So Keith is redoubling down. He goes after Coby for suggesting that climate change is a factor in Egypt. In doing so he points approvingly to what appears to me to be a sound piece of conventional wisdom, wherein Bryan McDonald says that bad weather leading to increased food prices was a factor in the recent, amazing events in the middle east.
Well, yes. How does that refute the idea that climate change was a factor leading to that bad weather, and thus involved in those events?
It doesn’t. Every word McDonald says can be true without contradicting the point made by Joe Romm and affirmed by others including myself and Coby Beck. Climate change is a factor.
Then in lawyerlike fashion Keith goes after an alternative attack. “Global warming helps end tyranny. Finally, a silver lining to runaway climate change!”
Let’s get this clear: first of all, despite the very inspiring events of the last couple of weeks, Egypt is far from out of the woods yet. Secondly, the fact that this is the straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, doesn’t mean it was good news just because it was a bad camel. Obviously, I’d think.
Let me stipulate that Egypt is not “a climate change story” in the sense that climate change should be a primary element in the day-to-day reporting. But that is not to say it won’t be an element in the history of our time. It is perfectly reasonable to raise the Egyptian story in the context of climate change even if it is unreasonable to raise climate change in the context of the Egyptian story. I am a bit baffled by Keith’s adamant refusal to see that anthropogenic climate change may already be a factor in human history. It’s as if climate change were in a little box by itself. But that’s the exact opposite of what we are facing, because, well, because every single thing that happens in human history happens in this nitrogen/oxygen/trace gas soup that we are stirring around.
As an aside, it is interesting to consider how events might have transpired if someone less competent than Mr. Obama had been US president at the time. Via Daily Dish:
“We are witnessing a complete seismic shift in the direction of the world away from freedom,” Pamela Geller told Andy Kroll at CPAC, where he says Mubarak’s resignation has “barely made a ripple.”
Fascinating. Practically the entire population of Egypt has stood up to the authorities at risk of life and limb to demand that their freedoms be taken away. A first in human history, I suspect.