Calling Out the Climate Criminals
I do not believe that the bulk of climate-change deniers in the government, from Ted Cruz to John Cornyn to Donald Trump and the rest, are actually ignorant of the scientific facts [“Climate Denialism Kills,” Sept. 25/Oct. 2]. They will quote science when it suits them. I believe the situation is worse: These people are simply in the employ of the fossil-fuel industry, which is desperately trying to suck a few trillion more dollars out of the earth before it becomes as much a part of history as the clipper ship, as will happen within the next half—century.
These people are willfully poisoning the planet, and the future of their grandchildren, for the short-term gain of the Tillersons, Cheneys, et al. This is a crime against humanity, and history will see it that way.
Climate denialism alone isn’t killing us. The destabilization of the global climate system has been proceeding apace for at least the three decades since scientists like James Hansen first issued their warnings. We’ve all contributed—in our personal failure to adjust our lives to address the reality, as well as in the way we’ve enabled the control of public policy by an oligarchy that has insinuated itself into both parts of the political duopoly. While Republicans refused even to acknowledge the science, the Democrats did little more than take the few steps that their corporate donors found acceptable—while much of their base remained safely ensconced in the delusion that we were making “progress.”
Trump & Co.’s denials have certainly not helped matters. (His nomination of a climate denialist to head NASA, most likely to squelch any further data gathering on climate change, is just one in a long series of overt steps to obstruct public information on the subject.) And the Trump administration’s policies can only serve to worsen the situation. But that was already untenable. The extreme weather events, the burning of a pretty sizable portion of the western United States, etc.—all of this is likely the result of what we’ve collectively been allowing to take place for many years.
The question is what to do about it now. While we may already be at or beyond a climate-stability tipping point, it is our collective responsibility to do everything in our power, from this day forward, to make the necessary changes, both personal and political. We cannot be satisfied with simply changing faces in the White House—certainly not unless that means more than just a change of banner color, from red to blue. We must be committed for the long haul and, regardless of party, make our political leaders treat this as the existential crisis that it is.
A Dangerous Savior Complex
Regarding Rafia Zakaria’s “White Women and the Specter of Islam” [Aug. 28/Sept. 4]: The mixing of American liberal feminism and global interventionism is a concern I have felt since the early 1970s. This article articulates a challenge, well written and argued, that feminism as presented by most mainstream media is overdue to address. I hope that those familiar with Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Asra Nomani will review them, as I intend to do. My profound appreciation.
fergus falls, minn.