Year 4, Month 3, Day 19: Ask Not For Whom The Poll Tells, It Polls For Thee

The Island Packet (SC) calls out the state government for trying to bury a report on climate change:

Shelving a report on climate change and its potential impact on South Carolina’s natural resources makes no scientific or political sense for an agency whose purpose is to watch over those resources.

In explaining why the report by a team of scientists wasn’t released for more than a year after it was completed, John Evans, the chairman of the state Department of Natural Resources board, said the report was “for information only” and didn’t require action.

But that’s exactly what the report’s findings do require. The agency charged with overseeing our natural resources should have no higher priority than working to manage and protect those resources in the coming decades.

The report, completed in November 2011 and presented to the board in July 2012, was labeled as a draft, but a foreword from the agency’s former director, John Frampton, stated it was ready for public review. That didn’t happen until The (Columbia) State newspaper got a copy and reported on its contents late last month.

Buncha bed-wetters. March 9:

There is only one reason to shelve a report on climate change’s effect on South Carolina: fear. Now, there are many different sorts of fear. There is that which all of us experience when facing the unknown and potentially very dangerous future awaiting us on a post-greenhouse-effect planet. Who looks forward eagerly to food shortages, resource wars, increasingly severe storms, heat waves, droughts and crumbling infrastructure? It is surely tempting to take a discomfiting document and hide it away where it won’t bother you, and perhaps the state’s Department of Natural Resources was attempting this understandable but obviously doomed-to-fail approach.

But there is another and far less excusable form of timidity. Republican politicians are petrified of offending their tea-party base, for these low-information, high-outrage voters are more sensitive to apostasy than any other constituency in America. To approve a reality-rooted report on climate change’s potential for harm in South Carolina would be politically fatal for these lawmakers, for there is hardly any heresy that more excites conservative indignation than the fact-based, scientifically-grounded analysis of our rapidly worsening climate.

Whether conservative politicians and tea-partiers like it or not, climate change is happening. Cowardice in the face of facts is always, ultimately, a losing strategy.

Warren Senders

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