Louisiana Governor and Republican presidential candidate Piyush “Bobby” Jindal sent a letter to President Barack Obama, requesting that the president not utter a word about climate change, when he comes to New Orleans to mark the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina on Thursday. Jindal made the request in writing on official state letterhead. In his letter, the Louisiana Governor wrote:
While you and others may be of the opinion that we can legislate away hurricanes with higher taxes, business regulations and EPA power grabs, that is not a view shared by many Louisianians.
I would ask you to respect this important time of remembrance by not inserting the divisive political agenda of liberal environmental activism.
Jindal’s letter demonstrates just how deeply he has internalized climate change denial as an article of faith. His world view is so skewed by living in a right-wing bubble that Jindal disingenuously tries to cast the mainstream scientific consensus on climate change as “liberal environmental activism.”
Furthermore, he makes a straw man argument, by attempting to mock his political opponents as people who believe they can legislate away hurricanes. Clearly Jindal’s misrepresentation of environmental regulations as efforts to ban hurricanes is a ridiculously obtuse way of dismissing the relatively complex and nuanced ideas behind a comprehensive policy to address climate change.
A lecture on climate change would do nothing to improve what we are already doing…Partisan politics from Washington, D.C. are unwelcome in Louisiana at the best of times. This week it would be met with nothing but derision. I would therefore ask you to carefully consider your message.
In 2008 you were elected on a promise of hope and change. Since then, New Orleanians have delivered those things for themselves. It would be constructive to bring people together in that same spirit.
Governor Jindal is clearly uncomfortable with any attempt to link the catastrophic effects of Hurricane Katrina to higher ocean temperatures and other factors related to climate change. Bobby Jindal wants to muzzle the president, because discussing climate change makes him and other Louisianans uncomfortable. However, ignoring the problem won’t make it go away.
Keith Brekhus is a progressive American who currently resides in Red Lodge, Montana. He is co-host for the Liberal Fix radio show. He holds a Master’s Degree in Sociology from the University of Missouri. In 2002, he ran for Congress as a Green Party candidate in the state of Missouri. In 2014, he worked as a field organizer for Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick’s successful re-election bid in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District. He can be followed on Twitter @keithbrekhus or on Facebook.