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Republican National Convention Ironies, 2012

The Republican National Convention has presented more than a few ironies this year.

The first, most-widely discussed irony was posed by Hurricane Isaac. Having delayed the convention by a day or so, it pinned Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal at home, where he so overcame his aversion to Federal disaster aid to states as to tell President Obama, Oliver Twist-like, “Please, sir, I want some more.”

Hurricane Isaac deposited this tree on this car.  Image courtesy "infrogmation" and Wikimedia Commons.

Hurricane Isaac deposited this tree on this car. Image courtesy "infrogmation" and Wikimedia Commons.

But greater ironies lurk just slightly deeper. While the delegates were alternately learning the Horatio Alger biographies of speakers’ beloved family members, and being ritualistically asked whether they prefer America prosperous and free or weak and debt-ridden, more than three-quarters of the country was experiencing some degree of drought.

In fact, drought was affecting 85% of the U.S. corn crop, 83% of soybeans, 63% of hay, and 71% of cattle areas. Corn prices were up 142%, and soybeans 127%. Crop insurance payments—funded by the taxpayer—may reach $20 billion.

Parched ground in Middle America, 2012.  Image courtesy Al Jazeera English, Flickr, and Wikimedia Commons.

Parched ground in Middle America, 2012. Image courtesy Al Jazeera English, Flickr, and Wikimedia Commons.

In the West, yet another brutal fire season is still in full swing. So far, a reported 7 million acres have burned, eclipsing the 2006 record. Federal and State firefighting budgets have been exceeded—the Federal budget by about 50% so far, with reported costs to date reaching around $1.4 billion. More than 700 homes have been destroyed.

Underlying these realities is a record-warm year for the lower 48 states. 2012 brought the warmest July ever observed, surpassing the 1936 record. The year to date is likewise the warmest ever, and so is the most recent 12 month period. Such heat increases evaporation, which dries soils and plants, encouraging drought and wildfire.

Wildfire in the Gila National Monument from orbit, May 2012.  Image courtesy NASA.

Wildfire in the Gila National Monument from orbit, May 2012. Image courtesy NASA.

Heat hasn’t been limited to the continental US, though. In the far North, the Arctic sea ice pack is plummeting to a seasonal minimum far lower than anything seen by humans. Last season’s minimum volume, as estimated by the University of Washington’s PIOMAS model, had already declined by 75%. This year’s volume will be much lower, and there is no end to this trend in sight. An sea ice “death spiral” appears to be an Arctic reality.

Arctic sea ice volume at annual minimum (as reconstructed by PIOMAS, University of Washington.)  Image courtesy L. Hamilton.

Arctic sea ice volume at annual minimum (as reconstructed by PIOMAS, University of Washington.) Image courtesy L. Hamilton.

This ice loss will lead to more heating, as reflective ice is increasingly replaced by absorptive seawater, bringing more solar energy into the Earth system. And there is developing research suggesting that Arctic heating also leads to a slower, “wavier” Jet Stream.

Such a Jet Stream seems to bring more extreme weather events. With weather systems ‘blocked’ in one place for longer periods of time, we suffer floods like the 2010 Pakistani disaster, heat-waves like the lethal Russian event the same year—or agricultural disasters like America’s Drought of 2012.

Polar Jet Stream.  Image courtesy NASA.

Polar Jet Stream. Image courtesy NASA.

The speakers at the RNC have expressed their concern for the future fiscal well-being of America’s kids in the most heart-warming terms. Vice-Presidential candidate Ryan has pledged that “I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old.” But where is the concern for the environment those kids will inhabit? Where is the recognition that a healthy economy must rest upon a healthy environment?

John McCain--the last Republican presidential candidate to admit the reality of human-induced climate change?  Image courtesy "my name" and Wikimedia Commons.

John McCain--the last Republican presidential candidate to admit the reality of human-induced climate change? Image courtesy "my name" and Wikimedia Commons.

