I believe that almost everyone who runs a large organization is taking steps to cope with the threats posed to that organization by climate change. I believe that the leaders of countries from China to the U.S. to Europe, the governors of most states and the mayors of large cities, and the CEOs of major corporations are drawing up contingency plans – just in case the beliefs of 97 percent of the scientific community and the ever-more-sophisticated climatology models turn out to be true. I believe this includes ExxonMobil and other energy conglomerates, despite what their lobbyists are peddling. They would be fools not to. The exceptions are governors of energy-dependent states, Millennialists of all persuasions who can’t wait to get to paradise – and the Republicans who control both houses of Congress and who have made denial a litmus test of political orthodoxy, like the tax pledge, intelligent design and abortion. But members of Congress don’t run anything, and they are responsible for the future of no organization other than their reelection campaigns.
Although most Republicans actually believe climate change is real, the number of their Congressional representatives who publicly say so is shrinking. This is not based on new evidence, of which there is none, but on politics. “I think it's part of the phenomenon of the polarization of the Congress,” said former GOP Congressman Jim Greenwood.
And so while responsible people make plans, just in case, those responsible for our “general welfare” stick their heads in the sands.
Correction: A typo in Friday’s post listed Charlie Hebdo’s normal circulation as 6,000 copies. It is 60,000.