Conservative Death Wish?

For nearly two decades, conservatives have denied…no, scoffed at…climate change. The Koch brothers paid scientists to create reports showing that climate change was a fraud. Republicans first created, then voted against, the idea of Cap and Trade. The Tea Party pushed the Agenda 21 conspiracy saying that a UN plan for global sustainability was a blatant attempt to create a one-world government. As a result, climate change is not only continuing. It’s accelerating at a pace faster than the worst case scenario climate scientists predicted some 20 years ago.

The glaciers on Greenland are melting at the rate of more than 27 feet every year. The Arctic ice pack is melting. Even the ice shelves and glaciers on Antarctica are melting, prompting climate scientists to predict truly catastrophic results.

It’s estimated that just the melting of Greenland’s glaciers alone will result in a sea level rise of roughly 21 feet, flooding 80 of the world’s 100 largest cities! Such a rise will displace approximately one-third of the world’s population and flood many of America’s largest cities, including Baltimore, Boston, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and more. And that’s just from the ice on Greenland!

Far from being frightened by that prospect, many conservative Christians actually welcome the news. They view the crisis as Armageddon…the return of Christ. They even hope to speed the event and the resulting “rapture.” Traditional Republicans fail to recognize the crisis because they believe that acting to prevent climate change would cause harm to the economy and the large, multinational corporations that contribute to their campaigns. More extreme Republicans can’t accept the possibility that Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth was an undeniable truth. Tea Party Parasites simply don’t believe in science. And far too many others simply don’t know and don’t care.

All of this might be humorous if the consequences of climate change weren’t so severe.

Addressing the problem would not only stave off disaster. It could re-energize our economy. In order to decrease the burning of fossil fuels, we could be building a robust alternative energy industry that would create tens of thousands of US jobs and lead to the export of goods and technology overseas. Restructuring our cities to replace automobile traffic with modern, efficient mass transit would make our cities cleaner, more liveable and create additional jobs. Rebuilding our cross-country rail system to replace long distance trucking would lower transportation costs, reduce traffic on our highways and reduce pollutants in our air. Re-fitting diesel trucks to burn cleaner LP gas would not only reduce CO2 emissions, it would help reduce chronic diseases such as asthma. Certainly, some industries will suffer. But those industries would eventually fail anyway and they’ll be replaced by new, more sustainabile industries.

The cost to do all of this will be many, many times less than the cost of moving or rebuilding just one of our major cities faced with rising sea levels. In all likelihood, the cost could be offset by a single catastrophic hurricane caused by climate change and a couple of seasons of fighting the growing number of wildfires caused by global warming.

We can do this! We can actually fight climate change and profit at the same time. Just because conservatives have a death wish, that doesn’t mean the rest of us have to go along with them.