When it comes to global warming, Esquire’s Charles Pierce implies, it’s now conservative Republicans and a few hidebound Democrats versus pretty much everyone and everything else, including the world’s non-human animals and its plant life.
Pierce contended in a Monday post that after the Paris climate agreement, “ignorance is no longer an excuse. What that means is that, on the world stage, anyway, you can't duck your responsibility because you're ‘not a scientist.’ Hereafter, anyone who denies the basic science of climate change, or who stands athwart the attempts to resolve the crisis, is cast as a traitor to his species, and to all the others as well.”
From Pierce’s post (bolding added):
[T]he very fact of the treaty itself is cause for celebration. At the very least, some people got together and talked the Earth and its people—and, perhaps, even their politicians, although I expect no miracles—off the ledge, for the moment, anyway. The representatives of the world's governments got together and agreed that the climate crisis is real and that is largely caused by human beings who burn fossil fuels. What that means is that ignorance is no longer an excuse. What that means is that, on the world stage, anyway, you can't duck your responsibility because you're "not a scientist." Hereafter, anyone who denies the basic science of climate change, or who stands athwart the attempts to resolve the crisis, is cast as a traitor to his species, and to all the others as well. If you don't think that's a big deal, then watch the way this treaty is discussed on Tuesday night at the next Republican presidential debate…
I am not looking forward to how this agreement is going to be received by the current management of the United States Congress. Neither am I looking forward to what's going to happen to it once it gets dumped into the woodchipper of a presidential campaign in which many of the candidates are wholly owned subsidiaries of the very industries this agreement most directly affects…But the world and its leaders are on record now in agreement that the most cataclysmic "economic consequence" of all is waking up one morning and finding your corporate headquarters under water.
Also on Monday, New York magazine’s Jonathan Chait opined that the Paris deal was “probably the [Obama] administration’s most important accomplishment…Action to mitigate climate change has an urgency nothing else can match,” and discussed it in world-historical terms:
It is hard to find any important accomplishment in history that completely solved a problem. The Emancipation Proclamation only temporarily and partially ended slavery; the 13th Amendment was required to abolish it permanently, and even that left many former slaves in a state of terrorized peonage closely resembling their former bondage. The Lend-Lease Act alone did not ensure Great Britain would survive against Nazi Germany; the Normandy invasion did not ensure the liberation of Europe. Victories are hardly ever immediate or complete. The fight continues and history marches on. The climate agreement in Paris should take its place as one of the great triumphs in history.