The Rising Costs Of Denial: This Election Day, Vote For Candidates Who Support Climate Action

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"The Rising Costs Of Denial: This Election Day, Vote For Candidates Who Support Climate Action"

by Bill Becker

Some of us in the climate-action camp have long believed that if common sense and sound science were not enough to end denial over global warming, nature would eventually do the job. Unfortunately, that path to recognizing reality leaves a lot of victims in its wake.

The millions of home and business owners victimized by Hurricane Sandy – and the billions of dollars that will be needed to recover – are demonstrations of how much climate denial costs. But after years of extreme weather events in the United States and worldwide, Sandy is hardly the only hard evidence that climate change is here.

Because they have blocked national policies to slow down greenhouse gas emissions, to remove public subsidies for fossil fuels, and to put a price or a cap on carbon, climate deniers and those who fund them must take responsibility for the fact that perfect storms are the new normal and will be for generations and centuries to come. People are dying. Homes are swept away. Businesses are shut down, often for good. Federal spending on disaster assistance is rising. With the impact of past carbon emissions still in the pipeline and yet to be felt, it will get worse.

Still, one presidential candidate promises to implement a national energy policy that panders to oil and coal while the other hasn’t had much to say about what we should do to manage the obvious risks of global warming.

Perhaps we shouldn’t care what the rest of the international community thinks about us, or how our children will judge us, but one has to wonder what respect the United States and the current generation of adults can expect when its actions are controlled by the insatiable greed of carbon industries and the ridiculous influence of political leaders who contend that climate science is really a socialist plot to take away our SUVs.

It is long past time to recognize that when it looks like a climate duck, and it walks like a climate duck, and it quacks like a climate duck, and our best scientists conclude that it is indeed a climate duck, it’s a climate duck, not Chicken Little.

With the election only a few days away and despite early voting, we have to hope it’s not too late for voters to elect a president and members of Congress who will not stand by, or be bought off, or allow boneheaded denial to continue while weather made more dangerous and costly by climate change makes victims of us all.

Bill Becker is executive director of the Presidential Climate Action Project.

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3 Responses to The Rising Costs Of Denial: This Election Day, Vote For Candidates Who Support Climate Action

  1. Well, this Californian just came back from casting my vote for Dr. Jill Stein for President. I also voted for CA Issue 39 on the ballot to support clean energy jobs in CA.

  2. BillD says:

    The Senate is really important. The idea that Sen James Inhofe could be chair of the Senate Enivonment Committee fills me with fear and nausea. If we can believe Nate Silver, the Dems have the Senate in the bag and will probably win the White House. I sure hope that Richard Mourdock will NOT be my senator. I gave some money to Donelley, Warren and Kane and hope that all three of these Senate candidates will be celibrating tonight.

    Wesley above–I see your point for a protest vote for a green candidate. But would you have voted for Stein if California were in play for the presidency?

  3. Sasparilla says:

    “we have to hope it’s not too late for voters to elect a president and members of Congress who will not stand by, or be bought off, or allow boneheaded denial to continue..”

    Oh Bill, your statement is a forgone conclusion if either of the two main candidates and their parties (the only ones that have a chance to win) win the election (which they will for sure).

    Mr. Becker’s statement defines the two parties presidential candidates and their congressional performance for many years back (even when the Dems had a veto proof majority in the Senate after Obama got in when he campaigned on the issue “to stop the rise of the Seas”…course they’re just rising faster now).

    Voted for Stein (Green) here in a state that wasn’t close…once a 3rd party gets enough votes (but its a pretty high bar, of course, like 15% or something) then they can get federal matching campaign financing and become a force in politics – once that happens with the Green party the Dems might start taking this issue seriously at the Federal Level, until then they have nothing to loose by just talking a good game (or not, as this campaign has shown) and taking the fossil fuel companies, and other large companies, campaign contributions to not do anything on climate change while the future burns.

    As others have pointed out, if the race was close in my state I wouldn’t have had the luxury to vote Green, but I do have that luxury so I did.