Do Republicans Have A Death Wish?

February 11, 2019 Environment , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS , OTHER , United States




Ed Meek



As we witness and experience daily the effects of climate change with fires in California and hurricane floods from New Orleans to Miami to Atlantic City and New York, from shifting seasons, to hotter summers, from warmer waters with seals and sharks offshore, to ticks in the backyard, to downpours that last days, climate change is undeniable. As a result, more than 7 in 10 Americans realize that climate change is occurring now. Yet Republicans continue to express doubt and undermine science in collusion with Big Energy who run ads that give the false impression that companies like Exxon are developing alternative renewable resources while the President calls climate change a hoax. Half of Republicans still refuse to accept climate science.


If your news sources are Fox, Facebook and Rush Limbaugh and you rely on your local preacher for perspective, I suppose there’s some excuse for not understanding the scope of the problems we are facing, but even if politicians are lobbied by Big Energy, even if Exxon supports their candidacy, how do they reconcile the evidence for climate change with selling out for what now seems to be just a few years before we are inundated with what can only be called catastrophic climate change. According a UN Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change, it’s 12 years. At what point do Republican Senators put the vacation house on the market and start planning escape routes or building underground shelters?


In addition to denying climate change, Republicans shrug off mass shootings or attribute them to mental illness as if the availability of automatic weapons is not a problem. Yet even if Republicans are backed by the NRA, do they think their kids will be safe because they attend private schools? Do they assume they and their families will be protected if they live in gated communities?


As Chris Hedges points out in America, The Farewell Tour, Republicans are passing tax cuts that benefit the rich while plunging our country into debts we cannot repay. Wall Street has returned to doing what it was doing before the crash of 2008 and everyone involved is apparently in it for short term gain. Is it all just short term thinking?


Where do Republicans intend to live? In Canada? New Zealand? Russia? Don’t they care at all about what their children and grandchildren will have to deal with in terms of debt and climate? What kind of America do they envision for the future? And where on earth do they expect to be protected from our changing climate? Democrats aren’t completely immune from this type of myopic vision, but there is at least movement by Ocasio-Cortez and friends to deal with climate change.


When you put together strands like the rising suicide rate among white men, the opioid crises, mass shootings and hate crimes, it’s clear that our country is sick, suffering from psychosis as Hedges claims in the documentary American Psychosis. His recommendation is we learn to endure. Elizabeth Kolbert says we may have already passed the point of no return when it comes to preventing catastrophic climate change, yet we have to keep trying, don’t we? As Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”


It is difficult to fathom what is going on in the minds of people like Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell. Are they really as blind as they seem to be? Trump says the climate has changed and it is going to change back. He is drunk on his own Kool-Aid. Is there really any excuse for Mitch McConnell and those who deny climate change?





Ed Meek

Ed Meek writes poetry, fiction, articles and book reviews. His most recent books are Spy Pond (poems) and Luck (short stories). You can follow him @emeek on Twitter.

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