Month 7, Day 24: Half as Tired, Twice As Infuriated

Gosh. Who knew that it was environmental groups that are to be blamed for the failure of climate legislation?

Dear President Obama —

I was prepared to write a letter expressing a modicum of sympathy for your administration after climate legislation failed to make it to the Senate floor. But what did I find when I caught up on the news this morning? An unnamed “administration official” blaming environmentalists, saying that groups like the Environmental Defense Fund “weren’t able to get a single Republican convert on the bill.”

Well. That’s certainly going to motivate the base.

Instead of blaming the people who have been pushing day and night to get the best bill possible, who have been donating, calling, writing and working — why don’t you blame the people who are actually to blame: the Republicans? With a strategy of calculated obstructionism, these political nihilists have carried out the wishes of their financial masters in the corporate sector — the planet be damned.

For one of your officials to attribute this defeat to a failure on the part of environmental groups is a disgusting, demoralizing and infuriating abdication of responsibility on the part of this administration. I would point out that Harry Reid’s inability to get members of his own caucus even to agree on a cloture vote has far more to do with a climate bill’s failure than the EDF’s inability to persuade Republican Senators to vote against their short-term political interests.

I’ve been a Democrat all my life; my family is through-and-through Democrat — and make no mistake, I’m going to be working all-out to get Democrats elected this fall. But it’s sure as hell not because I have a lot of confidence in my party and its ability to do the right thing. We elected you to help turn this dysfunctional political system around, and we have been working as hard as we can to support you.

To have one of your officials deprecate our efforts in public is to spit in the faces of those who care the most.

Credit where credit is due; blame where blame is due.

Yours Bitterly,

Warren Senders

Month 7, Day 23: Tired & Angry. How ’bout You?

It’s very late. I’ve been cleaning the house all night…leaving for Toronto tomorrow mid-morning, where I will help celebrate my father’s 90th birthday…and meet up with my wife & daughter, who are at this moment flying back from two months in India.

My fury at the Senate’s abandonment of climate legislation is muted by my exhaustion. Usually I write this letter about 11:40 at night; I’m two hours behind. The Wall Street Journal ran an article about it, so I sent them a screed on the media’s failure to do its job. Think they’ll print it?

The failure of the US Senate to move forward on meaningful climate legislation represents the continued triumph of ignorance in our country — a triumph enabled by our news media. The scientific consensus is overwhelming that climate change is real, it’s dangerous, and it’s caused by humans. But the spurious doctrine of false equivalency requires that any climate scientist must be “balanced” by an opposing voice — actual fact-based reporting be damned. This is a sad day for America and a sad day for the world. Global warming’s effects are real and they are only going to get worse: more storms, more droughts, more displaced populations, more shattered ecosystems. By procrastinating (again!) on this most important of all issues, our senators demonstrate that short-term political exigencies count for more than the long-term good of the nation and the planet. Shame on them, and shame on the media which has abdicated its responsibility.

Warren Senders