“We’ll Always Have Paris!”
The world is sinking. And the band keeps playing: On the Titanic, first violinist, Big Oil billionaires. For them, capitalism is the solution to everything. Second chair, world’s moral authority, Pope Francis warning that capitalism is the “root cause of the world’s problems.” No harmony on this deck! And playing that haunting flute solo, Mother Nature. She doesn’t care what the fossil fuel giants do, what popes and presidents say, they’re just accelerating the sinking.
Abandon ship? Surrender to the siren song of the climate science deniers? Maybe. Pope Francis’s tune is not seductive enough to win the night. True, the pope is the world’s moral authority. But morality will never trump the billionaires’ $100 billion bankroll, certainly not in time to avoid the icebergs. The Koch empire’s pledged $889 million to win 2016 election for fossil fuel lobbyists, bolstered by “No Climate Tax Pledges” that conservative members in Congress must sign to get Koch campaign cash. Yes, money talks. And we got a new president.
Get it? Money always trumps morality in today’s out-of-control capitalist world. Democracy, our moral compass, America’s future are all for sale to the highest bidder. Everyone and everything has a price, especially in Washington.
Why can’t Francis, the world’s moral conscience, lead a resistance movement against Big Oil and the Koch Empire? Save the world? True, he does lead a powerful army of 1.2 billion Catholics worldwide … and, yes, his papal encyclicals carry great weight, making official his position that climate change and global warming are indeed manmade … that capitalism is the “root cause” of all the world’s deteriorating physical and social environment … that humans are killing their own home planet.
Pope Francis has been traveling the world warning that capitalism is the arch-enemy of Planet-Earth: In capitalism, the “worship of the ancient golden calf has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money … lacking a truly human purpose” … our “constant assaults on the natural environment” are “the result of unbridled consumerism” … having “serious consequences for the world economy” … capitalism is morally destructive of the world’s soul and your soul … capitalism is suicidal, will inevitably self-destruct, take the planet down with it.
Climate Science Deniers Are “Destroying God’s Creation!”
The message Pope Francis delivered in his encyclical on global warming is that our destruction of creation is a sin. This September, when he addresses a joint session of Congress in Washington and the U.N. General Assembly in New York, his message will resonate with world leaders, as it will during the Paris negotiations of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change just before Christmas.
In labeling environmental degradation a sin, the pope is branding one helluva lot of people “sinners”: Big Oil, the Koch brothers, the GOP and the 144 senators and elected members of the House who are Catholics — many of them on record as admitting they are climate-science deniers.
Get it? Pope Francis has branded them “sinners” for inaction, failing to lead … for denying humans are the cause of climate change and global warming … for rejecting scientific reality … for failing in their sworn duty to face the fact that we are putting deadly carbon emissions in the atmosphere.
No wonder there’s high anxiety on Capitol Hill among those climate-science deniers in Congress. Imagine them facing this moral and financial dilemma when Frances is preaching to them face-to-face at the joint session of Congress in September, in effect forcing them to choose between being a sinner in the eyes of God, and getting Koch money for re-election. High anxiety.
Politics Accelerating Hawking’s “Catastrophic Ending!”
Even before Trump, the Koch brothers were betting $889 million commitment to the 2016 presidential election cycle. Their army of “No Climate Tax” signatories in Congress would beat Pope Francis and win the war. The truth is, the Kochs really don’t care who wins: Their real goal is just to keep big money flowing uninterrupted into Big Oil coffers, no matter who’s president. Trump’s just accelerating Hawking’s predictable ‘catastrophic ending.’
On the other side of the battlefield, of course, many were hoping Pope Francis will change the minds of America’s GOP-dominated Congress. And then rally 200 world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly. Warning: Both sides are wrong. This is a no-win war, a dead-end. Deny it all you want, Mother Nature has her own plans: Global warming is inevitable, and climate change is destroying our world.
True, the Koch Empire money and the deniers are accelerating the ending. But nobody, not Pope Francis, not all the world leaders, and not the 2,500 scientists in Paris at the fall meeting of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Science can stop Mother Nature’s inevitable cycles.
Here’s why: Five years ago Nobel-winning physicist Robert Laughlin of Stanford wrote a chilling piece in the American Scholar journal: “The Earth,” he wrote, “doesn’t care if you drive a hybrid.” And it’s also clear Mother Earth doesn’t care if we recycle, eat organic food, or live in house powered by solar energy.
Paris Climate Agreement Won’t Stop OverHeating
Only Delay The Inevitable
Joe Romm published an editorial in ClimateProgress.org titled: “Of course Paris climate talks won’t keep global warming below the dangerous 2 degrees limit.” Romm’s brilliant piece is yet another warning on par with Laughlin’s and many others: a grim reminder that Mother Nature won’t care even if every climate science denier magically do an about-face and start funding Bill McKibben’s 350.org, grass-roots climate-change organization.
Or if they donated $100 million to RiskyBusiness.org, the new early-warning system for corporate businesses whose members include Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson, tech billionaire Tom Steyer and other national figures like Robert Rubin, George Shultz, Olympia Snowe and even Cargill’s boss, Greg Page. Mother Earth will just keep warming, soon its momentum will pass the point of no return.
Titanic Slams Into Iceberg … Planet-Earth Sinking Fast
The UN-IPCC’s 2015 Paris agreement in carried such utopian hope, while Romm is one of America’s best and most realistic journalists in the climate-change arena. Here’s his take, beginning with some esoteric scientific comments on charts from MIT and the Climate Interactive: “The world has been headed beyond a catastrophic pathway, which would take us ultimately to 6°C warming or more. We have been ignoring climate scientists for so long, more than a quarter-century, that there was never a possibility that one agreement could change our emissions pathway so sharply.”
Never? Yes, never. We’re trapped in a catastrophic no-win war: “Paris will ‘not get us onto the 2°C pathway,’ as Christiana Figueres, the top UN climate official said. That wouldn’t be possible “without every major player agreeing to specific and serious post-2030 cuts, an outcome that was never on the table.” Yes never. Why? The General Assembly of 198 nations includes aggressive oil-revenue giants like Russia who will never cooperate.
Capitalism in action. Profits and wealth accumulation always trump morality — and environmental survival. The fact is that “there are simply too many major political leaders in this country and in other key countries” who are climate-denying capitalists and “simply do not understand how dire the situation is, in part because of the most well-funded disinformation campaign in history, coupled with an equally well-funded lobbying campaign against climate action.”
The “Casablanca” Sequel … “We’ll Always Have Paris!”
Romm’s warnings remind us of the Humphrey Bogart classic “Casablanca.” Recall his dramatic goodbye to the love of his life, “we’ll always have Paris,” just before she boards a small plane with her husband, a World War II resistance leader returning to the fight. Pope Francis is a similar symbol of eternal hope, against all odds
Then comes the hope-filled “Casablanca” liftoff moment: “Certainly Paris should reaffirm that the goal of the ongoing process is to get onto the 2°C path. Failure to ultimately avert catastrophic climate change would rightly be judged by future generations as the greatest failure in the history of humanity, though that failure will be tied to all of us, not just those directly involved in the U.N. negotiation process.”
Yes, “greatest failure in the history of humanity,” as climate sinks the Titanic. With you, me and the other billions, all sharing the blame. Not just Big Oil. Not just Trump’s billionaires. We’re all “sinners” says Pope Francis. Soon it will be all over. Remember Stephen Hawking’s prediction—our planet has only a century or two before a catastrophic ending, before we become’s the next hot new Venus or cool Mars. Either way, our future’s in space!