Global climate change, as we’re seeing, is not a joke. The consequences are real. And we should scorn, mock and drive from our society politicians who fail to acknowledge that fact.

    I didn’t think it was possible for me to be any more pissed than I was during the Republican National Convention when I heard Mitt Romney say the following.

    If there’s any silver lining at all in what’s happening right now along the east coast, it’s that maybe, just maybe, people will begin to see Romney for the smug, entitled, pandering little anti-science asshole that he is. I cannot even begin to fathom how one of our candidates for the highest office in the country could stand on a stage, in front of millions, and suggest that caring about America’s families and caring about the effects of global climate change are somehow mutually exclusive. I wonder how the families of the 11 Americans already killed by Hurricane Sandy feel about Romney’s guffaw-inducing inference that our President was stupid and out-of-touch for wanting to see climate change addressed in a serious manner. I know that it may not seem like a big deal to a man with a diverse portfolio of homes, and access to private jets that can easily shuttle his family between them, avoiding the dangers brought on by rising tides, and the increasingly violent weather patterns that have become the new normal, but some of us actually have to stay in these areas ravaged by the extreme weather brought about by global climate change, and fight for our lives.

    But, as I said, some sanity is beginning to peak through the dark grey clouds of anti-intellectualism. Just today, Republican Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie, knowing that his state is in serious peril, dropped his ‘we need to slash taxes and starve the federal government’ nonsense, and began praising the Obama administration’s preparation for the hurricane. “I appreciated the president’s outreach today in making sure that we know he’s watching this and is concerned about the health and welfare and safety of the people of the state of New Jersey,” he said… The lessons of Hurricane Katrina, it would seem, become a little less abstract when it’s your people facing the brunt of a hurricane’s destructive force.

    Thankfully for Christie, Obama is the President right now and not Romney, who has gone on the record saying that we should eliminate, downsize or privatize the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Here, with more on that, is yet another piece of video of Romney.

    And, before you say that he doesn’t really mean it, let’s remember what the Romney economic plan, as outlined by Paul Ryan, would do to FEMA. The following is from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

    “States and local areas hit by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, and tornadoes often seek help from the federal government. In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, at a governor’s request, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) helps people affected by the disaster get food, water, and shelter, and can help with search-and-rescue missions and providing electric power. FEMA also helps states and local governments repair or replace public facilities and infrastructure, which often is not insured. This form of discretionary federal aid would be subject to cuts under the Ryan budget. If it were scaled back substantially, states and localities would need to bear a larger share of the costs of disaster response and recovery, or attempt to make do with less during difficult times. Federal discretionary funds also help states, cities, and other local governments hire police officers. Big cuts in funds to hire police officers would shift more of the cost of hiring these officers to state and local budgets.”

    A Romney/Ryan budget means a return to the Bush policies that made the disaster of Hurricane Katrina possible. It means cuts not only to FEMA, but to federal organizations that track severe weather, so that we can better prepare for their impact. Is that the kind of future we want for America? I know that the Libertarian fantasy of the rugged individual standing up to such challenges unimpeded by ineffective government is an attractive one to some, but, at some point, we need to grow up and face the reality, as Governor Christie apparently has, that we created the federal government for a reason.

    Romney friend and Republican anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist once famously stated, “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.” Unfortunately, though, as Hurricane Katrina showed us, it’s not just the government that drowns these policies are put in place.

    This entry was posted in Environment, Politics, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

      19 Comments

      1. Edward
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:17 am | Permalink

        Better that Romney is exposed on this front now than next year at this time, as President. We lived though that with Bush, and I don’t want to do it again.

      2. anonymous
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

        I have a rule that’s served me well over the years. When hiring potential employees, I weed out those individuals who express a desire to see my business fail. Romney has expressed again and again is dislike for government, and his intention, if given the opportunity, to not just slash it to the bone, but to tear its limbs off. As you point out, we saw that that looks like a few years ago, in New Orleans. I, for one, do not want to live though that again.

      3. Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        If you make donations, he will carry it to the affected areas on his bus. That’s really nice of him.

