Are We Garden-Variety Fucked, Or Are We Massively, Irrevocably, Royally Fucked?

Do pardon my French, but have you heard the latest on climate change and methane?

It’s been predicted for years, and now it’s happening. Deep in the Arctic Ocean, water warmed by climate change is forcing the release of methane from beneath the sea floor.

Or perhaps you didn’t catch this bit of news from MIT back in May?

The most comprehensive modeling yet carried out on the likelihood of how much hotter the Earth’s climate will get in this century shows that without rapid and massive action, the problem will be about twice as severe as previously estimated six years ago – and could be even worse than that.

Think geoengineering will save us?  Think again:

Even without global warming, reducing CO2 emissions is needed to do the best we can to save the ocean. The costs of this continuing damage to the planet, which geoengineering will do nothing to address, are ignored…

What has already been accurately called the gravest environmental threat ever faced by humanity becomes understood to be an even bigger threat on an almost daily basis.

This is why some people think the deep-bore tunnel is a spectacularly bad idea.  And this is also why those who are concerned about the threat of climate change should immediately get 100 percent behind Mike McGinn for Mayor of Seattle.

McGinn’s challenger Joe Mallahan gives all the expected generic lip service to climate change, but as far as I know has no record of being directly engaged in any of the relevant issues.  In contrast, McGinn has already demonstrated bold vision on climate change, not least with his consistent opposition to a 2-mile long greenhouse gas generator known as the deep-bore tunnel.

In 2007 McGinn helped lead the Seattle Chapter of the Sierra Club to oppose the “Roads and Transit” package because it funded massive road expansion that would have led to increased greenhouse gas emissions from cars, and also would have catalyzed the development of more car-dependent sprawl.   (The Sierra Club has a long history of research on the environmental impact of land-use patterns—check out their excellent Healthy Growth Calculator.)

Given the tough challenge from Mallahan that McGinn likely faces, I have a humble request for all of you out there who understand the critical importance of creating sustainable cities in order to combat climate change:  It’s time to stop all the typical liberal-style nit-picking and equivocating and get solidly united behind McGinn.  Now.  And all you enviros and alternative transportation advocates who endorsed Nickels, assuming you’re not down with Mallahan, it’s time to show your unqualified support for McGinn.  Now.  Please?

The City of Seattle—not to mention the entire country—desperately needs strong, visionary leadership on climate change.   Yes, McGinn is an unproven politician, but on my estimation, he has unmatched potential to emerge as powerful change agent, and to give Seattle the kick in the butt it needs to become better than just pretty good on climate change—to elevate Seattle to the position of international leader, rather than one of many among the pack of national leaders.   Bold political leadership on climate change is not coming from anywhere else in the State of Washington these days.  The Mayor may not have direct control over State highways or the Metro bus system, but change has to start somewhere.

And if McGinn is going to be accused of being a one-issue candidate, well, if that one issue is climate change we all should be grateful for it.