Hot future now

Way hotter than peppers.

Way hotter than peppers.

(Come friend Aunt Ruthie on Facebook and let’s hang out.)

As mentioned here two weeks ago, Generation X is stepping back from the climate-change discussion—it’s too complex, according to a survey by University of Michigan. Science is like that, which is why many of us choose to wear electric guitars instead of lab coats. Still, sometimes even climate change is simple, fitting into a grocery list:

• Richard Muller, well-known climate-change skeptic, concluded in a report funded by the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation (yep, that Koch) “that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.”

Bill McKibben, noted climate-change activist, reported in Rolling Stone last month and in an interview with Living on Earth that while most agree we must limit the increase in global warming to 2 degrees Celsius—limiting carbon emissions to 565 gigatons total—“the really scary one for me in this piece is the amount of carbon that [is amassed by] the fossil fuel companies … in their reserves … [is] about five times more … that we could safely burn.” Who will stop an oil company from making a profit when it’s just there waiting for them?

• James Hansen, NASA’s prescient climatologist, wrote in The Washington Post on August 3: “I was too optimistic … for the extreme hot weather of the recent past, there is virtually no explanation other than climate change. … The future is now. And it is hot.”

• Who is advising Mitt Romney on energy issues? “Bush-era energy-policy wonks are finding a new home with Mitt Romney” reports Politico. ThinkProgress reports that Romney’s chief energy adviser is the oil-shale billionaire Harold Hamm; Jack Gerard, “top oil lobbyist in the country as president of the American Petroleum Institute” is “rumored to be on the list” for Romney’s chief of staff; Jim Talent lobbies for the one of the largest coal companies, Peabody Energy, and wrote a chapter for Romney’s economic plan calling to amend the Clean Air Act to exclude carbon emissions. Hum-ditty.

• The New York Times wrote recently that President Barack Obama is once commanding cash advantage has evaporated, leaving Romney with about $25 million more cash on hand than the Democrats at the beginning of July.”

Complex? Nah. Auntie Ruth could draw this for you with three crayons and a paper towel. The future is now. And it is hot.