I suppose there is room for some question about whether global warming is even partially manmade. After all, scientists say, the entire globe once was a spinning molten mass.
Then, most of the northern hemisphere was blanketed in miles-deep ice. Next it became warm enough to reliably grow crops while encouraging some of its human inhabitants to, at least part of the year, wear warm clothing. So it’s getting a little warmer. What’s the big deal?
Of course, it does seem a little incongruous that certain politicians would exhort their compatriots to believe science, and then legislate denial of science that says the earth is becoming warmer and humans are helping it happen.
What really is amazing is the money many of those same politicians have invested in their attempt to convince the rest of us that our neighbor is fraudulently voting. Not the one living next to us, maybe, but the one down the street about whom all we know is the color of his skin, the kind of car he drives – or doesn’t drive at all – and maybe the source of his accent.
Of the millions of votes cast in the last election, seven-tenths of one of them in each state may have been cast by someone who was not who she claimed she was. Of course, the odds go up slightly in the other states when Pennsylvania is removed from the mix – and the commonwealth has admitted in court it knows of no actual cases of voter fraud within its boundaries.
On the other hand, el niño, a little guy who now and then hovers over the Pacific Ocean with a breath in dire need of Ice Breakers, does not vote. Unfortunately, he does exhale to the east, right where we’ve got some forest fires fertilizing the ground with ash.
On the nation’s East Coast, the U.S. Geological Survey published a report saying sea level between Cape Hatteras, NC and Boston, MA, have risen at up to four times the global average. In response, North Carolina lawmakers last month sent their governor a bill placing a four-year moratorium on any official acknowledgement that the rising sea level might in any way be caused by global warming.
That doesn’t mean the sea level is not rising, or that global warming doesn’t have anything to do with it, or that humans don’t have anything to do with global warming. It just means it is officially illegal in North Carolina to consider that combination when also considering development of coastal properties.
It’s all about the money, in part because if too big a deal is made of the impending flood, monied buyers from the big cities will not want to buy beachfront property. And if the state admits the land may be submerged sooner rather than later, and allow it to be developed, it may not receive federal help when a hurricane comes through and wipes out beach front houses that may not have been at risk had that pesky climate not melted the ice caps, raised the sea level, and washed away those expensive homes when the wind blew.
Which climatologists are saying it likely will with increasing frequency.
The North Carolina lawmakers’ concern is valid. A spate of hurricanes several years back began to attract nationwide anger when gobs of federal money were put into restoring beachfront property of people who’s incomes would otherwise have indicated they’d be too smart to build there. And in the short term, the mere sale of oceanfront property is worth huge profits to both land sellers and the state tax collector.
And along the Mississippi River, when whole towns were washed away a few years in a row, residents in other parts of the nation wondered with increasing volume how many times their money would help rebuild settlements known to be in the flood zone.
It was the same flood zone – referred to as the 100-year flood – in which the Federal Emergency Management Agency eventually prohibited development. If land was developed knowingly within the 100-year flood zone, its owner could not buy flood insurance. If they built out of the area, they could buy flood insurance they likely would not need.
There is plenty of proof the planetary climate is warming, and the warming effects are visible – in changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, breadbasket drought, more frequent and more intense hurricanes. How much is caused by humans has not been scientifically proven, but science does show that some of what we’re doing is exacerbating the problem.
It’s a standard feature of legerdemain, directing the audience’s attention to where nothing is happening, then watching the amazement when they discover what happened where they were not looking.
But making it illegal to look at the king and point out he is naked doesn’t mean he’s wearing anything, or that his castle is not in imminent danger of leaving him unhoused.
Photo by CorpsNewEngland
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