Year 3, Month 6, Day 28: Greedy Old Plutocrats

The Tulsa World’s Associate Editor, Mike Jones, is a tad shrill, in an article titled, “Can’t We Agree To Do Something About Climate Change?”:

In Virginia, it can’t even be referred to as “climate change.” It is now “recurrent flooding.” That is the term the Virginia Legislature came upon in order to agree to even discuss the problems plaguing that state.

In the last 100 years, the Virginia coast has seen a 14-inch rise in sea level. That, combined with some wicked rain, has caused the flooding. Whether the Virginians eventually settle their squabble and attempt to solve their problems remains to be seen. It does, however, illustrate the problem the entire country has when it comes to “global warming,” “climate change” or “recurrent flooding.” We can’t even decide what we want to call it.

There are two very stubborn sides in this debate. There is the great majority of scientists, including those with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, who believe that the Earth is changing, getting warmer, and believe that humans have something to do with it.

While the phrase “climate change” is very much present in the article, the word “Republican” is not. Funny how that should happen, no? Sent June 17:

Many of the obstacles to “doing something about climate change” are beyond our control: we cannot alter the amount of CO2 already in the atmosphere, the amount of heat our oceans have absorbed, or the laws of physics and chemistry. Other aspects of the problem are solvable — in theory.

In theory, the people who’ve promulgated conspiracies about SUV-confiscating environmentalists could wake up one morning and realize they’ve been duped. In theory, conservative politicians who’ve embraced climate-change denial could recognize that their human (as opposed to corporate) constituents are suffering — and decide to do something about it.

But as Yogi Berra famously said, “In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they’re not.” As long as half of America’s political system is controlled by authoritarians who cannot admit error, the reason for our inability to act on climate change can be summed up in three letters: G.O.P.

Warren Senders

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