He that shall not be named – climate change

It does not take ardent Harry Potter fans to know this reference to Voldemort of whom people are too scared to use his name. I use this reference as the legislators who govern the State of Florida have followed the lead of others to say it is not legal for state officials to use the terms “climate change” or “global warming” in print or official statements. One state environmental official was suspended without pay for recently violating this new law.

My only rationale for this ostrich-like head-in-the sand ruling is they are too scared to mention the Voldemort like term. My guess is the Florida legislators believe if they don’t mention it, climate change is not occurring. Below is a link to an article on the recent change noted by the Florida Governor. *

On the side of realistic concerns, the President used an example yesterday of how ocean water is coming up through the street drains after each storm in the city of Miami, Florida as a result of climate change. The increasing danger to this sea-level city has caused Miami’s Dade County sufficient alarm to join together with three adjacent counties to invest $200 million to shore up the infrastructure to stave off the rising sea levels due to that Voldemort thing. These Florida counties have received national acclaim for planning ahead. Below is a link to a post written last year on this problem for Miami. **

Closer to my home, the General Assembly of North Carolina refused to accept a peer reviewed scientific report two years ago that noted sea levels could rise 39 inches by the end of the century. This report was consistent with those accepted in Virginia, Louisiana and Maine. Our leaders were appropriately lampooned for holding back the tide with legal briefs. It should be noted our state is particularly vulnerable with our large wetlands inside of the Outer Banks and scientists are greatly concerned about what will happen.

Courtesy of our blogging friend Barney, who sent me a series of quotes, Andy Rooney once said “When you choose to ignore the facts, it does not make them less real.” At age 56, I know firsthand when you ignore water problems, the water will cause more anguish. The same could be said for our climate change problem. We need leaders who will address our Voldemorts, not to pretend they are not there. We are at least eight years behind on addressing climate change thanks to our previous President. It should be noted under President Bush, the White House Council on the Environment struck all references to global warming and climate change as well. So, Florida is not breaking new ground with “he who should not be named.”

Climate change is a real problem and its existence nor man’s influence on its magnitude can no longer be ignored. It is a health issue as well as an economic one. We must accelerate our plans to move forward with alternative energy. We must address the coastal problems which are exacerbated by storms, the longer droughts, the stalling weather systems, the increasing forest fires, all of which are made worse by man-influenced climate change. We are at a point where our planet and nation can ill-afford a candidate winning the White House who does not see this as the huge problem it is.

Please pay attention to legitimate sources of news on this topic and not news biased to tell a story fed by clever and well-paid merchants of doubt. Please ask your candidates questions and know where they stand on climate change. While it gets dwarfed in the news, this is one of the greatest threats we have facing our planet, as it affects so many things. To admit it is not happening as done in the state legislature of Florida is foolish.

* http://mashable.com/2015/03/09/florida-bans-global-warming/

** https://musingsofanoldfart.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/miami-2017-billy-joel-may-need-to-change-the-ending-with-the-encroaching-seas/

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22 thoughts on “He that shall not be named – climate change

  1. The wonderful state of Wisconsin, home of union-busting Governor Walker, has also banned any reference to Climate Change this week. In addition it cancelled and prohibited any on-going or new work directed at this topic. Apparently, other red states are also considering this Head In The Sand approach to science. And we elected, and continue to elect these fools.

    Great post

    • Barney, their funders are telling them to jump and they are saying how high. ALEC is even softening its stance, so this move is even to the right of ALEC. The GOP is tripling down on Bobby Jindal’s call to stop being the stupid party. But, with a poorly informed electorate they can get away with murder. Thanks for being one of the sane folks. BTG

      • I am beginning to think the Republicans, led by idiots like the Koch brothers, are the embodiment of the “death wish” that Freud spoke about. They will drag us all into a waterless and barren world — all in the name of bigger profits.

      • The pursuit of short term profits at the expense of long term sustainability has been a death knell to many a business and governing body. The fact these businesses use hired guns or merchants of doubt to perpetuate misconceptions to further those pursuits needs to be highlighted. But, even further these folks will perpetuate other bad decisions to garner votes for their candidates stay in power to do their bidding. Good comments, BTG

      • In “Flight Behavior,” to which I refer in a recent post, Kingsolver speaks about the “survival” mechanism of those who deny global warming. Ironic use of a term that is designed to explain why folks bury their collective heads in the sand (or elsewhere equally dark) and refuse to admit “the impossible.” The scientist in her novel likens our situation to a man in a canoe at the top of Niagara Falls, about to plummet to his death. He thinks he can simply paddle backwards, but he most assuredly cannot. But, as we know, this is ONLY a novel, pure fiction. Right.

      • Great analogy. Another explanation is cognitive dissonance where the views of a so-called trusted source are refuted by facts creating unsettling disharmony. So, the unsettled one goes back to the trusted source who assures them the other person is wrong. This is why talk radio hosts have a fervent base.

