If Congress and the Obama administration fail to find a way for Tea Party conservatives to back out of the current budget stalemate with a shred of their dignity next week, the American economy will suffer a series of self-inflicted catastrophes.
As the reality of the world's most dynamic economy strangled by conservative nihilists sinks in, financial markets abroad will panic, plunging most economies into recession. Trillions will be lost as investors and automated traders attempt to play the downward spiral of the markets to their advantage one last time.
Meanwhile, the annihilation of the environment continues at a pace that guarantees rising sea levels and mass extinction of marine life in the coming decades. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change issued a report this month spotlighting the perilous state of the world's oceans.
The report identifies the retention of excess heat by the oceans as a trigger for increasingly violent storms, the accelerated melting of ice sheets and the most dramatic acidification of the oceans in millions of years.
A study published in Nature this week predicts that by 2047, our century's long addiction to fossil fuels will have ushered in a new global status quo in which the coldest years will be hotter than 2005 -- the hottest year on record. The biggest climate changes will take place in the tropics, not the polar regions, according to the study.
The most optimistic forecast is that it is going to feel like a really hot day in Phoenix everywhere on the planet by 2071. You don't have to be Bill Nye the Science Guy to understand that such excessive heat will disrupt the global food chain and make dwindling supplies of drinkable water the most precious commodity on the planet.
Unless there is some unforeseen revolution in our economic and spiritual values, governments will topple from the combination of environmental pressures and political fury aimed at the world's ruling elites caused by scarcity in everything. Drought, pollution and epidemics on the scale of the Black Death will go a long way in reducing the world's population.
It is anyone's guess how many wars will be fought between the last vestiges of governments and mega corporations over water and land still capable of growing food in the waning decades of this century.
If this scenario sounds a lot like a secular version of the Book of Revelations, you can bet the crazies in the House of Representatives currently holding a gun to the head of the American economy have picked up on that, too.
Recently, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., stated with all the authority that comes with being wrong about absolutely everything she's ever said, that we're living in the "End Times." Her less than subtle hint that she's a soldier in a proxy war against the forces of evil goes a long way in shedding light on the politics of the Tea Party. It is a movement with an apocalyptic religious subtext.
Forty percent of Americans, mostly religious and political conservatives, believe we're living in the "End Times," according to a recent survey by the religious-oriented Barna Group. A high percentage of those would believe that President Barack Obama is either the Antichrist or his evil "hype man" -- a being of quasi-religious authority fundamentalists call the False Prophet.
The recent calamities in Syria and the upsurge in terrorism around the globe have convinced many American religious and political conservatives that something extraordinary is happening and that evil has been unleashed in the land.
Ironically, these folks, including their representatives in Congress, have gotten a reputation for skepticism about climate change and the environmental degradation to come if current levels of greenhouse emissions continue.
It's not that Ms. Bachmann and her ilk believe secular scenarios about looming disasters in the future are false. They believe predictions about our dark future are true enough, sure, but only to the extent that they resemble the Bible's prophecies -- which is why they want to help usher in these disasters with their politics of anarchy and extreme free markets.
They want to force Jesus, the Ultimate Cosmic Dawdler, to hurry up with His too-long-delayed Second Coming. These doomsday politicos and their terrified constituents fully expect to be whisked away from Earth long before the fracking water caused by years of political malpractice begin gushing fire from the faucets of their heavily armed suburban compounds.
They believe in climate change and every other disaster, all right. They simply have another name for it -- God's judgment. And they can't wait for it to fall all over you.tonynorman
Tony Norman: firstname.lastname@example.org, 412-263-1631 or on Twitter @TonyNormanPG. First Published October 10, 2013 8:00 PM