drought this year. We’re looking at a situation similar to 1988, which was a $70 billion disaster in the U.S. because of the drought. Or, if you look back in the 1930s, this weather reminds me a lot of what we saw in some of those Dust Bowl years. So, a big concern. Drought, going forward, is going to be a huge issue in the U.S., and it is going to impact food prices, I think.
As far as your second question, can you ask that again? I’m not sure I caught quite the gist of what you were asking.
AMY GOODMAN: Is there a discussion among meteorologists—is there a discussion among meteorologists to start talking about climate change?
JEFF MASTERS: It’s been an ongoing discussion for a long time, sure. I mean, I’m on the board of advisers for a couple of groups that talk about climate change, and we’re certainly trying to get the word out. And we’ve got a lot of people out there giving talks at the local level. And we’re trying to get, of course, as much media exposure as we can. So, it’s a big uphill struggle, though, because there’s a lot of disinformation being put out there by companies whose profits are hurt by climate change awareness. So, it remains to be seen. I think, well, the weather we’re seeing now is probably ultimately what’s going to change people’s minds, when they see in their own experience that, hey, you know, we’re seeing unprecedented sorts of heat and drought and maybe extreme, violent storms, too. That’s probably what’s going to eventually turn the tide.
AMY GOODMAN: Is that oil company pressure in the corporate media, for example, the advertisers?
JEFF MASTERS: Well, yeah, absolutely. The oil companies have to protect profits by law, so of course they’re going to challenge any science which says that there’s global warming.