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Friday, July 15, 2005

politics as usual

as you may have noticed, though i generally use this forum for personal stories and musings, i occasionally reveal my rather left-wing political opinions. this post will continue in that vein.

last night after finishing our netflix fare for the evening (motorcycle diaries), mil flipped over to pbs (i think it was pbs anyway). there was a program discussing global warming. apparently only 60% of americans think that global warming exists. 60%?!?! now the program cast this as a relatively large number, but i think it's pretty pathetic given that 100% of biologists think (one might say "know" in this case) global warming exists. what's even more frightening is that only 40% of americans think that global warming is an urgent problem. wait... you're telling me that it's not a problem that the temperature of the earth increases a few degrees every year? that species are going extinct because of our waste? that the earth that our children and our children's children experience may not be hospitable to human life is not important???

let me posit a theory as to why such a ridiculously large number of americans think that global warming is not a problem -- and may not even exist: the bush administration has told them it doesn't exist and it's not a problem. take for instance this article from bloomberg columnist, margaret carlson. or rush limbaugh's diatribe in 2002: "i don't believe there is any conclusive evidence of global warming, and i certainly don't believe that it can be attributed to human activity – and particularly not by activity by the united states. that is the political agenda behind the global warming scare. It is an anti-west, anti-U.S., anti-free enterprise movement." (i recognize that rush ain't in the administration, but he's been the voice of the bush "base" since his first presidential campaign) he also seems to be echoing bush's statement in the 2000 debates that scientists are unsure about global warming. i'm not sure what scientist he went to who wasn't sure about global warming. perhaps he went to a scientologist instead of a scientist -- similar in bush-speak. or perhaps he consulted the un-erring senator frist. i don't think any scientist who actually studies the enviroment has referred to a global warming "debate."

what i think is most paradoxical is that many evangelical republicans refer to theirs as a "culture of life." i'm sorry, but trying to save a woman who's been in a coma for 15 years and embryos and fetuses who are not independently viable means nothing when the planet we call home will be toast (literally) in a matter of a few generations. this kind of mentality is so vile and self-serving to me i can't even comprehend it. for those who don't know because they haven't been told (read: the fox news audience), i feel pity, but it's time to educate these people and move on to embracing international strategies (such as the kyoto treaty) that will minimize the negative impact of human waste. for those that do know -- and here i refer to the bush administration and the fox news producers -- and refuse to act, i have nothing but contempt. i am thoroughly impressed with those evangelicals who've recognized global warming as a christian issue. it is. it is a human issue, a moral issue, and a personal issue. i just wish that we could shuttle off those doubters and nay-sayers to another (warmer) planet, so those of us who give a d*mn can start working toward a better future for our decendants.

phew... sorry for the long post. i just had this bottled-up since last night. another interesting political read is krugman's column in the times today about rove and the new american politics. i think krugman is onto something here, but he has a tendency to overstate the issue which takes something away from a very serious message. i'd be eager for a political discussion here, but it seems that most visitors prefer to remain silent.

anyway, those are my thoughts for today. next time, i'm sure it will be a lighter topic.

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