Friday, December 23, 2011

Climate Change is not a political issue, but in the US it is


There’s no way Climate Change is not political in the US. Not only have the extreme wing of the Republican party robbed the party of a coherent position on the science of Climate Change, the present GOP Presidential candidates haven’t a clue as to how to please their money-backers and talk to the media about Climate Change at all.

Word is that the GOP has been told not to talk to the press about Climate Change, except to say the regulators (like the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)) are a job-killer. Ouch! Those Republicans can really sling a slur against sanity. Dutifully, we who understand Climate Change and science have to say that the Republic Party produced Presidents like Teddy Roosevelt and Richard Nixon who did much to preserve and protect our environment. (OK, I just did that.)

But now things are getting dire. We just had a string of loony presidential candidate debates where the mainstream media barely mentioned Climate Change. And what was said was, well…. Loony:

Top 5 Craziest Things GOP Contenders Said on Climate in 2011 | ThinkProgress Sure, the extremist wing of the GOP has been saying crazy things about climate for a while (see Rep. Shimkus: “Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a flood”). But the anti-science wing is now in charge (see John Boehner says on ABC: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical”). And it has been able to make climate craziness a litmus test for the Presidency. (December 20, 2011)  Top 5 Craziest Things GOP Contenders Said on Climate in 2011 | ThinkProgress

The public should not be sitting back and letting this circus on denial on the most important issue of our century play on. The public, the public who reads the news, buys subscriptions, add comments to newspapers, and turns on the boob tube (as we children of the sixties used to call TV) should demand that the news agencies grill all presidential candidates on Climate Change. Either that or we should turn our attention to media who is able to focus on the fact that the US might elect a President who doesn’t understand Climate Change.

Here’s what the media should be asking:

  • What is the next president going to do about the new agreements in the next Climate Change talks?
  • What is the next president going to do with all their authorities’ reports on addressing Climate Change in our country? Are they going to ignore, for example, what the Fish and Wildlife Service says that has to be done to save our wildlife? Check out: Rising to the Urgent Challenge Strategic Plan for Responding to Accelerating Climate Change | US Fish and Wildlife service
  • What is the next president going to do to educate the public on the enormous amount of money is it is going to take to adapt our transportation, telecommunications, and wastewater infrastructures so they aren’t flooded by the increase in extreme weather coming down the tubes?

The absurd position that we cannot talk about Climate Change and politics in the same sentences and paragraphs is a crazy social quirk in the US. This is exactly how we should be talking about Climate Change. We need to move away from this:

“In the United States an individual’s partisan affiliation is the most important determinant of their views on the existence of global warming, with Democrats significantly more likely than Republicans to believe that the Earth is warming” Climate Compared: Public Opinion on Climate Change in the United States & Canada February 2011

This isn’t just sad; it has to change if we are to be a functional nation. The US exists on this planet with other nations and other nations are either addressing climate change without us or getting annoyed at us for doing little. Without getting political, the US must inject Climate Change into our national presidential debates or we the people are going to get robbed of a future.

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