If you missed it on the BC Facebook and twitter
pages, click here
to read Bill's commentary "Don't deny peaceful protests in
West Bank" on CNN.com)
the middle of one of the worst weeks of snow that the Washington,
DC area has seen, Republican opportunists have begun crowing—again—about
how climate change is an illusion. Where do these guys come from?
is amazing the amount of media attention that the Republican climate
change-deniers have been receiving. Ridiculing former Vice President
Al Gore for his warnings regarding global warming, these charlatans
have been taking advantage of fear and denial among the populace,
as well as ignorance in order to argue that snow storms indicate
that the world is not getting warmer.
is a saying that I learned when I was child that seems to be appropriate
here: a little bit of knowledge in the hands of an idiot is a dangerous
is criminal the way that the Republican climate change-deniers have
been focusing on events in isolation in order to reinforce their
pro-corporate views regarding the environment. I think that it
is past time that we strike back and drive their views into oblivion.
am not sure how many times scientists need to repeat the point,
but let’s go through it again. Global warming does not mean that
the planet turns into a desert all at once. It means that the planet
is getting warmer. This is a demonstrable fact. The impact of
the global warming, as we have been shown time and again, is the
distortion of the world’s climates. Hurricanes increase in intensity;
droughts worsen; and water vapor increases in the atmosphere making
little events, such as snow storms, become major events, such as
blizzards, particularly in areas where they had not, historically,
been major episodes.
Republican climate change-deniers, however, want to focus on the
term “global warming,” and instead of showing its relationship to
the larger matter of climate change, wish to distract us from the
fact that the world’s climate IS in crisis. For them, using their
sophistry, the fact of snow storms means that there is not global
warming and climate change.
have to ask them, what does it mean that there is an increase in
species annihilation? What does it mean that coastal reefs are
being bleached out of existence? What does it mean that Greenland
was 46 degrees Fahrenheit at the same time that Washington, DC was
under more than two feet of snow with temperatures in the twenties?
Republicans are playing to a fear in the population that takes the
form of denial. It is actually very simple when you think about
it. If the climate is changing, irrespective of the role of humans
in that, what can individuals do to stop it? If individuals cannot
stop it, then why accept it as a reality? The fact that this is
both illogical and irrational is irrelevant to the extent to which
masses of people accept this line of thinking.
for those of us on the left side of the aisle, it is not enough
to scare people through the recitation of facts, or the showing
of films such as An Inconvenient Truth or the drama,
The Day After Tomorrow. What needs to happen is to
show individuals what collections of individuals, organized through
social movements, can actually do to affect the future of this planet.
That is what hope is actually based upon. And that is actually
how we can demonstrate that the Republicans are quacks who are better
suited for cartoons than political office.
Executive Editor, Bill Fletcher, Jr., is a Senior Scholar with the
Institute for Policy Studies,
the immediate past president of
and co-author of, Solidarity Divided: The Crisis in Organized Labor and a New Path
toward Social Justice (University
of California Press), which examines the crisis of organized labor
in the USA. Click here
to contact Mr. Fletcher.