(Tom Toles)

After close to three decades of ignoring and/or actively subverting climate science, conservatives have finally been forced to acknowledge the face-lashing climate facts that are now afflicting the planet.  The accumulating evidence of melting glaciers, drought, record wildfires, rising oceans and devastating flooding, has finally dislodged the permafrost  position conservatives have clung to on climate science.

It is the watershed moment of retreat on this issue, which has seen an ever-quickening tap dance of clever positions, from ‘there isn’t any evidence’, to ‘climate change will be a good thing’, to ‘scientists are all corrupt and actively perpetrating a worldwide conspiracy’.

But let’s ‘pause’ and take special note of the crucial point the article concedes. “First, we should acknowledge the science as we know it today. Greenhouse gases absorb and redirect longer-wavelength radiation, but not shorter-wavelength radiation. When radiation from the sun hits the earth, some of it is absorbed by the land and the sea, which are consequently warmed by the energy. As a result, when the earth re-emits the sun’s radiation in the form of heat, it is disproportionately of the lower-energy, longer-wavelength sort that the greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2) foremost among them, trap or send back to earth. Thus, more carbon-dioxide emissions lead to a hotter planet.” Well what do you know? And guess what? THIS WAS ALL KNOWN 30 YEARS AGO. Nice for people to just acknowledge it now.

The next move of the obstructionists is the obvious one, to try to bog the discussion down in a morass of policy detail and diversion, and the linked article is a perfect example of what to expect. Read through all the handwaving and the bottom line is clear: No carbon tax. Which of course has been the bottom line on this subject from the beginning.

And what is offered as an alternative? Get ready to laugh until you cry, because here it is: “…our best option might be to adapt to a slightly warmer world. Trees and reflective paint are proven to cool urban areas substantially. There are likely other adaptations to be made.”

Of course this pathetic little whimper will not stand up long, but it may stand up long enough to put the world further into the grave we’ve been digging for ourselves.

But the key concession has been made. We have been creating climate change. It’s time to actually work to stop it.