Vox Writer: Not 'Radically' Responding to Climate Change Is a 'Moral Crime'

July 11th, 2017 1:39 PM

Climate alarmists regularly claim combating climate change is a moral issue. But some take their hyperbolic rhetoric to new heights.

Vox energy and climate change writer David Roberts unloaded a 21-Tweet rant on July 9, claiming “This generation of humanity is engaged in a moral crime, the scale & consequences of which dwarf anything in our species’ history.”

“We’re doing the worst thing that’s ever been done” he continued. And the only solution is to “act radically, at unprecedented scale & speed.”

Roberts has a long history of extremist views on climate change. In 2006, he slammed climate skeptics, saying “we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg.” He later admitted “it was a horribly stupid & inappropriate thing to say,” but still called climate skepticism “monstrously immoral.”

His most recent late-night tweet-fest was inspired by a nearly 7,200-word New York Magazine article that claimed climate change was “worse than you think.”

“If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible, even within the lifetime of a teenager today,” author David Wallace-Wells proclaimed. He also warned “parts of the Earth will likely become close to uninhabitable” in under 100 years.

“But no matter how well-informed you are, you are surely not alarmed enough,” Wells panicked before predicting “Heat Death,” “The End of Food,” “Climate Plagues,” “Unbreathable Air,” “Perpetual War,” “Permanent Economic Collapse” and “Poisoned Water.”

Even those apocalyptic warnings were not extreme enough for Roberts who tweeted, “The article is horrific enough, but in a sense, it only tells half the story.”

His full rant is below:

"So much more dying is coming." @dwallacewells is superb on our failure to grasp the true danger of climate change. The article is horrific enough, but in a sense, it only tells half the story.

We tend to discuss climate effects by referencing 2100. For obvious reasons, we are extremely keen to know what's going to play out this century, in the live of today's young people. But the changes we've set in motion (and are now furiously accelerating) will not stop in 2100. There's nothing magic about that date.

If we hit 4°C this century, as the piece contemplates, there's a very good chance the heating trend will becoming self-sustaining. In other words, there's a good chance warming will become unstoppable, even absent human carbon emissions. That could mean temps 6, 8, even 10° higher by 2200.

Serious scientists question whether organized global culture can survive 4°. But 10? And it won't stop in 2200 either.

Unless we act radically, at unprecedented scale & speed, to slow or stop the warming process now we will set in motion changes to Earth's basic biophysical systems that will last, from any human perspective, forever.

We will make Earth less diverse, fecund, vibrant, and abundant -- for *all future human beings*. Every single future generation will inherit a plant more hostile to human life & flourishing than the last. It is, quite literally, difficult to contemplate. The spatial & temporal scales are so vast, the numbers so large, our minds rebel.

We lack the intellectual & emotional capacity to take it in, to really imagine it vividly, especially on a collective level. I don't know how to bridge this gap between our planet-shaping might & our still-provincial imaginations. No one does.

In the absence of any clever ideas, all I know to do is just to state it over & over again, as plainly & bluntly as possible: This generation of humanity is engaged in a moral crime, the scale & consequences of which dwarf anything in our species' history.

We are degrading the biophysical foundations upon which all organized human culture rests. No technology can ever replace it. No future generation will be able to undo what we've done. They'll just deal w/ higher seas, more droughts, harsher storms, & conflict.

We know what we are doing. We are capable of stopping. But we are not stopping -- we are still accelerating. We're doing the worst thing that's ever been done & our moral culpability is no less damning for being broadly & unevenly distributed. We all have a share. History will judge us all harshly, I'm afraid. At least as long as there's history.

So. Yeah. Sweet dreams.”