Month 11, Day 6: It’s Always A Good Day When I Discover a Good Word

Business Week runs a short AP squib on a plea from the UN Conference on Food Security, asking that the potentially devastating impact of climate change on agricultural systems be taken into account in developing a meaningful climate treaty.

This letter introduces a new and useful word: veriphobia. It means “fear of truth.” Use it in good health.

The message from the UN Conference on Food Security inadvertently provides an excellent illustration of the extraordinary disconnect between reality and the Republican Party. The actual facts show conclusively that climate change is real, it’s causing huge damage already, and it’s going to have a devastating effect on agriculture all over the world. But the facts are no longer relevant to today’s GOP, which is deeply invested in an irrationally anti-science ideology built entirely on opposition to ideas or policies suggested by its political opponents. Does anyone think it’s likely that Republican politicians (even those from farming states which will bear the brunt of global warming’s effects over the next century) will acknowledge or accommodate the needs of climate-threatened farming nations? To do so (alas for the rest of us) would threaten these veriphobic denialists with a terrifying fate: having to admit error.

Warren Senders

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