Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Hurricane Isaac: The REAL Elephant at the RNC

Denial isn't a river in Egypt anymore, it's a 500-mile tropical storm about to hit New Orleans.  For decades the Republicans have either denied that global warming exists, or played down the human causes, all in the interests of Big Oil and Big Coal.   During the Bush administration their spin doctors changed the terminology from "global warming" to "climate change," thinking that would somehow sound less threatening.  Ironically, it turned out to be more accurate, because it's not just about the planet warming up a few degrees, it's about major changes in storm patterns, ocean currents, heat waves, droughts and flooding -- all of which does not seem to make much of an impression on Republican climate deniers.

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?

* * *
(If you happen to be a Republican and still think climate change is a hoax, please read this excellent article by Republican meteorologist Paul Douglas (founder of the WeatherNation Channel) about how he came to believe it is true -- and it had nothing to do with Al Gore, just science: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-douglas/republican-climate-change_b_1374900.html? )


Anonymous said...

"Is God slapping them in the face with a climate-change storm to open their eyes?"

No its Gaia slapping them in the face. The Republican god is God, the Democrat god is Gaia.



Yonassan Gershom said...

Whatever you call the Creator, He-She-It is not pleased!

Anonymous said...

Um the Gaia god is not the creator god, it is the earth god. Its a pagan god, major difference.

Yonassan Gershom said...

I was trying to be inclusive without taking offense that you charaterized "God" as the "Republican God." I am an Orthodox Jew -- I worship the Creator God of Genesis -- AND I am also Democrat. These two things are not mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

Um, so how do you accept the way Obama treated Ben Netanyahu when he visited the Whitehouse in 2010? He made him to enter through the backdoor, made him eat in some hallway while Obama had dinner separately in the dining room, he just about made him order in pizza for his supper. Basically treated him like dirt.

And you still support Obama? Many Jews don't anymore, they are giving their support to Romney.

Yonassan Gershom said...

I never heard of such a thing happening and frankly, I doubt it ever did -- there are a lot of vicious lies about Obama circulating around the Internet. I do know Obama has had Netanyahu to the White House more than any other president before him had any Israeli prime minister. But here is not the best place to go into details -- if you are really interested, go to whostolemyreligion.com and dwnload a free PDF copy of Professor Richard H. Schwartz's book of the same title (which I helped him write), which goes into considerable detail, with lots of details and statistics, about why Republicans aren't really all that good for Israel or the Jews. Read especially thechapter on climate change and Israel: If the polar ice caps continue to melt, the Mediterranean is going to drown most of the country. So a climate change denier like Ryan is NOT good for Israel or the rest of the planet.

Yonassan Gershom said...

Hurricane Sandy was even worse that Isaac. Since Obama was re-elected we are hearing more about climate change. I just hope it isn't too late. Right now I'm hearing about tornadoes down south -- in late December! And all our Minnesota snow went south, to -- we are in a snow drought up here.

Yonassan Gershom said...

And now we see multiple disasters in 2014 -- floods, fires, tornados. And Paul Ryan is thinking about running for president? A guy who does not believe climate change is real? ARGHHH!!!