My electric bill was 50% higher than average last month. If you live in the US, especially in the southeast, southwest, or west, you’ve probably seen something similar: more need for air conditioning, and higher bills.
June of 2016 was the hottest month on record—ever—in many parts of the world, and for the globe, overall.
I’m not surprised that my electric bill was higher, despite conservation measures.
Still, there are people who deny that the climate is changing or that it is an important matter.
For example, the 2016 Republican Party platform reads, “Climate change is far from this nation’s most pressing national security issue. This is the triumph of extremism over common sense, and Congress must stop it.”
Just what must Congress stop? The platform’s unsupported statement that “climate change” is “the triumph of extremism over common sense”? That’s how the statement reads grammatically. (And you thought in ninth grade that diagraming sentences was a useless tool. There will be more on that, in later posts.)
In simple terms, the Republicans want to shut off debate. Yes, they want to suppress freedom of speech and of scientific inquiry. And their statement that global climate change is not an important national security issue is a lie.
Climate change is a serious challenge to the national security of the United States (and every other country in the world). It is correct to say that the refugee situation in Europe is the direct result of climate change. It is correct to say that the war in Syria and the rise of Daesh (ISIS/ISIL) is the direct result of climate change. It is correct to say that the spread of the Zika virus is the direct result of climate change. For my Georgia readers, it is correct to say that the success of peaches from South Carolina over those from Georgia is the direct result of climate change.
The “bottom line,” for those who think in absolutes, is that climate change is at the root of more national security issues than even you can imagine.
Yet the Republicans deny this.
A pull quote in the Republican Party Platform shows support for energy sources, but lists coal, oil, and natural gas above nuclear power and hydropower and does not mention wind, wave, solar, tidal, geothermal or similar sources. Yes, they’re in the fine print, but only if supported by private capital.
What’s wrong with that? A lot of things ranging from the “Not In My Backyard” (NIMBY) naysayers and Luddites, to the need for comprehensive, national planning and coordination rather than a patchwork of local and state regulations. While I support the notion of private capital developing such systems, I suspect that long-term energy independence will come only from national programs on the scale of the Manhattan Project or the building of the Hoover/Boulder Dam.
Please consider reading both parties’ platforms. Yes, the whole things. The Dem platform is only 51 pages; the Reps about 54. And please, read them with the thoughts of Peter Abelard in mind:
Doubt; question everything. Doubt leads to questioning; questioning leads to truth.
Distinguish rational proof and propaganda/persuasion.
Be precise with words and demand precision of others.
Be wary of error, even in the most sacred texts.
And let me add:
Think about it.
Registered Curmudgeon, scientist, skeptic, humanist, and writer.