I am fortunate enough to have a more or less monthly column in my local newspaper, the Morgan Hill Times. In a Green Talk submitted for publication on Nov. 30, I explain why I see the future of climate action to be at the local level, since Tea Party backed Republicans are pledged to ignore reality in favor of a near religious zeal to destroy all environmental controls that impinge on either personal or corporate freedom to screw the rest of us. Click Read more! for full column. In my previous column, I asked our three mayoral candidates to answer a few questions regarding their attitudes about climate change. On the basis of those answers, I came to the conclusion that only one, Steve Tate, was perceptive enough to deserve my vote. Even if your reasons were not the same as mine, thankfully enough of you agreed on that choice to re-elect Mayor Tate.
Yet, this goes against the prevailing voter response for most of America. In state after state, voters have elected champions of small government, free enterprise, reduced taxes and no regulation of business, backed by a loose coalition of organizations known collectively as the Tea Party. Almost universally, they echo the refrain that climate change is a hoax, isn't happening or could not possibly be caused by human activity. After all, we are too intelligent to do something like that... or are we?
Maybe the most extreme is Illinois Representative John Shimkus. His position is one of Biblical faith holding fast to the promise of Exodus where God told Noah that he would not destroy the earth again. The Bible says nothing about God preventing man from doing the job himself.
I would not be concerned about the Rep. Shimkus were it not for the fact that he could become the next Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. If he gains that position, he will the ability to shape energy policies for all of us, determining which bills will come up for a vote and on what schedule. In that position, he would be dangerous.
It would seem that all of the Tea Party is following the scientific thinking of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin, a trio of media personalities who will say anything to make sure that Obama will be a one term president. It has come to the point where Limbaugh has aimed his rant at Motor Trend Magazine for daring to name the Chevrolet Volt as their Car of the Year. Any deviation from the orthodoxy of revealed truth can not be tolerated.
If the Volt can be named car of the year, then you might have to agree with at least some of what the Obama administration is attempting to do and that can not be allowed. Motor Trend has even responded with the reminder that “driving and Oxycontin don’t mix.”
It does not take much effort to understand that the great hoax is really being perpetrated by those often labeled as climate deniers. Even when they do find errors in any of the science, the correction of those errors has only served to strengthen that case for climate change. When they proudly proclaim that the Arctic Sea Ice is expanding again, they fail to note that it is also thinning, having less “old ice” or volume than ever before. When emails between scientists were hacked and then leaked last year, the further investigation has shown that it was all much ado about little; that the claims of the deniers that the were proof of some perfidy were as bogus the various lists of names of scientists who supposedly oppose the idea that human activity is changing the climate. (Many of the names on that list were already dead before the list was first published, almost all of the others had never given their permission for that use of their names. Yet still, Sen. Inhofe has continued to publish it at government expense.
While Inhofe, Shimkus and their minions are all set to determine climate policy for this country, the Chinese have a different goal. They are investing heavily in Green Energy, even to produce the same forms of electric cars that Limbaugh feels in Un-American and the first step to something that he calls Socialism.
Which brings me back to the rational for why I made it into a local election issue. If the leadership of the Republican Party, especially those with Tea Party backing, have decided that rationality has no place in national policy decisions, then the future depends on what we do here, in California, in Morgan Hill. Make of it what you will.