Year 4, Month 1, Day 26: There Must Be Some Kind Of Way Out Of Here

The Black Hills Pioneer (SD) has an op-ed piece by Bob Mercer, looking at climate change’s effects on the state:

The most important topic missing from political debate in South Dakota is potentially more harmful in the long run than any semi-automatic handgun or AR-style mock-assault rifle.

The topic is climate change. There isn’t a single piece of legislation in the 2013 session that addresses it.

During the 2012 election campaigns for state Public Utilities Commission and U.S. House of Representatives, there was next to zero public discussion beyond the bumper-sticker level.

That was despite the previous involvement in climate-change matters by two of the Democratic candidates, Matt McGovern and Matt Varilek.

McGovern and Varilek, rather than make their cases, dodged political punches from their Republican critics on the topic.

I pulled out the recently published letter to the Honolulu Weekly, adjusted it, and sent it off. Tra la la la. Sent January 19:

South Dakota isn’t alone. People everywhere around the world are discovering that climate change isn’t an abstraction any more, but a life-changing — sometimes life-threatening — fact. Farmers can’t plan if the weather’s too unpredictable; extreme storms will threaten even the most robust infrastructure. Droughts can turn once-fertile land arid and unproductive; island nations may simply disappear as polar ice melts and sea levels rise.

Yet while the climate crisis is transforming lives all over the planet, there’s one place where the consequences of an accelerating greenhouse effect aren’t making any impact at all. In the comfortably air-conditioned chambers of Senate and Congressional Republicans, global warming isn’t a devastating reality, but a liberal hoax. These anti-science conservatives may nominally represent different constituencies, but ultimately they all hail from the same state of denial. Which is bad news for South Dakota — and the rest of the world.

Warren Senders

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