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While Our Planet Melts, GOP Pleads Ignorance
by Leonard Pitts
It is irreversible now.
And there's a word that should get everybody's attention. Last month, two groups of scientists, publishing separately in the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters, issued reports that came to alarmingly similar conclusions: The melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet has reached a point of no return. If greenhouse gases stopped spewing forth tomorrow, we'd still face the grim prospect of steadily rising seas from this unstoppable melt.
So it would be a good idea to save what ice we still can. Or else condemn our grandchildren to vie for beachfront property in
This week, thankfully, the Obama administration -- once noteworthy chiefly for its disinterested torpor where climate change is concerned -- proposed politically risky new
The gutlessness, disingenuousness and sheer cynicism of this new tack are difficult to overstate.
For the record, most of us are not experts on climate science. But most of us have the good sense to listen to those who are.
The right, however, prefers to pretend there is some sort of "debate" in the scientific community over whether human activity is raising the temperature of our one and only planet. There isn't. Indeed, that finding is accepted by 97 percent of climate scientists. This, according to the
Our planet is at a point of crisis. The ice is melting, the sea levels are rising, the oceans are acidifying, drought patterns are changing, precipitation is increasing, extreme weather is growing ever more common. Yet for Boehner, the salient issue is that "every proposal that has come out of this administration to deal with climate change involves hurting our economy and killing American jobs."
Not to be glib about unemployment and recession, but if asked to choose between dinging the U.S. economy and killing the planet on which that economy depends -- assuming that were even a real choice -- it's hard to imagine most of us would prioritize the former. And if the Democrats' ideas are so bad, fine. Where are the Republican proposals? As was the case with health care, why are they once again late in their discovery of a critical problem and bereft of serious solutions therefor?
Here is an idea. The two parties should work together as if they were composed of adults to find a way to save our planet. Instead, the
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Article: Copyright © 2014, Tribune Content Agency
"While Our Planet Melts, GOP Pleads Ignorance "