I can’t take this anymore without speaking out.
Rod Keck’s opinion piece in last Monday’s Daily Republic, “Let’s compare truth to opinion,” attempted to convince Fairfield readers that climate change was a hoax, even though one of his stated objectives was the opposite, to “separate fact from opinion or fiction.”
Because I’m not immersed in the right-wing bubble, I found his piece at once, both funny and sad. Since I frequent Fox News and conservative websites (as a public service to you, Daily Republic readers), I fully understand how he could arrive at such an opinion.
Incredibly, there are still fossil fuel industry propagandists pushing their “no-such-thing-as-climate-change” agenda on these sites, to the exclusion of the overwhelming, worldwide, independent, peer-reviewed scientific evidence that climate change is undeniably, very real.
One of the Daily Republic’s frequent online commentators wrote, “When will you man-made global warming enthusiasts stop touting your ‘scientifically’ proved theory and recognize that global warming deniers also have climate scientists on their side that debunk the whole thing?” I answer that by quoting Rod Keck from his column: “The real reason for John Kerry and now the president to be excited about climate change (formerly known as global warming) is money. Remember, follow the money trail.”
Yes, indeed, let’s follow that dusty old money trail.
While it’s extraordinarily difficult to connect Secretary of State John Kerry to any climate change money trail, there is an obvious and massive interstate highway of funding leading from the coal and oil industry into the pockets of the climate-change deniers. A simple search on Google will lead to hundreds of books and articles outlining those connections.
Coincident with Keck’s opinion piece last week, the 2014 National Climate Assessment Report was released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That report states evidence of human-made climate change “continues to strengthen” and “Americans are noticing changes all around them.” President Barack Obama noted that, “This is not some distant problem of the future,” while John Holdren, director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, added that climate change “already is affecting every region of the country and key sectors of the economy.”
We have already seen dramatic shifts in seasonality and ranges of plants, insects and animals; massive new areas of flooding and droughts; substantial glacier and polar ice cap melting; and, here in California, our “fire season” is now a year-round event.
Even the corporate-funded Heartland Institute, which is hailed as “the world’s most prominent think tank promoting skepticism about man-made climate change,” seems to have made a baby-step forward toward acceptance of the inescapable truth. This March, they released a report titled, “Benefits of Global Warming Greatly Exceed Costs,” bending ever so slightly with the ever-swifter stream of scientific studies.
For you Fairfielders who remain unsure about climate change and are not prone to perusing scientific publications, please check out the Showtime documentary series, “Years of Living Dangerously,” which offers extremely compelling stories and dramatic footage focusing on man’s effects on our environment.
In the past, Republicans have used denial of climate change as a wedge issue to splinter and attract frightened, misinformed voters. But as the scientific evidence mounts against the deniers, and as voters become increasingly aware of the facts, I believe most will drop this topic from their 2014 campaigns. However, after the elections, conservatives will continue to stymie any helpful legislation in order to keep the fossil fuel industry contributions coming their way, along that dusty old money trail.
To many conservatives, climate change is just like evolution, proof-positive that science is simply some sort of liberal scam.
Mike Kirchubel grew up in Fairfield and is the author of “Vile Acts of Evil – Banking in America.” He can be reached at [email protected]