As recently as 2008, the Republican Party platform included a plank on the need to reduce fossil fuel use and to control greenhouse gas emissions. This year, the energy policy is to take “advantage of all our American God-given resources”—that is, “Drill, baby, drill” writ large. Emissions control via cap-and-trade is explicitly repudiated, and a carbon tax is unthinkable. The EPA is to be stripped of the ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. This neatly eliminates all avenues to control greenhouse emissions.

The party doesn’t even want to know about possible dangers: climate change, now recognized as a ‘severe threat’ in the National Security Strategy, is to be demoted or eliminated from that document. And recent Republican initiatives to defund climate-related research and to forbid Federal agencies to consider the effects of climate change in their planning processes speak louder than any mere Party platform can.

This shouldn’t surprise. The rise of the Tea Party has meant a rise in Republican anti-science rhetoric and attitudes as well. It is now routine to see the reasoned conclusions of thousands researchers dismissed as mere rent-seeking, or even as political conspiracy. GOP moderates, more open to common sense positions, have retired or been forced out. John Huntsman’s admission that he believed climate science’s conclusions was a campaign liability—a liability Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan carefully avoided.

At the RNC, 2012.  Image courtesy Lig Ynnek & Wikimedia Commons.

At the RNC, 2012. Image courtesy Lig Ynnek & Wikimedia Commons.

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Unfortunately, this leaves the Party and its leadership oblivious to the costs that climate change is imposing today, much less the vastly greater costs to come. So oblivious, in fact, that Mr. Romney could use climate change as a joke in his acceptance speech. “Four years ago, President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans…” he said—waited for the laugh.

The Tampa delegates are energized and full of visceral conviction, and their energy combines with the Convention’s folksy rhetoric, emotional appeal, and slick production to make a captivating media show. It may fairly be said that the GOP is hot right now.

But it’s America that is burning.

Other climate-change Hubs by Doc Snow


Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on April 07, 2014:

Well, it would be nice, wouldn't it?

However, actual scientific study of the expected impacts reveals a much less rosy picture than you paint. While relatively small amounts of warming will have benefits as well as costs, the more the warming, the more the balance will tilt toward costs, and the fewer the benefits will be.

Already, warming has cost hundreds of thousands of lives and hundreds of billions of dollars in the present millennium. It's barely noticeable on the scale of the global population and economy. But that's for only .7-.8 degrees C.

For example, from the just-released Working Group 2 portion of the IPCC's authoritative Fifth Assessment Report, we find:

"Risks associated with global temperature rise in excess of 4°C relative to preindustrial levels1 arise from the potential for adverse impacts on agricultural production worldwide, extensive loss of ecosystem functioning, extinction of a substantial proportion of the earth's species (high confidence), and traversing thresholds that lead to disproportionately large earth systems responses [19.5.1]."

In plainer words, we'll lose a high percentage of the Earth's biodiversity, we'll have great difficulties in the agricultural sectors (with consequent ripple effects of the sort we saw when high food prices following the drought of 2012 helped kick of the Arab spring revolts, including the current Syrian civil war), and we'll see climate feedbacks such as accelerated loss of Arctic sea and the melting of Arctic permafrost which will create further warming, and take out of our hands any possibility of halting the warming process.

The 4 degree number is significant because that is well within the possible 'business as usual' trajectory we're currently on.

For more context about various harms at particular levels, read the AR 5 report linked, or see my Hubs around Mark Lynas's "Six Degrees." The main Hub is here:

cerbereth on April 07, 2014:

I think global warming is going to be a net positive for the world. It'll bring longer growing seasons and access to about 22% of the worlds undiscovered oil hiding under the arctic ice. Shorter shipping routes as well to transport goods. People should stop trying to stop the inevitable and adjust to it instead.

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 30, 2012:

"You know you all are impossible to have a discussion with about data or facts - all you do is attack personally anyone who presents facts that contradict your position or you ignore what is said."

Well, it's true that I said Mr. Goddard lacks credibility, and I suppose that it is reasonable to call that an "attack." Yet that is *his* modus operandum--see your linked article, which says:

"NSIDC does not mention the record Antarctic cold or ice on their web site, choosing inside to feature an article about global warming threatening penguins," and "NSIDC does have a completely nonsensical discussion page explaining why Antarctic ice does not affect the climate."

