Year 2, Month 3, Day 18: I Know Nuzzink!

The Newberg Graphic (Newberg, OR) runs an op-ed from a guy named Brian Doyle, who speaks considerable sooth on climate issues:

While the political winds blow hot and cold, the climate and the weather it drives are oblivious to politics. Political pronouncements aren’t going to affect the climate any more than they can affect the weather, the tides or sunrise in the morning.
Politicians should be deciding what, if anything, to do about climate change rather than debating or denying scientific facts. Nonetheless, some politicians, their appointees and various talk show hosts have presumed to know more about the earth’s climate than scientists with a lifetime of experience and study. It’s as though controlling the climate was the same as swinging the next election.
It’s one thing to spin or misrepresent a political issue and another thing to alter or ignore physical reality. While political victories are temporary (via death or the ballot box) climate change is permanent and the consequences of misrepresenting it are far more serious than an election’s results or next year’s profits.

So I generated the following. The Semmelweis reference is a new twist. With a little luck, I’ll be able to make it tighter and pithier in subsequent iterations.

Sent March 9:

Assuming that our species makes it through the imminent evolutionary bottleneck posed by runaway climate change, future generations will look back at this moment in history with utter incredulity. How is it possible that our media and our politics — the very systems responsible for informing us about problems and addressing them in a timely and cognizant way — have abdicated their responsibilities so completely? The politicization of every aspect of our national discourse has expanded to include scientific fact, as if physical laws could somehow be negated by the right combination of sound bites and photo-ops. In 1847, when Ignaz Semmelweis discovered that handwashing drastically reduced mortality rates in hospitals, other doctors disregarded him, refusing to believe they’d carried infections from freshly-dissected cadavers to living patients. And hundreds of people died needlessly. When it comes to climate change, today’s Republican politicians and media figures are the philosophical heirs to Semmelweis’ colleagues; easily offended, mentally inflexible, always ready to sacrifice the lives of others rather than admit error.

Warren Senders

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