Sunday, September 14, 2008

Global warming — bad guys found at last

The science on global warming is so clear that it's hard to understand why the public doesn't push the politicians to pass the laws necessary for our preservation.

But, as a species we do not respond to changes on a geological time-scale, even those as rapid as our anthropocene. We can intellectualise the threat of climate change, but it takes a visceral threat, say - a bushfire, to move us into survival mode.

We can be moved to action by moral threat, as Howard showed us when we stood firm against invading refugee fleets armed with nothing but children for projectiles. We weren't going to let them tell us how they were going to come into the country. No sir. Howard skilfully turned those poor refugees into the bad-guys by suggesting they use their children to evoke our sympathy.

The problem with climate change, in terms of generating public outrage, is that it had no 'bad guys'. There is no identifiable moral threat oil companies represent, considering...

Until now. NY Times reports:

Sex, Drug Use and Graft Cited in Interior Department

WASHINGTON — As Congress prepares to debate expansion of drilling in taxpayer-owned coastal waters, the Interior Department agency that collects oil and gas royalties has been caught up in a wide-ranging ethics scandal — including allegations of financial self-dealing, accepting gifts from energy companies, cocaine use and sexual misconduct.

In three reports delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the department’s inspector general, Earl E. Devaney, found wrongdoing by a dozen current and former employees of the Minerals Management Service, which collects about $10 billion in royalties annually and is one of the government’s largest sources of revenue other than taxes.

A culture of ethical failure” pervades the agency, Mr. Devaney wrote in a cover memo.

The reports portray a dysfunctional organization that has been riddled with conflicts of interest, unprofessional behavior and a free-for-all atmosphere for much of the Bush administration’s watch.

The highest-ranking official criticized in the reports is Lucy Q. Denett, the former associate director of minerals revenue management, who retired earlier this year as the inquiry was progressing.

Never mind the intergenerational accumulating existentialist threat to the species these folk are perpetrating, what about the sex, drugs and graft renting at the very moral fabric of our society? They are the types of people who would throw their children overboard. You just know it.

Here's a report from the Globe and Mail: Sex, drugs, oil and gas


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