He's insinuating bias--though he doesn't have the fortitude to come out and say so, nor apparently anything to support his insinuation. So, if I lack other justification for "attacking" him, I could at least claim that I am following his example.

But I'd rather let Mr. Goddard's words speak for themselves. So, here's the link to the article I mentioned above:

Make up your own mind about the quality and objectivity of the analysis therein.

jonnycomelately on September 25, 2012:

If, when you say something "is a fact," you instead said " in my understanding I think it's a fact," or something similar, then we could suppose you have an open mind that is willing to consider other points of view.

When any of us gets annoyed with you (our emotions as you say) , it's because you seem to be set in a particular opinion. Of course you are entitled to your opinion, it's important to state it.... I have no problems with that.

Yet it seems like you don't allow us to have a different opinion to yours, even when Doc Snow can legitimately question your "facts."

Ball's in your court - in case you want to discuss and not demand.

The Logician from then to now on on September 24, 2012:

You know you all are impossible to have a discussion with about data or facts - all you do is attack personally anyone who presents facts that contradict your position or you ignore what is said. Jlately, the only emotional responses I have read in these comments come directly out of your mouth. God bless you all. Bye, bye.

jonnycomelately on September 24, 2012:

A further point, Tdjatko. Doc Snow has mentioned the part that emotions play in this argument.

It seems that you are totally controlled by your emotions in regard to your precious republican views. Can you step back for a moment, look at yourself, see your blinkered attitude? Open up your mind to the real possibilities. Get real!

jonnycomelately on September 23, 2012:

Tdjatko, why are you so distrustful of scientists? Have you met with any, or spoken with any? Can you name them? Who do they work for? Monsanto? Tobacco companies? Oil moguls? Electronics consortia? Drug cartels? Or are these scientists the ones you call " real scientists without hidden agendas?"

Republicanism represents Capitalism, right? Any leanings towards a socialist and caring community go right out the window, right? Those who need help because of some unfortunate glitch in their lives are lazy and need to get off their backsides and work for a living, right?

You all love Gard, say a few hallelujahs on Sunday Morning, and are quite capable of putting the whole world to rights with your righteous views, right?

No doubt you will tell me quickly if I am wrong.

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 23, 2012:

Tsadjatko, Mr. Goddard is not a reliable source, frequently making basic errors of a pretty egregious sort. An illuminating example was his prediction (August 11, I believe) of an early end to the melt season--excuse me, he disavowed it as prediction, even though it was his headline. His allegations about others lack all credibility.

The Logician from then to now on on September 20, 2012:

The whole thing very well could be a "joke" given Climategate and current information like this that comes out frequently

To be on the other side of FACTS like this article presents is actually the joke.

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 11, 2012:

Thanks for clarifying. However, my point is that the Republican view--meaning, the view dominating policy decisions in today's Republican Party, though not of every individual Republican*--flies in the face of evidence of *both* parts of the equation. The evidence that humans *are* causing climate change is very strong indeed.

Other than making it the punchline of a joke, what do you see as Mr. Romney's view on global warming? Clearly, his energy policy to encourage maximum exploitation of fossil fuels will (if effective) result in increased US CO2 emissions.

If one disbelieves in the climatic effects, then one will conclude that is fine. If the climatic effects are real, on the other hand, then this would be an expensive, even tragic mistake. That is the lesson of the ironies we are seeing: it's not just a little extra warmth, not just a little earlier spring. It's big-time disruption of climate and ecology--both of which figure to cost us, big time.

So what Mr. Romney thinks could matter, a lot. And what he has communicated to me during this campaign is that he thinks the whole thing is a joke--something not even worth taking seriously.

In that, I think he and the party are tragically mistaken.

*Little-known factoid: climate-change scholar and activist James Hansen is reportedly a registered Republican.

The Logician from then to now on on September 11, 2012:

As I already said you can go on forever debating global warming which seems to be what you want to do. I never intended to do that.