      4. John Galt
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 8:39 am | Permalink

        Everyone knows that the gays are responsible for Hurricane Sandy.

        http://www.salon.com/2012/10/29/pastor_blame_gays_for_hurricane_sandy/

      5. John Galt Jr
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 9:03 am | Permalink

        With an androgynous name like “Sandy” we should have seen this coming. Obviously the National Hurricane Center is promoting the Rom-bama gay agenda.

      6. Aaron B.
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 10:56 am | Permalink

        Climate change and even more general the stewardship of the planet should be one of the most important issues today even more important than gas prices and taxes yet it was barley an issue in this years campaign. This is a real shame.

        Deny the scientific consensus if you want but one can not deny that we are still ravaging the planet with pollution, deforestation, mass species extinction, coral reef degradation etc. etc.

        I also find it does not make sense how some of the religious types make such big deals about abortion but have zero concern for how we treat the planet as a whole. Is the planet not important to God as well?

      7. John Galt
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        You make me so proud, son. I’m just so very happy that God sent me to legitimately rape your mother that night.

      8. Meta
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

        Chris Christie was great on Fox and Friends thins morning. When the asked whether he’d be showing Romney around the hardest hit areas of New Jersey so that he could have Presidential looking photos taken, Christie said that he wasn’t the least bit interested. He said, “I could care less.”

        http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/10/30/christie-praises-obama-doesnt-give-a-damn-about-romney-photo-op/

      9. SparkleMotion
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

        Christie is pretty savvy – he’s smart enough to know that he’s at the head of the line with Rubio for GOP 2016 and he knows an opportunity to separate himself from the madhouse right when he sees one (even when he’s agreeing with them).

        Oh, and @John Galt – the mandate came out last night – it’s no longer legitimate rape. We are to now use the term “surprise sex”.

      10. President Obama
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

        Readers of MarkMaynard.com,

        This is a serious storm, but we are going to do what it takes to keep people safe and secure, and make sure the communities affected get the assistance they need. FEMA is working with state and local governments to respond effectively. We all owe a debt of thanks to the first responders who will be dealing with the immediate impact of the storm.

        If you live in the storm’s path, please listen to state and local authorities about where and how to take shelter and stay safe — and encourage your friends and family to do the same. If you are asked to evacuate, please take that seriously.

        For more information on how to prepare for this storm, visit Ready.gov.

        And if you’d like to find out how to support relief efforts where they’re needed most, please visit the Red Cross or your local relief organization:

        http://my.barackobama.com/Red-Cross

        Michelle and I are keeping everyone in the affected areas in our thoughts and prayers. Be safe.

        Barack

      11. anonymous
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        Surprise fornication, legitimately conducted, for the glorification of our Lord.

      12. Meta
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        Mike Tidwell in The Nation:

        The presidential candidates decided not to speak about climate change, but climate change has decided to speak to them. And what is a thousand-mile-wide storm pushing eleven feet of water toward our country’s biggest population center saying just days before the election? It is this: we are all from New Orleans now. Climate change—through the measurable rise of sea levels and a documented increase in the intensity of Atlantic storms—has made 100 million Americans virtually as vulnerable to catastrophe as the victims of Hurricane Katrina were seven years ago.

        Arriving atop fantastically warm water and aided by a full foot of sea-level rise during the last century, Hurricane Sandy is just the latest example of climate change’s impact on human society. Unless we rapidly phase out our use of fossil fuels, most Americans within shouting distance of an ocean will—in coming years—live behind the sort of massive levees and floodgates that mark Louisiana today.

        The New York Academy Sciences has already begun examining the viability of three massive floodgates near the mouth of New York Harbor, not unlike the Thames River floodgate that protects London today. Another floodgate has been proposed for the Potomac River just south of Washington, fending against tsunami-like surge tides from future mega storms. Plus there will be levees—everywhere. Imagine the National Mall, Reagan National Airport and the Virginia suburbs—all well below sea level—at the mercy of “trust-us-they’ll-hold” levees maintained by the Army Corps of Engineers.

        Oceans worldwide are projected to rise as much as three more feet this century—much higher if the Greenland ice sheet melts away. Intense storms are already becoming much more common. These two factors together will in essence export the plight of New Orleans, bringing the Big Easy “bowl” effect here to New York City and Washington, as well as to Charleston, Miami, New York and other coastal cities. Assuming we want to keep living in these cities, we’ll have to build dikes and learn to exist beneath the surface of surrounding tidal bays, rivers and open seas—just like New Orleans.

