Day 21: To The Medford Transcript

Because they’re more likely to publish it.

Today’s SCOTUS decision comes like a kick in the teeth after Tuesday’s slap in the face. I have a faint, vague fluttering of hope that the President will do or say something that helps in next weeks State of the Union address. But that’s a pretty faint fluttering.

The SC’s ruling was the theme around which this letter was built. Short, sweet, sad.

The Supreme Court’s decision to deregulate corporate spending on elections will have far-reaching effects on our nation’s politics, and hence on the world’s progress in overcoming the threats posed by catastrophic climate change. Compared to the amount Exxon (for example) spends every year on advertising, the total cost of a national election is a drop in the bucket; corporate speech will dominate our political discourse for decades to come. Say goodbye to the few remaining scraps of genuine political debate. Say goodbye to effective citizen advocacy. Worst of all, say goodbye to the few lone voices of scientific fact trying desperately to call our attention to a looming climate disaster. Because corporate behavior is statutorily focused on short-term profit, outcomes a decade or a century from now are irrelevant. Do worst-case climate scenarios predict Venus-like conditions on Earth within a few centuries? “Who cares? Let’s elect the politicians who’ll maximize our Return on Investment!” This would be an obviously non-partisan issue were it not for the fact that the entire Republican party is utterly and completely in the thrall of corporate interests, and will block any attempts at reform — even when they are obviously in the best interests of the nation as a whole. Not to mention the planet.

Warren Senders

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