I repeat the whole point of my comment was "What is glaringly apparent in these comments is the misrepresentation of the Republicans view of global warming " which is that there is not conclusive evidence that it is caused by man. And even after saying that twice you ignore the fact that commenters on this hub repeatedly say Romney doesn't believe in global warming totally not addressing it and correcting the falacy of those comments. It's your hub, do what you want but don't blame me for stringing out your rant.

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 11, 2012:

Tsadjatko, I did not attack you. I corrected erroneous statements you made--no need to take it personally! I can cite (not "sight", BTW) sources for the statements I made if you like. But in the meantime, let's look at yours.

According to the first link you gave, Dr. Tim Ball in 2004 claimed that the climate has been cooling since the 1940s. Then in 2006 he said "There's been warming, no question. I've never debated that, never disputed that. The question is the cause." Which was followed by yet another flip-flop...

It's not surprising; Ball has misrepresented his own credentials, and is currently defending a libel suit in which his promulgating blatantly false assertions is not in question--for instance, he claimed that Dr. Andrew Weaver was 'backing away' from the IPCC, when in fact Dr. Weaver is currently working once again as an author of a chapter in the forthcoming IPCC 5th Assessment Report.

The other figures cited are very much the same old handful of 'contrarians'. They may be scientists, but very few of them have any professional publications in the area of climate--which, in this context, makes them NOT 'the best.' Professional publications are where the scientific discourse takes place. The same holds for your 2nd link: Leighton Stewart may have authored a popular book, but there is no evidence to suggest that he has a professional background in the study of climate.

Secondly, I did not say that you mentioned CO2. *I* mentioned it--this IS my Hub, remember? I'm glad that you accept that CO2 levels are up. You don't say whether you also accept that that is due to human activity, but this is also very well established. As to the question of whether this affects global climate, the theory on this goes back a ways. Since you want links:

First enunciation of greenhouse effect, 1824:

Discovery of greenhouse properties of CO2 and water vapor, etc, 1860:

First mathematical model of global warming/cooling induced by changing CO2 levels, 1896:

Incorporation of (relatively) modern infra-red spectrographic data, documentation of human-induced rising CO2 levels, and first use of temperature time series in attribution of climate change, 1938:

Brief history of modern climate change science:

In closing this brief consideration of the scientific basis of climate change theory, I'd like to point out two things that are not often appreciated. First, the IPCC is not a political body, contrary to oft-hurled accusations. Nor does it conduct primary research.

What it does is to report to world leaders the current state of the science on climate change. It does this by synthesizing, evaluating and summarizing research carried out and published in the professional literature. The editorial process is extremely open--comments may be made by 'outsiders', and editorial responses are made publicly available online--a fact ironically attested by contrarian/skeptic/denialist writers who have tried to twist the record to their own purposes.

If you want to really learn about the science, you can't do any better than to actually read the Assessment Reports yourself--they are extensive indeed, and (again, contrary to oft-repeated accusations) quite scientifically conservative.

Secondly, the overwhelming support for the mainstream position has been well-documented. Professional researchers in the field overwhelmingly agree with the points I made above:

Moreover, literature searches find a similar level of agreement.

Finally, turning back to your repeated assertion that the views of Republicans are misrepresented by me, I think you will find, if you do a little searching, that public oopinion surveys find a much higher level of Republican 'skepticism' about the mainstream science INCLUDING the fact of warming itself, than among independents or Democrats. And can you seriously contest the fact that admitting warming during the primary campaign would have been a serious liability for any Republican candidate?

Having responded to the points you rasie, let me raise one of my own. I've approved your coments above because I don't like censorship, and because I believe that honest discussion will bring out the truth. But I note a degree of repetition that gives me pause. I'm not going to bore readers here by allowing endless recycling of non-responsive assertions in the face of the evidence. Or to put it plainly: keep it responsive, please, or you may become the first commenter ever whose comments I moderate out.

