As the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic is being noted, there’s been a lot of specials on television including “Titanic: The Final Word with James Cameron." There’s a moment at the end of the special where the famed director takes a few moments to explain how the story of the Titanic is a lot like the story of climate change.
“We’ve got the starving millions that are going to be most affected by the next iceberg we hit, which is going to be climate change. We can see that iceberg ahead of us right now, but we can’t turn. We can’t turn because of the momentum of the system, political momentum, business momentum. There are too many people making money out of the system the way the system works right now. And those people frankly, have their hands on the levers of power and aren’t ready to let them go,” Cameron says.
“Until they do, we’re not going to be able to turn and miss that iceberg and were going to hit it. When we hit it, the rich are still going to be able to get their access to food, to arable land, to water and so on, it’s going to be the poor, it’s going to be the steerage that are going to be impacted, and it’s the same as Titanic.”
It seems to me that there’s certainly enough debate about global warming that it’s tough to come to the conclusion that those with their ‘hands on the levers of power’ have the ability, but not the wherewithal, to avoid climate change.
Efforts like the Kyoto Protocol, the EPA’s new regulations for power plants and even discussion of taxing the gaseous emissions of dairy cows (I’m trying to be polite here) don’t do much more than increase consumer costs, decrease consumer choice and have little or no impact on CO2 emissions.
And of course, there’s plenty of information out there disputing man’s contributions to global warming. Just last month a letter signed by 49 scientists and astronauts from NASA called on the agency to refrain from referencing the concept as a fact. Even earlier this year 16 scientists released a letter calling the warming models used by the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) “greatly exaggerated” and that CO2 is “not a pollutant” but “a key component of the biosphere's life cycle.”
Rather than have a discussion however, the government continues to work on lowering CO2 emissions, with all the drama and hype of a Hollywood movie.