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Sunday, May 25, 2014

An Editorial

Willfull Ignorance in Wyoming
by the New York Times Editorial Board

The year has already produced three alarming reports involving climate change.

The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reaffirmed the overwhelming consensus among scientists that the planet is warming, that humans and the burning of fossil fuels are largely responsible, and that the world must take aggressive, concerted action.

The federal National Climate Assessment described frightening changes, including unusually severe and persistent droughts, already occurring in the United States.  And two weeks ago, two groups of scientists reported that the West Antarctic ice sheet had begun to disintegrate irreversibly, a process that, over centuries, could cause a large and destructive rise in the oceans.

Despite all this, many leading politicians continue to dispute the science and resist any effort to regulate and reduce the emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas.  Among the prominent deniers are two Floridians -- Senator Marco Rubio and Gov. Rick Scott -- whose state is greatly at risk from even modest and relatively short-term increases in sea levels.

Some of this is to be expected in a political season, when politicians will do almost anything to prey on the public's fear of job losses.  What is truly depressing is the news that Wyoming's State Legislature has become the first in the nation to reject the new national science standards for schools, standards that include instruction on the human contribution to climate change.

The legislators' action arose from various motives, including hostility to government regulation generally and, more specifically, any teaching that seems to threaten the coal, oil and natural gas industries that are important to Wyoming's economy.  But it seemed also to be a willful effort to leave a whole generation of children in the dark about climate science.  This is more than standard-issue political posturing.  It is madness.

12 comments:

  1. I couldn't agree with you more. We're destroying our planet and soon the damage will be irreversible. We fiddle while our planet burns.

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  2. Agree 100% with this editorial and thank you for putting it on your blog. What we are seeing of climate change in the lower 48 pales compared to the arctic. "Drunken forest" from melted perma-frost as the trees tip over. Tundra ponds for geese and ducks drained through melted perma-frost. Polar bears drowning for lack of ice. As an ex-Alaskan, I appreciate this post.

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  3. Your first two comments well-covered the effect, the why is my meager contribution. We have a congress and government that has been reduced to either toe the line or out, from lobby's like the NRA and others representing the tea party, that is incapable of action on this and other equally important issues. I could rant for some time about the ineffectiveness of the Obama terms, the blatant lying of the Bush terms, but it's done.
    Our individual vote has become meaningless, our 'representatives' are controlled by lobby's, by elements in their respective parties that may not represent our wishes.
    In many ways, we are at fault. We've been complacent, hoping for the best, thinking that people would figure it out. Others have figured it out, and here we are.

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  4. Isn't Wyoming Dick "Boom Boom" Cheney's backyard????

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  5. Please understand, I didn't write this. It's a New York Times editorial. I just happen to agree with it.

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    Replies
    1. That's covered in the title, at the top. I knew that, I'm sure the other's did too. No worries, mate.

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    2. Thanks for posting the NY Times Editorial. Thanks also to Should Fish More for his response. Amen and Amen!

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    3. Eye opening article for anyone that hasn't heard the discussion.

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  6. And your tragedy of 'ignore-ance' is compounded by the fact that the US is not alone in this regard. And this ostrich behaviour is not confined to politicians and business people. I am amazed at the number of people who, when facing up to the necessary changes required to curb climate change, fall victim to the NIMBY syndrome.

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  7. I think it's irreversible now and that the answer will be to adapt, if that's possible. Since I'm 72, I have the feeling that I'll be "getting out while the getting's good". Sadly, for my grandchildren.

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