The Logician from then to now on on September 11, 2012:

You aren't listening are you - the whole point of my comment was "What is glaringly apparent in these comments is the misrepresentation of the Republicans view of global warming." We can argue til the cows come home about whether man causes global warming because the verdict is far from in and real scientists without hidden agendas will tell you the truth about that. You want to throw pollution into the mix - why don't you do your part and go live in a cave and shoot animals with a bow and arrow to live. In the mean time can't others stop lying about what republicans say or do.

jonnycomelately on September 11, 2012:

tsadjatko, I don't care a damn about your arguments, quoting scientists, reports, conflicting findings, ad nauseum. You and all of us will be convinced by what we want to believe!

I only ask you to take a sensible, intelligent look at what we are doing in today's world.

In the city where you live, morning and evening, there is traffic..... vehicles by the hundreds of thousands daily, churning out carbon monoxide which turns rapidly to carbon dioxide. In every city of the world this happens, daily! A jet airliner uses as much fuel during a trans-Atlantic journey as would fill an average-sized garden swimming pool. That fuel produces many many tonnes of carbon dioxide.

Newspapers, advertising brochures, etc., are used once and discarded into the "bin." Single use - yet the energy which has gone into their production is enormous. The electricity used in manufacture produces carbon dioxide. For what? Any long-term benefit? No.

Plastics, artificial fertilizers, cosmetics, pharmaceutical drugs, are manufactured from fossilized fuels, and end up as trash, to be pushed out of sight while causing extensive pollution.

What you and I, US humans are doing, is bound to be producing harmful effects to our planet, our home.

Get real!

Stop wasting time debating nonsensical matters where you don't want to hear the other point of view

Get working in your own life on something useful! Make a few small changes and adjust your life to make a positive difference.

The Logician from then to now on on September 11, 2012:

And another glaring observation - the whole point of my comment was "What is glaringly apparent in these comments is the misrepresentation of the Republicans view of global warming " Funny how you ignore the truth of that statement totally not addressing it and correcting the falacy of those comments but you attack me. No agenda there is there?

The Logician from then to now on on September 11, 2012:

oh and here is another of your tactics - the strawman - I never stated anything about co2 which you throw in as part of my "falacies". I never disagreed that co2 levels are up but what is the TRUTH is that the verdict is out on whether that causes global warming and it is likely it doesn't.

So now who is playing fast and loose with falacies? I never mentioned CO2

The Logician from then to now on on September 11, 2012:

Doc Snow Really Is there a reason you don't sight a single link supporting your comment - I have and here is more

Maybe you should look up the definition of fallacy before throwing around accusations - I may have a difference of opinion with you based on facts but that is not fallacies. Nice try to smear and belittle the messenger - from the old democrat playbook and a primary liberal tactic when they are wrong, which is more often than not.


jonnycomelately on September 11, 2012:

Let's call it an attitude problem. Once you have it in your mind that the people calling for change are a nuisance, a humbug, then you are unlikely to open up your mind to further information - which might be at variance to what you already accept.

If, for example, you regard anyone who is out of work as a lazy good-for-nothing, then you are unlikely to warm to his/her reasons for being out of work and poor. The reason may well be that food is so scarce, the mum or dad has given most, if not all, of the food available to their children, just to keep them alive. Then the adult is lacking sufficient nutrition. Consequently, if there is too little blood glucose circulating, the brain is unable to function adequately. You need mental energy to get yourself "out of the hole" you are in. You end up begging to someone (often the State or a church group) for help. If that group is a right-wing, capitalist Republican, your chances are zero!

I am sure there are some such Republicans who are really decent, loving and blessed people, hence the story of The Good Samaritan. But you get my point?

Open your eyes to the real world of need and adversity. You will have to step out of your comfort zone in order to see reality.

Maybe I have got your politics wrong... sorry if that is so.

jonnycomelately on September 10, 2012:

I believe even that story about Ostriches burying their heads in the sand, is not entirely accurate, but for the sake of argument, I will use the phrase!

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 10, 2012:

tsadjatko, you managed to pack quite a number of fallacies into just a few words. As a writer, I'm impressed.

But no, it's not cyclical, the "best scientists" are amazingly unanimous in saying that climate change is real and is caused by humans, and it is neither "unscientific," "unrealistic" nor "absurd" to think so--it is clear that we have increased atmospheric CO2 by 40%, and equally clear that that is responsible for the warming we have been observing--it has nothing to do with the sun (which has been cooling slightly, according to satellite measurements.)

