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.