Source: The Guardian
Republicans are doing everything in their power to kneecap the country’s ability to respond to climate change
For Republicans, the climate crisis is a joke. On Tuesday in the Senate, Mike Lee, a Republican senator for Utah, spent several minutes on the floor showing pictures of Luke Skywalker on Hoth, giant seahorses and Ronald Reagan shooting off a machine gun whilst mounted atop a dinosaur. This was his bid to “treat the Green New Deal”, which came up for a vote in that body on Tuesday, “with the seriousness it deserves”.
For a growing stretch of the country, climate change isn’t a joke but a deadly, imminent threat. Biblical flooding in the midwest this past month has left farmlands devastated and at least 20 people dead, all while the country lacks a comprehensive plan to handle such disasters. The Pine Ridge Reservation is experiencing a devastating state of emergency thanks in part to decades of federal neglect of and divestment from indigenous communities. And there are still people struggling to recover in Puerto Rico from 2017’s devastating hurricane season – efforts being actively undermined by a sociopathic indifference to the fate of that island’s residents. Rising temperatures are already a clear and present danger to millions of Americans, and disastrous Republican policy is already making it worse.
By contrast, scientists are unflinching in their recommendations for dealing with the problem: “rapid and far-reaching transitions” in “all aspects of society”, per the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
From the Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell’s sham vote on Tuesday on a Green New Deal to attempts dismantle the remaining benefits of the Affordable Care Act to Rick Perry’s push to bail out flailing coal plants, Republicans are instead doing everything in their power both to make sure temperatures keep rising and to kneecap the country’s ability to respond adequately to the results.