• Ed Flattau

Existential Hoaxes

There are still Republican Members of Congress who maintain that the Coronavirus is a Chinese plot to provide ammunition for the Democrats to oust President Trump in November.

With that frame of mind, it is thus not surprising that many of these Republicans express skepticism that human-induced climate change exists at all.

It is also unfortunate that Republican lawmakers take that position, since failing to confront climate change prevents people from meeting the challenge of an all-encompassing threat like the Coronavirus and other global scourges. Claims that human-generated global warming is a figment of imagination discourages needed changes in lifestyle such as giving precedence to health over profit and quality over quantity.

While all the Republican senators voted for a Democratic amendment several years ago stating that the climate change was real, they quickly attributed the phenomenon to natural fluctuations in order not to alienate their skeptical conservative base and fossil fuel industry allies.

Only one of 238 House Republicans voted against a resolution merely affirming that global warming was real and a matter of major concern. Privately, some GOP members admitted that they voted against their better judgment; human-induced climate change does exist, they said off the record, but casting a vote affirming that would invite political retaliation in the form of primary opposition. In fact, one Republican congressman confided that more than half of his colleagues were concealing their real views. Intimidation reigned supreme.

Some conservative lawmakers used religion as a rationale for dismissing global warming as a legitimate threat. Typical was Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-NC, who declared on the House floor that climate change was the work of God. Thus, neither the Democrats nor anybody else could do anything about it. There is something irreverent about using God as a justification for avoiding responsibility to address an environmental threat to humanity – and to God’s Earth.

[Excerpts drawn from: From Green to Mean, 2015]


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