But Mother Nature marches on, and has no respect for political parties. Consider these facts about recent storms (courtesy of the Paul Douglas Weather Column):
- Of the 11 most intense North Atlantic hurricanes ever recorded, five have occurred in the last eight years (Wilma, Rita, Katrina, Dean and Ivan).[xii]
- The record-breaking rainfall dumped by Hurricane Irene in 2011 was the main impact of the storm in which flooding and other damage totaled over $15 billion.[xiii]
- Hurricane Katrina remains the costliest weather-related disaster on record (over $100 billion).[xiv]
- Tropical cyclone Debby in June 2012 produced record-breaking rainfall across Florida, in some locations dropping over 20" of rain in 24 hours.[xv] When Tropical Storm Debby formed on June 23, it was the first time ever that four storms formed before July since record keeping began in 1851.[xvi]"
In spite of all this, and with a major storm raging outside their convention hall, I'm willing to bet there won't be one single mention of climate change at that convention -- unless it's to ridicule it. Instead, we will be treated to fire-and-brimstone speeches about how badly Obama is handling the economy, and how Romney-Ryan will work economic miracles if they get into office. No doubt there will be prayers and condolences for the communities hit by Isaac, but no real grappling with the root cause of these bigger and more frequent tropical storms.
Like the proverbial elephant in the living room, climate change is THE BIGGEST THREAT to our economy, even if the Republicans refuse to talk about it. As noted above, these storms are very costly and their economic impact lasts for years. Enormous numbers of homes and businesses have been lost to increasingly hostile weather conditions across the continent. Large portions of the USA are experiencing the worst drought since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s, while huge areas of the Southwest are going up in flames. No wonder the economic recovery has been so slow. You can't blame Obama for the weather, but you CAN blame the Republican Conservatives who, for decades, have purposely misled the public into not taking global warming seriously. Now we are facing the disastrous results. And still they want to gut the EPA, do away with pollution regulations, and continue relying on fossil fuels while cutting funds to develop newer, safer technologies.
I've never been one to read acts of God into natural phenomena, but, since the Tea Party fundamentalists are so fond of doing so, maybe it is time for them to taste their own medicine. Is God slapping them in the face with a climate-change storm to open their eyes? Can it be only coincidence that this storm is named "Isaac" which, on the Kabbalistic Tree, is the aspect of God's judgement? Maybe there is a message in this storm, a wake-up call to the RNC folks that global warming is very, very real. Will they heed the message? Or will they, as in the days of Noah, remain in denial until it is too late?
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