Melting Ice Caps v. The In-Laws, With a Derisive Sneer at Marco Rubio

So I haven’t written much about Climate Change in a while (and in fact haven’t blogged, due to the hectic rush at the end of the term, but that’s over with, thank god) and here comes a batch of bad news about our wilting world: the headlines about melting Antarctic ice caps, coupled with the stupidity of Republican climate denial, best exemplified by Senator Marco Rubio’s (soon-to-be candidate for President!) nit-witted comment: “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,” he said. “And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy,” (qtd from the New York Times, May 11, 2014). This is the same genius who refuses to admit evolution, even if a smilodon were biting his ass. A great step forward in the 21st century!

But how we react to Climate Change, and what we can try to do about it, plays out on a personal level: Witness my in-laws, who would much rather my family drive a Suburban or Gargantuan or whatever extra-big & roomy vehicle, so we can carry as much stuff as possible. Last fall we bought a VW Jetta diesel wagon, which gets up to 49 mpg, but that’s too small for their tastes. Ah well. You can’t please everybody. But that minor rift says much about the state of denial/inaction in the U.S. The sensible thing gets criticized, rather than approved.
And although the carbon tax is the most popular idea for climate policy in the media at least, that seems too weak and easily manipulated to me. Let’s go long: one of my ideas for Climate Change policy would be to mandate solar power be installed on the roofs of all new homes, and all cars required to get 40 mpg or better. Part of the phony response to Climate Change is that “there’s nothing we can do that would make a difference.” Well, that would. But will it happen? Not yet. But political winds can shift. I never would have expected Obama to be elected President, twice no less. And do I think Rubio is going to pass muster? God, I hope not.
As my daughter, who is an official Yellowstone National Park Junior Ranger and young naturalist extraordinaire, is wont to say, “Please, Daddy. Please save our planet! I don’t want to see everything become desert!” Well, maybe those weren’t her exact words, but it was something like that. I think stuffed animals were involved.

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