We lost back in 1989, when the American Petroleum Institute fired up the global warming denial industry. It's easier to be against something than for anything in a country used to getting screwed by its ruling elite, to whom profit trumps life, especially when it's in something as lucrative as oil, irreplaceable as an energy source and profit center.
Trump won because the Koch's worked out a deal when the Trump campaign ran out of money (I suppose) and the Cabinet nominees were chosen by the Heritage Institute, one of the political inventions of the Koch brothers. Trump is the Koch brothers' puppet.
That's because the Kochs have invested $100 Billion in the Canadian tar sands and they want their profit if it kills the planet down to the bacterial level. Profit trumps life. Charlie Koch said exactly that.
What's especially hard to swallow is that the Sixth Mass Extinction, already destroying habitat at a frightening rate, so that 50% of the wildlife that was here in 1980 is extinct, has had a name for 100 years or so, Our species has been driving Others of our life system extinct since we started walking erect. Make desert out of paradise and move on.
Global warming and climate change are elements of a system: the SME. The life system is allowing (some say it's overpowered) humans (the sole drivers of the SME) to extinct themselves or change enough of their population to stop the SME, or at least slow it down.
We humans are one of the large mammals who had a fighting chance if we changed fast enough to get out in front of the SME, but then Obama swept into Copenhagen, took over the choice-making process, and came out with a pathetic agreement that doomed life on this planet, maybe the entire life system if, say, methane gets concentrated enough to burst into a ball of flame engulfing the planet. Then he saw what his legacy was about to have hung on it and used the last of his last administration to apply cosmetics and PR to mask the fact that he, the last person with a chance of averting the worst of the SME, had done nothing but get the renewable energy train rolling about climate change. The White House told me that their (the retread Clinton hands who swarmed the White House as soon as the Obamas moved in) response to climate change (which itself is less than a pathetic view of the SME barreling down on us) would be renewable energy because that's what they felt like they had the political capital to pull off. They did great on that count but it was incremental politics and it sealed the fate of life on Earth because the Clinton hands thought saving humanity from the SME wasn't as important as fixing the economy. So, thanks to myopic bit of political navel gazing and hijacking the process in Copenhagen, the entire life system was screwed worse than it was in 1989. It would take an effort that dwarfs the WWII mobilization to take the SME down enough to perhaps let humans survive, sort of, in the Hell on Earth we left our posterity for perhaps a few hundred years but perhaps thousands. Large mammals will get the shitty end of that stick because Americans especially still believe they are, by God's grace I guess, exceptions to the Laws of Thermodynamics.
So there you have it. That's where our planet, our life system, our biodiversity, our species sits, with a tiny minority who knows what the SME is and what it means who have nothing like enough political power to cause that mobilization that would leave some of us alive in a Hell on Earth but alive.
That's because the ruling elite refused to convert to a parliamentary form of government to replace the winner take all mess that got us here, with money totally running, and ruining, the planet, because profit (as capital growth) trumps life.
Meanwhile, the US population labors in a mess of identity politics, with women, black people, athiests, etc. using their political capital to advocate for themselves while the planet surrenders to the SME at a rate of more than 100 species per day. This country ratified the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and no one has forced the elites to waste a single breath on human rights. Jimmy Carter did, and that's most of why he was a one-term president. No one has, since then, because it's morning in America.
Someone said that the price of education was high, but the price of ignorance is beyond counting. Ignorance guaranteed what we will experience in the time ahead, with a petty dictator wannabe the world's most powerful person.
When will we leave our comfort zones in a status quo from Hell spawning more Hell and change lifestyles in local economies with functional community and the knowledge of the future that causes local outposts to survive what we, the people allowed Massa to do to life - in our names.