Why I am Green (And the Republican Candidates Make Me See Red)
Have you ever heard the expression “a stitch in time saves nine”? How about “Trust in God, but tie up your camels”? Or “better safe than sorry”?
We humans have a hilarious abundance of phrases that mean the same thing — when in doubt, we should err on the side of caution. See, there’s another one! The point being, one thing anyone who can read or hear and/or has been living on this planet should not be in doubt about is global climate change.
The inevitable conclusion of having any information at all is that we must do something about pollution, like, yesterday. Or even better, 20 years ago! Where is the “way back” machine when you need it? Hey, you say, I recycle! And buy “Energy Star” appliances when my old ones crap out! I am doing my part! And you are. But unfortunately not only do you have to do your part, but a probably a couple dozen other people’s parts too, because Houston, we have a problem. And the problem is, we have politicians who want to run our country committed to the promoting the lie that climate change is not happening or, if it is, it is not because of our excessive consuming of fossil fuels and lack of government regulations on the big time polluters.
Obviously this is on my mind because we are gearing up for yet another presidential campaign, with the usual parade of comedians and charlatans throwing a hat into the ring. And that just covers Hillary Clinton. Ha. But one thing Hillary’s got that exactly none of the Republican candidates have is a belief in reality.
On the other hand we’ve got Jeb “I’m not a scientist” Bush, Rand “We don’t want a commander-in-chief who’s battling climate change instead of terrorists” Paul, Marco “I do not believe human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate” Rubio and Ted “There has been no global warming in the last 15 years” Cruz. Ted Cruz went to Princeton, people. Yikes.
If there was even one candidate who was taking a pro-active stance about our environment I would think, hey — I may disagree with you about everything else on the planet, but if we can agree about the planet, we are on solid footing. Because protecting the planet means not only protecting ourselves and our future and the future of our children’s children, it also means not bowing to the special interests, the big corporations which view pollution as both necessary and intrinsic to their fat bottom lines; it means standing up for what is right for EVERYbody, even if they can’t see it or won’t admit it.
Actually, one thing Jeb Bush and I have in common is that I am not a scientist either. But as our current President recently pointed out, you don’t have to be a scientist yourself in order to understand the wisdom coming out of NASA, NOAA and our major universities: there is over a 95 percent consensus that climate change is happening and our behaviors are the direct cause. To put that in perspective, 95 percent is also the scientific consensus number on whether or not smoking cigarettes contributes to health problems. AHEM. The Koch brothers, our country’s very own Goofus and Gallant (plus a Goofus, minus the Gallant) spent over 100 million on the mid-term elections to back candidates opposed to environmental regulations with great success. If you think they did that because they are great guys with your best interests at heart… well, I have bridge to sell you. And look: I realize the candidates are trying to “win” and that history has proven that their voting base prefers a guy who pretends what is happening is not really happening. Just ask former Republican congressman Bob Inglis how embracing climate change affected his (last and final) campaign. But what is happening is happening. And unless we start cooperating on how to fix what is happening, nobody will be a scientist anymore, not just me and Jeb Bush. Because we need a viable planet to live on to become scientists.
So keep on recycling, buy some of those energy efficient lightbulbs and conserve water. But much more than any of this, be careful where you cast your vote. Think long and hard about the kind of belief system you want running your country. Understand the consequences of choosing the interests of big business over the interests of our planet. Choose carefully, because sooner or later your life may depend on it. And if not yours, the lives of your children. There is another expression, penny wise and pound foolish. And that is what we all are if we don’t prioritize saving our planet over saving corporations money and over all other things NOW. Because the time is long past when we should have come together for the purpose of a better life for all. Maybe safeguarding our environment will mean that people like the Koch brothers don’t necessarily have 100 million lying around to throw at political campaigns, and how can that be a bad thing? Without our planet they could have all the money anyone could ever dream of, but they’ll have no place to spend it…
Unless hell takes travelers checks. Oh — and Happy Earth Day, btw!
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