Vote For the Future

We don’t often go all serious on you, here at the Reading Room, so please bear with me. If you’ve enjoyed all the free stuff I’ve been providing lo these last six years or so, I hope you’ll give me a moment of your time in return. Hey, you owe me, right? 🙂

As most of you know, I’m no fan of the Grump who’s currently running the show in Washington. He may be a savvy (and rich) business dude who knows what a goodly portion of the American people want to hear, but he’s also a liar, he’s willfully ignorant about the larger world, and to be perfectly frank he doesn’t really give a damn about anyone but himself—and that includes the working-class (or middle-class) voter, the country itself, or the future of the human race. He’s the ultimate narcissist, and his entire campaign and presidency has been, and will continue to be, one gigantic ego trip.

However… the elections this coming Tuesday (November 6, 2018) are NOT really about the Grump. I’m serious; bear with me.

These elections are also NOT really about immigration, race relations, civil rights, voting rights, transgender or LGBT rights. They aren’t about health care, jobs, free speech, the constitution, gun control, or the right to bear arms. Don’t get me wrong: these are all important issues, worthy of your attention. Sadly, what we’re really talking (and voting) about here—and forgive me for putting this so bluntly—is the future of the human race.

Climate change (stop me if you’ve heard this) is real. There are no significant doubts about this in the scientific community. From what I’ve read, the US military itself (a highly conservative organization) is deeply concerned and is planning accordingly. The impact that human activity is having on this planet is the single most important issue in these or any other elections. I cannot stress that enough: all other issues pale in significance.

Let me be clear: this isn’t about saving some nebulous entity known as “the environment”; it isn’t about saving coral reefs or polar bears. It’s about saving us: human beings, human civilization. It’s about saving people.

Sadly, this issue has become heavily politicized. But saving the world should NOT be a partisan issue—what could possibly be more conservative than taking care of your own community or your own back yard? Genuine conservatives should be, and need to be, concerned about this. We all depend on services provided by the biosphere, for basic things like food, water and oxygen. Nothing could be more fundamental to human life, yet we are actively undermining these life-support systems all over the planet. In the decades to come, we will all pay a price for rising sea levels, loss of biodiversity, and declining food production (on land and from the oceans). In the centuries to come, our descendants will pay that price. It makes no sense (economic or otherwise) to address the symptoms (like refugees fleeing drought), when it would be far cheaper and far more effective to fix—or at least begin to fix—the underlying causes of climate change.

We need to kick the fossil-fuel habit, and we need to start doing it now. Many people are working towards that goal, but just as many are dragging their feet. It’s understandable that many of us average folks cannot or don’t wish to believe that the climate is changing; we can’t all follow the science. An under-appreciated skill in today’s world is figuring out what sources of information to trust. Sadly, such trust is often misplaced and this leaves far too many of us open to being manipulated. (The viewers of Fox News, for example, are lied to on a daily basis, which is almost criminal.)

Our leaders need to be better than that. Anyone who doesn’t believe climate change is the defining challenge of our time—that person doesn’t deserve your vote. Anyone who knows it’s a problem but cannot bring themselves to address it, whatever the excuse—that person doesn’t deserve your vote. Anyone who simply doesn’t give a damn, perhaps because the worst effects won’t happen during their lifetimes (e.g. the Grump)—that sort of person doesn’t deserve anyone’s vote. It’s unfortunate that events have come to this, but these elections truly are about life and death—and climate change deniers are on the wrong side. Vote for life: our future depends on it.


3 thoughts on “Vote For the Future

  1. Rather than to wade into the politics of this, I would like to offer a challenge to anybody wishing to become fully informed on this subject. Do some research on three scientists who have been involved with this issue before it was an issue. First, read some of what S. Fred Singer Phd. has contributed. For those who don’t know who he is, he is considered the founder of the science of meteorology (the study of climate). Another individual to research would be Craig D. Iso Phd. and the third would be the late Robert M. Carter Phd.

    • Sadly, those men are all climate change deniers. They’re on the wrong side of history (IMHO), and they’re certainly on the wrong side of the scientific consensus. By all means, if anyone’s interested, look up their work. All sides deserve to be heard. But you should also look at the work of the overwhelming majority of scientists whose work leads us to KNOW that climate change is occurring. I’m not an expert and I don’t have time to track down useful links, but the information isn’t hard to find. On the other hand, for those who wish to keep their heads in the sand on this issue, information is somewhat harder to come by. Falling back on industry propaganda is all too common, alas.

  2. Quick update: I received a comment on this post that I was unable to reply to, because I don’t know if it was from a TG fan (in denial) or an actual troll. He trotted out a couple of old chestnuts that deserve a mention.

    One item was that the extra CO2 in the air and longer growing seasons would either offset crop losses elsewhere or even increase crop yields. I can understand how someone who isn’t up on the science could think that way. I’m no expert either, but I’ve read from responsible sources that I trust that comprehensive studies have shown that more CO2 for plants and longer growing seasons will be more than offset by lower yields from loss of fields in the tropics (too hot), drought, loss of soil, etc. Also, it’s not clear that extra CO2 simply makes crops grow more; to an extent it does, but studies have shown that the relation levels off at higher levels.

    Another item was the suggestion that storms can’t be linked directly to climate change. Again, there’s a grain of truth: you can’t say that any particular storm wouldn’t have happened in the absence of climate change. But that’s a straw man argument: no one ever said they did! What scientists say is that climate change makes storms more likely to occur and more likely to be stronger than they would have been otherwise.

    Then the poster revealed his true colors: he stated, flat out, that anyone who said that climate change was making storms worse was a liar. Give me a break! The old “they’re just lying” excuse is one of the biggest right-wing / Fox News lies out there. No one—I repeat, NO ONE—has any reason to lie about something like that. On the other hand, plenty of people have good reason to smear climate change researchers: fossil fuel companies, for instance, who know darn well that the climate is changing, but they don’t care because they want to stay in business. I don’t think the poster works for such a company, or for a right-wing think tank either; he’s probably just an ordinary joe who’s been misled by industry-led climate change denial. In that, he has my sincere sympathies.

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