Month 2, Day 12: A Fan Letter to (Who Else?) Rachel Maddow

If you haven’t watched Rachel Maddow explaining why a day or two of heavy snow doesn’t mean that global warming is a lie, you owe it to yourself. Take ten minutes and savor her graceful, clear and funny exercise in truth-telling:

I get a little worn down from constantly chastising the denialist idiots in our media and politics, which made writing a letter of thanks to Rachel Maddow a huge pleasure. Note that I offer her the analogy I used in yesterday’s letter — perhaps she’ll use it sometime. That would be a moment to savor.

Dear Rachel Maddow — I write to thank you for your genuine journalistic integrity on the subject of climate change. The issue of global warming and the devastating consequences to Earth’s capacity to support humanity (and the web of life upon which we all depend) are obscured by highly paid denialists, and our media almost without exception refuse to address the subject with respect for scientific method and integrity. Instead, the professional pundits hew to a doctrine of false equivalency in which two contradictory statements are given “equal time,” regardless of their actual truth or falsehood.

Which makes your show of February 10 a landmark by any standards. Your ability to explain the sometimes counterintuitive concepts behind climate change is virtually unique in the world of broadcast journalism; while I’m glad you’re doing what you’re doing, it’s a tragedy that you’re virtually the only person in broadcast journalism who’s doing it.

Thanks to an ADD-afflicted media and an utterly mendacious opposition party, the number of Americans who don’t believe climate change is happening has increased; fewer and fewer of our population are ready to address these problems head-on, and that’s making a terrifying and dystopian future for our grandchildren and their grandchildren in turn. Please keep highlighting climate issues. There is nothing more important for America and the world in the long run, for if we get this one wrong, there won’t be any chance for a “do-over.” You reach millions of people each day, and your calm and careful voice inspires confidence — while your readiness to skewer liars and hypocrites inspires trust.

At the beginning of 2010, I made a resolution to write a letter a day to politicians and/or media on climate-change issues. My daughter is five years old; I want her to grow up in a world rich in nature’s possibilities, a world where humanity’s accomplishments are not vitiated by our endless production of toxic trash. Most of my letters are scolding ones, for there is a lot of scolding that has to be done. Every so often, though, I get to write a letter like this one — thanking someone for doing the simple but difficult work of telling the truth. It is a pleasure to see you doing what you do. I hope you do it for a long time to come.

Let me close by offering you an analogy that I used in a recent letter addressing the same idiocy you discussed on your February 10th broadcast: the idea that heavy snow disproves global climate change. Perhaps you’ll be able to use it sometime. I wrote: “To say a freak snowstorm disproves the reality of global climate change is as misguided as saying the swollen belly of a starving child disproves the reality of world hunger.”

My daily letters often feel like shouting into a hurricane; your voice is a crucial one. Thank you again for your important work. Don’t give up!

Yours sincerely,

Warren Senders

P.S. – Thanks also for your devastating takedown of James Inhofe. That man gives dishonesty and hypocrisy a bad name.

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