Joe Romm of Climate Progress has an important piece today about Obama's challenge and what his legacy will be based on the ecological disasters that face him (namely, the BP Gulf oil-gusher and catastrophic climate change). And Romm notes that the gusher is the lessor of the two in overall impact to humanity.
First, he asks what can the government do once the damage is done?
But even more unfortunate for Obama is that in spite of BP’s incompetence, nobody really knows how to stop the mile-deep undersea volcano (other than drilling a relief well, which takes many weeks). And nobody knows how to clean it up. Independent experts calculate that BP may be spewing the equivalent of the Exxon Valdez disaster ever few days. As Robert Brulle, a professor of Public Health at Drexel University and 20-year Coast Guard veteran, has noted, “With a spill of this magnitude and complexity, there is no such thing as an effective response.”
And the problem humanity faces is even worse than what is happening in the Gulf if we do not do something about cutting the use of carbon-based energy.
Scientists have been saying the consequences of significantly more volatile weather will create havoc for our would. And as Romm says, the torrential rains in Tennessee in the beginning of May (worse than the hurricane deluge that hit New Orleans during Katrina) are absolutely signs of what is coming.
Our world is already changing. Our choice now is on how much we can keep the changes less catastrophic by doing something about our misuse of carbon-based energy. There really is no more time to waste.