A Man for no Seasons (literally): Bush is no More

scofield.jpegPaul Scofield, who won an Academy award playing Sir Thomas More in one of my favorite movies, died this week. Scofield was brilliant as More, “the ultimate man of conscience.” The movie title comes from a 1520 description:

“More is a man of an angel’s wit and singular learning. I know not his fellow. For where is the man of that gentleness, lowliness and affability? And, as time requireth, a man of marvelous mirth and pastimes, and sometime of as sad gravity. A man for all seasons.”

President Bush is, obviously, no More. He is much, much less. He is a man for no seasons — literally. If we end up with atmospheric CO2 concentrations above 800 ppm, then Bush will deserve a great deal of blame credit. In such a harsh world, all the seasons will merge into one, or rather none. American Heritage provides the origin of the word “season”:

Middle English, from Old French seison, from Latin sati, satin-, act of sowing, from satus, past participle of serere, to plant.

Well, the planet won’t be doing bloody much planting if Bush and the delayers have their way. As a 2006 Hadley Center study concluded, if we continue unrestrained greenhouse gas emissions: “One third of the planet will be desert by the year 2100” and half the planet will experience moderate drought.

Not many seasons in the desert. Thomas More, of course, wrote Utopia — indeed, he coined that term. Bush and the delayers are trying to write a very different story, titled Dystopia. We must not let them succeed.

10 Responses to A Man for no Seasons (literally): Bush is no More

  1. Paul K says:

    Remembering Paul Scofield and A Man for All Seasons is appropriate today. The scenes of More, logician and theologian, matching wits and character with the powerful King really inspire. We call him Saint Thomas More. He is, like Augustine and Aquinas, one of the intellectual giants.

    If we end up with atmospheric CO2 concentrations above 800 ppm, the blame will fall on Democratic radical obstructionists and corn to ethanol interests – Durbin, Scheumer, Harken, Reid and Boxer for example.

    St. Thomas might cite this post as an example of argument by hyperbole.

  2. Joe says:

    I think you mean conservative radical obstructionists. Democrats are almost unanimous in their support of strong climate action and clean energy and all the things you propose. For decades, as I have blogged many times, conservatives have cut clean energy R&D programs, tax credits, and deployment programs while blocking domestic and international action on climate.

    Corn ethanol (sadly) has bipartisan support — just look at the 2005 Energy Bill.

  3. Paul K says:

    While the progressives’ indictment of Bush is, on all issues, pretty much the same, the politics of the nation moves on. Democratic congressional strategy during the Bush years may have brought narrow political advantage but has advanced neither its own agenda nor that of the nation. It may bite them in November when they figure out that George Bush isn’t running and McCain is not George Bush. How petty and foolish to call McCain “McBush” while in high dudgeon condemning the mere saying of Obama’s actual name as dirty and possibly racist. People in this country are fed up with negative campaigning. In both party primaries, voters rejected the negative. Polls show that as Clinton and Obama grow increasingly combative, McCain rises in popularity. There is no doubt that if Clinton wins she will campaign negatively. McCain and Obama are popular because they are perceived as not being negative campaigners.

  4. Sam says:

    Your quote calls Thomas More “the ultimate man of conscience,” but the link you provide also says this: “For More, heresy was a disease, a threat to the peace and unity of both church and society. His early actions against the Protestants included aiding Cardinal Wolsey in preventing Lutheran books from being imported into England. He also assisted in the production of a Star Chamber edict against heretical preaching. . . . As Lord Chancellor, More had six Lutherans burned at the stake and imprisoned as many as forty others.

  5. David B. Benson says:

    I wish people would not call the current crop of Repugs (together with a few DINOs) conservative. They are radicals of the worst, most distructive, kind.

  6. Paul K says:

    “Repugs” is exactly the kind of overly partisan adolescent viciousness voters are rejecting. Proceed at your own risk.

  7. Joe says:

    Sam — I guess they left that out of the play.

  8. Danny Bloom says:

    RE: “Sam — I guess they left *that* out of the play.”

    Yeh, religious types, even men for all seasons who become Broadway plays and Hollywood dramas, even saviors and false messiahs and prophets …. we don’t always get the whole story, the whole cloth, about their various “achievements”. Religion, sad to say, has been one of humankind’s strangest inventions. Thomas Moore as well. What they do in the name of one “god”, they also do to annihilate the other “gods” of others.

    I also loved that movie when it first came out. Still do. And I’m Jewish!

  9. Dave Romm says:

    @Paul K

    It’s past funny to pathetic to hear a conservative whiner complain about someone else’s “overly partisan adolescent viciousness”. This is exactly what Newt Gingrich wanted for the Republican party in 1978, and defines the hate radio of Rush Limbaugh, John Hagee and Ann Coulter, and is the sole mode for many in the right-wing blogosphere.

    Climate change has been an important issue for decades, and it’s been the extremists on the right who have made the debate into a sphincter-tightening round of name calling.

    Some voters are turned off by it; most are now simply inured. In either event, you need to take a hard look in a mirror before you regain any credibility.

  10. Paul K says:

    Dave Romm,
    Only the blindly partisan would consider recommending civility in political discourse whining. But I encourage you to continue to wallow in the mud if it makes you feel superior as each bit of Democratic incivility will push more voters to McCain.