Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Earth Day: The Old, "If We Don't Talk About This Stuff it Isn't Happening Policy," and Stopping Climate Change Republican Style

 In some places it is Earth Day. It is a time when people are supposed to take notice of and celebrate this little blue ball we call home. It's also a day when many among us take to lecterns in order to talk about climate change and the short and long term consequences of it.

Don't count on that happening in either Florida, or Wisconsin--at least not by any state officials. Last month Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a directive forbidding all state environmental staffers from using the terms, "global warming," and "climate change." Earlier this month their counterparts in Wisconsin were ordered to do the same thing.

That's right, it's the old, if we don't talk about this stuff it isn't happening policy. Count on other places to follow suit, because you can say many thing about right wing politicians but they'll never be accused of not being slaves to fads. Once one of them goes in, like ice coming off the front of a melting glacier, they all go in one right after the other.

It isn't like it hasn't happened before. A Tribune News Service report notes that former Bush official Philip Clooney removed, or altered climate research findings in several reports when they inconveniently disagreed with what people like James Mountain Inhofe were spewing on a daily basis. In addition, 2012 North Carolina legislators, always an enlightened bunch, voted to ignore predictions of the rising sea level when it came to planning development along the state's beaches. In Virginia the legislature voted for a study into the future of the state's shoreline, but only if it didn't include the effects of global warming.

All this nonsense is part of the thickly muddy and amoral right wing psyche. They loathe scientists because as a group scientists don't give a rat's ass about some industrialist's bottom line. On the other hand conservatives do. Big profits mean big donations which lead to all sorts of perks. You know, like fat campaign war chests and fact finding missions that include wives and children to places like Aruba. Scientists also want the federal government to reign in corporations who are pumping mega amounts of pollutants into the air, sea, and ground water . Of course any time you mention the words Washington and regulations people like Inhofe, Cruz, Rubio, and Paul begin, as Kurt Vonnegut once said, "whirling like dervishes while speaking Babylonian." This, despite the fact they're all in Washington right now and, at least, in Inhofe's case, have been for decades.

Of course, republicans in general have a problem with all their scoffing denials of climate change. The GOP base is an ever shrinking population of old white people. In the last presidential election they got their heads handed to them because Hispanics, young people, and women voted for Barack H. Obama by the bucket load. Among Hispanics--where they have another problem--and young people, climate change is a very real concern.

Even a sophomore political science major can tell you it is tough to attract either demographic if you run around claiming, as Ted Cruz has done, that all climate change is bull shit and the people who believe it are, "Flat Earthers."

This conundrum probably explains the sudden admissions of ignorance when it comes to the issue by various GOP hot shots. Florida Senator and presidential candidate, Marco Rubio, has clammed up when it comes global warming. He now answers media questions by tersely saying, "I'm not a scientist." Mitch McConnell recently said exactly the same thing. Indeed, when in need of voters, if you can't say something they'll agree with, mumble any sort of vapid cliche, even if it makes you sound like an complete idiot. Over in the house, Speaker John Boehner was quoted as saying, "I'm not qualified to debate the science over climate change." Well, Mr. Boehner isn't qualified to be the third person in line of presidential succession either, but there his ass is.

All the recent fogginess raises at least one question. If you can't speak to an issue because of your lack of knowledge, or qualifications, then what the hell are you doing voting on regulations which pertain to it? After all that is why there is neutral choice available in both houses. It's called abstain. Well, in truth, we've already visited the answer to that particular query in paragraph five of this post. Please refer to the whole campaign war chest and trips to Aruba thing.

Immigration, women's health care rights, the environment, and even gay marriage are issues any viable republican candidate will have to duck and dodge during the 2016 national election. They're deal breakers for too many voters. Unfortunately by November of next year there will be ample evidence the candidate representing the party of Warren G. Harding had to sell out the middle ground on each of them in order to win the primary season. That's what happens when the nomination process is disproportionately influenced by both the Chock Full O' Nuts wing and the Koch brothers.

Now you know why so many republican state legislators are working as busy as ferrets on meth to make it impossibly difficult for lower income groups and legal immigrants to register and vote. Their working theory is Hillary Clinton and the rest of the democratic bastards can't beat them, if their supporters are shut out of the polls.

In the end, such evil chicanery is the right wing version of--you guessed it--stopping climate change.

sic vita est


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