      • Another problem: scientists are careful in their predictions and tend to understate their case. And if they use technical language they lose their audience quickly (take it from me!) There needs to be another Carl Sagan who can “tell it like it is” without hemming and hawing. The problem is real and the longer we ignore it the more complex (and unlikely) becomes the solution. This assumes, of course, that people can still tell the difference between facts and opinions, which may be a problem.

    • Thanks for the reblog. This governor (Rick Scott) makes Jeb look good. Barney notes Wisconsin governor Scott Walker made the same ruling recently, which should discount his candidacy.

      • It is a great state and place. I just hate when politicians divide and conquer and not represent all citizens. Expunging the climate change words copycatting bad practice elsewhere is short-sighted and will actually come back to haunt Scott Walker in his campaign.

      • it is desperately to be hoped it shoots him in the foot!
        I find myself so easily discouraged. It is pathetic how easily I can be discouraged – easily discouraged by resistance, easily discouraged by opposition, easily discouraged by hardness of heart, easily discouraged by blindness. – C. J. Mahaney

  2. Some years ago there was a word – El Nino – I think it was in a time span – let’s call it 2003 to 2008. Warmer water, annd 2006 was the Moon orbit wobble, think tide variation and ocean currant changing some – maybe a lot. I don’t have to be a Scientist to stick a tape on the shadow on the floor from the moon shining through my south window. The variation alarmed me enough to ask my Astronomer friends to confirm “It’s an eighteen year cycle” ” That’s means a few billion years of consistent change” Umm humm, warm water flowing under the polar ice cap and around the south pole too. Humanity gives a little boost , call it a trigger. And now-
    “Americans watch too many Cop shows, if the law says it didn’t happen, it did not happen” When are we going to challenge authority?

    • Thanks Lee. What I don’t understand as people don’t follow the money. The industry most to gain from doing what they are doing is telling everyone it is not a problem. That by itself should give people pause and make them ask questions. Newt Gingrich goes on national TV in 2006 with Nancy Pelosi to say he was wrong about global warming and then runs for President in 2012 and says he was wrong to say he was wrong. Pogo was right. Good comment, BTG

  3. Note to Readers: I just saw “Merchants of Doubt,” about the PR folks who have helped the fossil fuel industry convince people that global warming is a hoax. It is most unsettling and would make hoaxers feel used if they checked it out. I will put together another post, but you need to check it out for yourselves. There are too many moments to mention, but seeing these scientists who have taken great pains in their research have their lives threatened daily because of the deception of these salespeople makes your stomach turn. It is also amusing to see video footage in 2008 of John Boehner, John McCain, Mitt Romney and, of course, Newt Gingrich, citing that global warming is here, a problem and is influenced by humans, only to see the same people, say it is not clear science in 2012. Not that the words of politicians should influence anyone, but it is comic relief in a somber, but well done documentary.

    Ps added later. Here is a link to an article which summarizes the film published online in a San Antonio publication: http://www.sacurrent.com/sanantonio/americans-revealed-as-willing-suckers-in-merchants-of-doubt/Content?oid=2423641

  4. Note to Readers: This is worthy of its own post, but we need to ask more “why” questions of our leaders. The above is a good example. Why would a leader make it an offense if someone whose position is contrary to the leader’s argument uttered the words “climate change” or “global warming?” If the contrary position’s argument is in the wrong, why would you make it a crime for a state official to utter these words? Think about that for a moment. If the leader’s position is correct, then he or she should welcome the argument.

    The correct answer is when a leader goes out of their way to squelch debate through restricting verbiage, then that means the leader’s argument is not sound as it should be. It is akin to labeling things or naming things with derogatory terms, so the validity of the argument is questioned – oh, he is just s tree hugger. Oh, he is just a liberal. Or, one that is revealed in the movie “Merchants of Doubt.” he is a watermelon – green on the outside and red (socialist or communist) on the inside. Glenn Beck loved this one and cut open a watermelon for all to see why climate change cannot be happening, as people who believe it is such are watermelons. Thanks for the lucid counterpoint.

  5. Note to Readers: The General Assembly in NC is grappling with bills to limit the premiums insurance companies want to charge to insure coastal properties. The premiums are rising quickly and some cannot afford the coverage (or cannot get coverage) and are having to default on their mortgage. I am not trying to trivialize this issue as property owners are concerned, but this past problem (of building too close to the ocean) is only going to get worse as a result of sea level rise. Insurance actuaries and underwriters appreciate science and what is happening to the coastal properties and land better than politicians who want to pretend climate change is not happening. One thing these politicians can be assured of is this problem is only going to get worse. What has happened at places like Bald Head Island, etc. will happen more frequently and houses further inland will be consumed by the sea. Some insurers will back out of the market, as it is not worth it to them.

  6. Note to Readers: While visiting my mother in Florida, a front page headline beneath the fold was entitled: “St. Augustine’s flooding problems getting worse.” The article is referencing the further encroachment of the rising sea levels due to climate change. The nation’s oldest city is seeing the water infringe on its historical footprint, which will threaten homes, vacation homes and livelihood through the tourism industry. Governor Rick Scott and Senator Marco Rubio will need to join the 97% club as we need leaders who see climate change for the problem it is.

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