Republicans perpetuate climate change deception

By Bernard Heideman


Dear Editor:

The countries of the world have just agreed that mankind has affected the environment since the start of the Industrial Revolution. They have agreed to cut their emissions and contribute to helping developing countries bypass fossil fuels and go straight to renewable energy, as well as help them cope with the current effects caused by, or worsened by, global climate change.

From the Guardian newspaper: "A paper published in the journal, Politics and Policy, by Sondre B├ątstrand at the University of Bergen in Norway compared the climate positions of conservative political parties around the world. B├ątstrand examined the platforms or manifestos of the conservative parties from the USA, U.K., Norway, Sweden, Spain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Germany. He found that the U.S. Republican Party stands alone in its rejection of the need to tackle climate change ..."

So conservatives in those countries believe we need to address climate change, and all the countries of the world believe we need to address the issue, but our Republican Party doesn't think so. It has recently been discovered that Exxon/Mobil was well aware that fossil fuels were contributing to climate change in the 1980s, but chose to hire people to confuse the issue. The current Republican Party position goes along with this deception. This is what the tobacco industry did for years.

Our current representative, Scott Tipton, doesn't believe mankind has contributed to climate change. It is time we get someone to represent us who is not in the service of the fossil fuel industry. We need someone who is capable of working to solve our very real problems. Our grandchildren ask us to do this.

The transition from fossil fuels to sustainable, renewable energy promises to be rocky, with the fossil fuel industry resisting every effort to change.

Arnold Schwarzenegger recently said, "I don't give a damn if you believe in climate change ... a commitment to alternative energy doesn't require agreeing with climate change ... First, do you believe it is acceptable that seven million people die every year from pollution? Do you believe coal and oil will be the fuels of the future? Besides the fact that fossil fuels destroy our lungs, everyone agrees that eventually they will run out. What's your plan then?"

He then asks us to consider this: "There are two doors. Behind door number one is a completely sealed room, with a regular, gasoline-fueled car. Behind door number two is an identical, completely sealed room with an electric car. Both engines are running full blast. I want you to pick a door to open, and enter the room and shut the door behind you. You have to stay in the room you choose for one hour. You cannot turn off the engine. You do not get a gas mask. I'm guessing you chose door number two, with the electric car, right? Door number one is a fatal choice -- who would ever want to breathe those fumes? This is the choice the world is making right now."

It is clear to me that the national Republican Party has adopted an obstructionist position in service of the richest people and corporations in this country. I think it is time for the majority to say we've had enough and we want our politicians to work for the good of the majority.

What do you want? I want a safe, healthy environment, affordable or free higher education, health care for everyone, breaking up the big banks, a livable minimum wage, a smaller military, the end of the drug war, much higher taxes for the very wealthy, consequences for corporations and individuals who avoid taxes by taking their money out of the country, the preservation of a strong Social Security system, a sustainable agriculture policy and healthy food for everyone.

Bernard Heideman
Hotchkiss