Take the first letter to the editor I read yesterday in the Sarasota Herald Tribune. It asserted that "Climate Change is nothing but a crude attempt to silence critics and delegitimize debate." Huh? You read that right. The letter writer claims that climate change is still debatable. Why? Because they write that "last year we saw the fewest tornados in a quarter-century." Oh, well that must settle it! Less tornados must mean our climate is getting better rather than worse - except wild swings in weather patterns - INCLUDING swings in tornados are indicative of climate change. What's worse? The effective implementation of Anti-Climate Change talking points and narratives designed to find any possible opening for deniers to assert such ignorant claims.
We have major shifts in weather from droughts to excessive rain events to having Chicago snowless in January and February for the the first time in 146 years! (See: www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/ct-no-snow-january-february-met-0301-20170228-story.html). Despite this rare occurrence, there are some "climate experts" claiming it is not part of climate change. Except if we see events so out of the ordinary, what could they be caused by? I mean, Columbus, Ohio is known for being a place where "If you don't like the weather, wait a few hours and it will change!" Except the change occurring is real. One day it may be in the high 50's and sunny and the next days see lows in the teens. What ever happened to winters when it just got cold, it snowed and everyone pined for Spring. Now the weather has become so unpredictable is there a real winter anymore (and how soon before summer weather starts to change so radically)?
Although our new Secretary of the EPA publicly claims carbon in atmosphere has no ill effects on air and global temperatures (a middle school science student knows that isn't true), we must begin to address the real problems we will face if we cannot control the negative contributions mankind is having on our changing climate. (See: www.nytimes.com/2017/03/09/us/politics/epa-scott-pruitt-global-warming.html?_r=0). As I have mentioned before, I don't think environmental problems are political problems. Instead, it is a problem we all must deal with, regardless of political party affiliation. If all of the climate scientists are wrong and humans have no connection with the changes, then at least we may all benefit from the development of higher efficiency renewable sources of energy. I mean, what do we all have to lose if we can produce cheaper energy that will preserve our planet? Seriously, why would anyone be opposed to going this route? There is only one reason for ignoring climate change - and that is based upon the pure greed of the folks that continue to stand to benefit from the use of fossil fuels and its dirty refinement and burning. Profits over sense will only last so long anymore. Our collective needs will soon come to haunt these purveyors of "profits first" over the collective safety of our one Earth.
The other letter to the editor that caught my attention was in today's Sarasota Herald Tribune. This one letter writer seems to warn citizens of the rise of "Leftist Activists that are demanding politicians become more leftist or face primary challenges!" If it wasn't so laughable that the letter writer has a form of amnesia when it relates to the rise and impact of the far-right Tea Party, it is worse when you go on to read their claim that "Liberals have no desire, no plan, and no intention of cooperating or compromising with Republicans. These Democrats have turned obstruction and personal character assassination into an art." This warning may strike home if one had been living under a rock for the past nine years. But not having one's head buried in the sand would surely recognize the lack of memory the letter writer possesses by ignoring the patterns of obstructionist policies honed to perfection by the Far-Right Tea Party and their GOP darlings. Shutting down the government once and attempting to do so once more, obstructing virtually anything agreed to by Obama and of course, tossing out "Establishment Republicans" through the Primary elections systems (giving a definition to the words "To be Primaried") as well as refusing to even give a hearing on a Supreme Court nominee is acceptable as normal but we should fear "Leftists" unwilling to compromise? The only thing compromised in this letter is its writer's judgment.
So as the ties between Russia and the Trump folks continues to brew and as more and more policies are rolled out from the Administration that also have Republicans in Congress shaking their heads, we can expect a lot more misinformation ("lies"), spin and manipulation so that more Americans can write letters revealing their own personal ignorance. As President Abraham Lincoln once wrote: "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt." Perhaps this should apply equally to letter writers and our current Administration (and 3AM twitter addicts). We are watching. We are waiting. And we expect sound judgment from our leaders!
* NOTE - I will be missing the next few weeks of blogs as I head to Hawaii to speak for four days aboard P&O's Aurora cruise ship. I look forward to posting about this experience. Until then, have a great couple of weeks!