Reading time – 73 seconds . . .
In his stunning article in the June, 2014 The Atlantic exploring the issue of reparations for our American treatment of slaves and the effects on their descendents, Ta-Nehisi Coates quotes a Chicago Tribune editorial from 1891 that addresses this same issue:
“They have been taught to labor. They have been taught Christian civilization, and to speak the noble English language instead of some African gibberish. The account is square with the ex-slaves.”
Every point in that passage carries the stink of arrogance and of self-serving indifference to the ongoing pain caused to others. Arrogance and indifference, though, did not end with the 19th century.
97% of climate scientists tell us that the stuffing of Earth’s atmosphere with carbon dioxide and methane will result in a rise in sea level of at least 3 feet within the next 85 years. Couple that with the fact that South Florida (Miami, Palm Beach, etc.) sits roughly 5 feet above sea level and you can see that it won’t take a very big wave to submerge the entire lower half of the state. All it takes is to have passed 8th grade science class to understand this and a 97% margin should be enough expert opinion to persuade all of us (and especially Floridians) that we have a severe problem on the very near-term horizon, but arrogance and indifference rule the day.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) declared on ABC’s “This Week” that, “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.” And InsideClimateNews.org reported, “During the past three years, [Florida Republican] Gov. [Rick} Scott, a climate skeptic allied with fossil fuel companies, has led a systematic unraveling of nearly all the climate policies passed under his predecessor [Gov. Charlie] Crist” (italics added). Gotta wonder if these guys missed 8th grade science class.
Let’s see, we have a Florida senator who has presidential ambitions and who doesn’t want to alienate his base of knuckle dragging Luddites, so he sucks up to them by denying reality – he is just that important to himself. And we have a Florida governor linked to the fossil fuel industry, so he blinds himself to our inevitable and disastrous future in order to help his fossilized buddies, who likely help him.
These officials were elected to serve the very people who will lose everything as the ocean swallows their homes. Many will drown, as the tides rise and storms become ever more severe and catastrophically Katrina the state.
It seems that the short-term political self-interests of these politicians is far more important to them than the soon-to-be dire fate of their people. Clearly, their self-interests are steeped in arrogance and indifference.
So it is throughout the political world for issue after issue. It is no different than the arrogance and indifference of the Chicago Tribune a century and a quarter ago.
It is not just Floridians who better get to the polls and vote these self-serving people out of office. The tide is already up over 9 inches and it’s rising on every one of us every day, both metaphorically and literally.
By the way, lower Manhattan has about the same elevation above sea level as South Florida. So does Los Angeles.
Want to know what you can do about it? Vote the arrogant ones out of office and replace them with reformers. Watch this.
Ed. note: There is much in America that needs fixing and we are on a path to continually fail to make things better. It is my goal to make a difference – perhaps to be a catalyst for things to get better. That is the reason for these posts. To accomplish the goal requires reaching many thousands of people and a robust dialogue. Please help by offering your comments, as well as by passing this along and encouraging others to do the same. Thanks. JA
Copyright 2019 by Jack Altschuler
Reproduction and sharing are encouraged, providing proper attribution is given.