Lastly, we won't be dead of climate change in ten years--unless we are personally very unlucky. But there's a pretty good chance that we'll be paying more for our food and our insurance.

The Logician from then to now on on September 10, 2012:

Check back with me in ten years and if we are all dying from global warming I'll be the first to admit you were right - not going to happen 'cause this climate change has been happening before industrialization ever came onto the scene and it is cylical - the best scientists in the world will not deny that and to think that humans can cause a global warming catastrophe let alone keep it from happening if nature goes down that path is not only unscientific it is unrealistic and absurd. Like we can control the sun?

jonnycomelately on September 10, 2012:

tsadjatko, sorry to have to say this, but as an outsider, looking briefly in on that Republican convention, I saw a huge crowd of people, all dyed in the same vat, looking up at a central figure who was saying all the right things, just to please everyone listening. And don't they show their pleasure?!

I suspect the same sort of thing happens at any convention, regardless of the political party involved.

I call it the Preacher mode: letting one personality dupe you into believing nice concepts. Yet when you get into the nitty-gritty of it, there is no substance to it unless you put some good common sense into the mix.

Please get into your head that WE, the human race, in particular the so-called Developed countries, are using up the resources of this planet like there is no tomorrow. We are knocking so many species off the perch, never to be seen again, just because we are greedy; selfish; lazy; unintelligent.

IF you decide that humans are NOT responsible the current spate of global warming, at least admit that it is happening. The scientists can predict with reasonable certainty that some big changes are going to happen in our world, and it WILL affect us humans.

So tell us how you and your political party are going to help the world prepare for such changes. If you have it your way, this political party will be in charge when it happens and it will be held responsible.

No good turning to a fictitious "gard" then.... we make our bed, we lie in it!

The Logician from then to now on on September 10, 2012:

What is glaringly apparent in these comments is the misrepresentation of the Republicans view of global warming - They do not say that there is no climate change as commenters repeatedly accuse them of believing. What they say is that there is no conclusive evidence of man made global warming and there are many reputable scientists who agree, unlike those charlatan East Anglia hoaxers who you probably consider to be scientists.

What I got from just about every DNC speaker at their convention is that they are in love with abortion which kills more people every year than global warming ever will. A great paraphrased quote sums it up: "Today's Democratic Party is on record for birth to grave entitlements. The problem is getting safely through birth". Dennis Miller

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 09, 2012:

Well, thanks for your kind words, i scribble!

I think that there are several reasons for the resistance to real engagement with the topic of the climate crisis: reluctance to acknowledge unpalatable truths; scale and remoteness of the problem (people tend to perceive it as a problem that will affect faraway places the most, and mostly farther in the future than they are used to thinking); and the difficulty of knowing which information is reliable

in the face of the climate disinformation campaign. (That's one reason why I wrote about the immediate American realities of drought and so forth in this Hub.)

I think that there is a lot of scientific information on climate change available already; what's needed is to help people connect to the problem at an emotional level. (Of course, any information presented should still be correct and representative.)

As to the title, I applied the one which seemed most pertinent, while being somewhat 'grabby.' That's pretty much what I do. If you check my profile page, you'll find lots of Hubs bearing titles beginning with the words "Global Warming Science." Although this one, which might interest you, certainly has a somewhat cryptic title:

Profile page:

i scribble on September 09, 2012:

Another great hub on the climate crisis. I hope many more people will read and take it to heart. For me, there's no more critical issue, but when I write on it, hardly anyone reads. Why do you suppose that is? Is that the reason you gave this hub a political title, not mentioning climate change in your title?

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 07, 2012:

Ah, yes--the old 'who do you trust' dilemma. I can so relate. At times I've deliberately sought out contrary opinions to my own to try and get around the 'self-selection-bias' trap. But it's time-consuming, not always satisfactory, and in some cases impossible to stomach.

