It’s Always Worse Than They Thought

By Bill Maher

When you follow the news for a living, one of the things you get used to seeing is headlines that global warming -- far from being revealed as a hoax thrust upon us by Al Gore, corrupt climate scientists, and the international socialist movement (the prevailing theory in right-wing world, and I'm not joking) -- is actually looking like its previous estimates have been too low, sometimes way too low, and that it's happening much faster than experts thought it was. So, after seeing so many of these headlines over the last year or two, around Christmas I figured I'd start collecting them every time I saw one just to see if it was my imagination. To be fair, I also tried to collect any stories that suggested that the effects of global warming had been overstated.

Now, I don't imagine I saw every story on global warming, or perused every study. But of the ones that made headlines over the last month or two, here is what I saw:

Scientists Report Faster Warming in Antarctica

Light Absorption Speeding Arctic Ice Melt

US Roasts to Hottest Year On Record by Landslide

Andean Glaciers Melting at "Unprecedented" Rates: Study

"I Got it Wrong on Climate Change--it's Far, Far Worse"

...Encouraging, isn't it?

Now, President Obama says he wants to do something about this. And I wish him well. Because it's the policy problem from hell. First of all, it requires global action and agreement. Second of all, the hardest hit regions will be the poor ones by the equator, and the regions at the poles, not the rich countries in between. It's also a slow-moving problem. It's also one that's got a very well-funded opposition to doing anything about it. It also asks people to change their lifestyles, perhaps in meddlesome ways. Also, it's going to be really expensive to fix. What's not to like?

Additionally, Obama probably can't act without Republican help. But Republicans, and almost universally, reject the idea that global warming is even real. And the ones that don't are too afraid of being primaried to speak out. So, what is Obama going to do? And if Obama can't do anything, what are the Chinese going to do? What's India going to do? Nothing.

It's times like these I'm glad I don't have kids. I don't know how the rest of you do it.