Deja Vue, and Frostbite Too

It’s colder than a well digger’s ass in Siberia here in Chicagoland on this January 8th. Well, I suppose maybe colder still, if digging that well in the arctic hinterlands. No, wait. Climate change changes everything, including Alaska not having a single day of below zero temps for over a year now. Not a single night? Anywhere in Alaska? For a year and counting? In the meantime it’s been something between -1 and -10 around the city that Billy Sunday couldn’t shut down.  Go figure. Wait, don’t bother. Naomi Klein already has, in her latest research that produced the book This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs the Climate. I’m barely into reading it and she’s got me wondering if there’s any point in digging wells any longer. What’s the point? Looking for more water? There’s going to be plenty more of it, not underground but pouring over once dry lands and erasing existing coastlines, thanks to the ice sheets in the arctic areas melting and lifting the sea levels. Hogwash? Well, climate deniers, Naomi has about a thousand citations, so look them up and discredit them–if you can (and bet you can’t). The hard-core, free-market capitalists have, of course, attacked her assertions (backed by science, so again…). Honestly, I wish climate change was a hoax (as one GOP senator, among several such climate deniers, has  asserted in front of congress); but I believe in science and, woe is us, because science says the climate is changing, and not for the better. According to many of the climate researchers Klein quotes in her book, it’s very likely we have passed a point of no return already. Yikes! Bad news for the tikes! They may live to see some very crazy, all too frequent extreme climate events in the decades to come. Stock up on breathing masks and SPF 900, you kids out there.

For this aging Boomer, I’ve witnessed, occasionally first hand and more and more through media coverage, some terrible weather events, natural disasters, and understand the cautionary tales inherent in climate science reports for too long already.

Like I said, I’m not too far into the book, and likely Ms.Klein addresses the situation as one that may be beyond a breaking point, but that the end game can be stalled, maybe mitigated enough to…what? Give a few coming generations some sense of the problem at least being (finally) addressed? Like I said, I’d like to think it’s possible we’re not off that cliff already. But buying into the science-bashing–nothing to see here–mentality assures that if we have not yet reached a tipping point, then certainly we will before much longer. There is, however, literally no down side to taking the issue seriously and acting on it as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, there’s been a recent, dire development…

… It’s January, and just this week a storm hit Washington, D.C. No, not a weather event. It’s political. That is, the new Congress has been brought into session. Many newbies have been sworn in, virtually all Republican.  And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s not the GOP’s modus operandi to thwart that good ol’ free market, laissez-faire, economic model. Mein Gotts! (Hey, I’m tri-lingual!) we are so NOT going to address science’s concerns about the climate. Now that the GOP controls all of the political sausage-making, get ready for some really high fat, calorie-laden, artificially flavored but still smelly links to come off the sinister conveyor belt of legislation. On the first day in session, the republicans started their usual attacks on social programs. There’s at least two years of assured gridlock coming, unless President Obama retains his penchant for capitulation with this cynical bunch. Brush off that veto pen, sir!

So, thanks again, disaffected mid-term voters and non-voters of America. You made this coming shit storm of let-them-eat-cake governing possible. And it was so predictable, like the weather used to be. I just saw a snarky quote somewhere that sums up that mid-term election of empty suits and dangerous minds:  there are two kinds of republicans; multi-millionaires and fools. Climate issues, jobs, education, health care and other actual matters for the average John and Jane Doe will be addressed in accordance to the right-wing ideology of profit over people. Including mother, as in Mother Nature. Never underestimate the stupidity of this uninformed, gullible, lazy public.

Is that too harsh an assertion? Well, then explain how the party that ran the show during the worst terror attack on U.S. soil, that started a war that was based on lies, and that was in charge in the lead-up to the worst economic meltdown since the Great Depression is put back at the controls? Okay, the democrats are complicit and/or inept, but still… In the meantime, Naomi Klein, and other  voices of reason can yell all they want. Who will listen to them anyway? People will be too busy wondering about how, like the climate, their lives have been getting nothing but worse lately. The answer awaits them each time they confront a mirror.

Caveat emptor. It’s frosty out there, and the weather is only partly to blame.

About jharrin4

mass communication/speech instructor at College of DuPage and Triton College in suburban Chicago. Army veteran of the Viet Nam era.
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