As to hogging the Hub, I sure don't mind your comments! Thanks for taking the time to make them!

jonnycomelately on September 07, 2012:

Part of what prompted my previous post was a program I saw last night about the South Tower on 9/11. Recently I also saw a video about the "conspiracy theory" surrounding that dreadful happening.

The question struck me: "How do we KNOW whom to believe?"

The answer is, of course, we don't! We believe what we want to believe.

The bigger question, for me, is: "If I distrust someone, what has that someone done to make me distrust him/her?"

GWB has come in for a lot of criticism, so have other members of his administration. All we (general members of the public, world-wide) get to know about such personalities is what we read in the newspapers and see on the box. Information only comes to us by the good grace of individuals, mostly those who have a particular agenda.

The news media moguls; their editors; the politicians; the big business owners; the lawyers - in fact anyone who has an ulterior motive.

Our situation here in Australia is little different; we have a globalization of everything these days!

It's sad that we do not have faithful, dutiful, honest, courageous leaders to take us through this kaleidoscope of difficulties. (This is a personal opinion here: I believe that in Barack Obama you have a President who comes close to several of those ideals I have mentioned, but of course - where does my information come from?)

Must stop here, hugging your Hub is not appropriate.

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 07, 2012:

"I believe there are enough good people, regardless of nation or culture or political party, who will fill the gap and come forward."

I, too, think there are more than enough good people. But good people (like bad ones!) don't all think alike. And much as I believe in the power and validity of logic and rationality, decision-making has a necessary emotional component--something in an argument or proposition or idea must 'feel true' for us to be convinced. One of the dimensions of that feeling is the degree of trust in the information source--and the 'climate change denialati' have their own information ecology. It'll take a while, I'm afraid, for them to complete the erosion of their own credibility.

"If each of us begins by being trustworthy, then that might just start the ball rolling."

Yes--though this is harder to actually do than it sounds, I've found!

jonnycomelately on September 07, 2012:

It has been said that a country gets the leader/government it deserves.

Well, with out heads in the sand we should not be surprised if someone gives us a big boot up the proverbial.

Translate this principle to the entire world, and if we elect or allow bad people to govern then we will all suffer.

So, can we look for better people? They are out there! Can we get some trust in someone? Can we tell them what we want of them and expect them to honour our trust?

I believe there are enough good people, regardless of nation or culture or political party, who will fill the gap and come forward.

If each of us begins by being trustworthy, then that might just start the ball rolling.

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 07, 2012:

Thanks for your comment, Jean. Yes, it does seem that the GOP has become captive to those determined to bury their heads in the sand WRT climate change--and perhaps, as you suggest, about other issues as well. For instance, I struggle to understand how Mr. Romney will be able to increase defense spending, cut taxes, save Social Security and balance the budget, all at the same time.

Jean Bakula from New Jersey on September 06, 2012:

I think it's absurd that R's are still saying there is no climate change, after the plethora of natural disasters the U.S. has seen. It was the warmest winter on record in the Northeastern States, and all Spring and Summer, we had hot days, in the 80's, it would rain, and the temperature would drop 30 degrees in an hour. All of my garden has died. I believe the R party is really in denial about more than climate change though. Interesting look at the situation.

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 06, 2012:

Thank you, jonny.

It's true that a closed mind can be very reluctant to open up again. But survival--and the welfare of one's kids--are powerful motivators.

One hopes that the challenges facing us will become evident enough, fast enough.

jonnycomelately on September 06, 2012:

You are absolutely right, Doc Snow, you have written a very powerful Hub but, I am sad to say, it will only ring true with folk who are willing to open their minds, their eyes, their ears and their good sense.

Anyone who is stuck in a "belief" mode will be blind, by choice usually, to anything which you have written.

There is so much we can all do if only we stop burying our heads in the sand. This goes for people in big business, especially. But each of us, as tiny and insignificant as we are, has a vital part to play.

Doc Snow (author) from Camden, South Carolina on September 05, 2012:

What do you think about climate change? Is it a joke, as Mr. Romney seems to believe, or is it behind the extreme weather events which have cost the world so much in the past few years?

If the latter, what should we be doing about it?

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