        Meanwhile, it’s not our imagination that hurricanes have grown more ferocious than in the past. Multiple scientific studies in the past few years have found that rising sea-surface temperatures linked to global warming are causing an increase in the number of stronger hurricanes. Sandy, right now, is approaching the East Coast atop Atlantic sea-surface temperatures a full five degrees Fahrenheit above normal. One study by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology concluded that hurricane wind speeds have doubled in the past thirty years. This may account for the fact that among the six most powerful hurricanes recorded in the Atlantic Basin—going back 150 years—three occurred over fifty-two days in 2005: Katrina, Rita and Wilma. And Sandy, as measured by its area of influence, is now the biggest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic.

        Higher sea levels create other conditions that will only enhance hurricanes. In 1985, Hurricane Gloria made landfall north of New York Harbor. As a Category 2 storm, it could have had a serious surge tide. But it was a relative dud, causing only minor flooding. New York got lucky because the storm struck at maximum low tide. But with three feet of sea-level rise, we will be creating what amounts to permanent high-tide conditions in the New York region and everywhere else, guaranteeing that future storms like Sandy will become surge-tide heavyweights.

        What can we do? Three major options: (1) abandon our coastal cities and retreat inland, (2) stay put and try to adapt to the menacing new conditions or (3) stop burning planet-warming fossil fuels as fast as possible.

        Retreat, of course, is no one’s first choice. But adapting means committing fully to the New Orleans model. It means potentially thousands of miles of levees and floodwalls across much of the East Coast. And that’s just to handle the rising sea. For hurricane surge tides, the only solution might be to build those major floodgates across New York Harbor, the Potomac Rivers and elsewhere. But are we truly ready to become New Orleanians, casting our lot behind ever-higher, unsustainable walls? Once we commit to fortified levees and massive floodgates, there’s no turning back. It’s an all-or-nothing proposition, as New Orleans has graphically demonstrated.

        In truth, we must combine some level of adaptation with the third option: switching away from fossil fuels and onto clean energy. Clean energy is less expensive, less risky and overall much better for us. It’s the option that treats the disease of global warming, not just the symptoms. Only by dramatically reducing greenhouse gas pollution—by putting a price on carbon fuels and ushering in real gains in wind and solar power and efficiency—can we slow the sea-level rise and potentially calm the growth in hurricane intensity.

        Perhaps now, after seeing the full wrath of Sandy, the next president will move from total silence to real action.

        The article:
        http://www.thenation.com/article/170894/we-are-all-new-orleans-now-climate-change-hurricanes-and-fate-americas-coastal-cities

      13. Knox
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

        Romney event in Ohio is introduced by a song with the lyric, “Knee-deep in the water somewhere.”

        https://twitter.com/JFKucinich/status/263294428301627393

      14. Bob Krzewinski
        Posted October 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm | Permalink

        I am just waiting for someone who believes halloween is devil-workship to gloat that Sandy was their gods act to cancel the annual New York City Village Halloween Parade. If only New York would have had a “harvest festival” instead Sandy would have never happened – http://www.halloween-nyc.com/

      15. EOS
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 5:19 am | Permalink

        “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.”
        Matt 10:29

        God is real and your denial of Him in no way alters that fact.

      16. roots
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 11:12 am | Permalink

        Romney should watch _Surviving Progress_.

        Hilarious, Mittens!

      17. anonymous
        Posted October 31, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

        I just gets better and better:

        “The Romney campaign bought $5,000 worth of food so that it would look like their supporters were bringing it.”

        http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2012/10/5000-shopping-run-walmart-turned-romneys-campaign-stop-relief-event/58529/

      18. Mr. X
        Posted November 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

        One man’s response to Mitt Romney after having lost his home in the storm.

        http://youtu.be/D7kycr2sWh8

      19. Jim
        Posted November 3, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

        Mark, I think you’ll like this ad.
        http://grist.org/politics/the-most-brutal-ad-youll-see-this-election/

      3 Trackbacks

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      2. [...] dismissive comments on global climate change prior to Hurricane SandyBy Mark | November 3, 2012As we’ve discussed before, during the Republican National Convention, Mitt Romney took the stage, and, pandering to the far [...]

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