Forget Terrorism, Republicans Are America’s Greatest Existential Threat

*The following is an opinion column by R Muse *

Any sane, semi-intelligent human being would tend to listen to experts if they repeatedly were warned their existence was in jeopardy. It is a damn crying shame that Republicans are not only not remotely sane, or semi-intelligent, because they have willfully ignored a couple of decades’ worth of warnings from experts that their families and nation are facing an existential threat of epic proportions.

This week, in a very straight-forward and easy to understand letter to mainly Republicans in Congress, 31 leading scientific societies reiterated their warnings and the reality that human beings burning carbon are causing climate change, and that at this point only human beings can stop it. As if it was breathtaking news, the scientists wrote, “To reduce the risk of the most severe impacts of climate change, greenhouse gas emissions must be substantially reduced.”

Remember, Republicans either claim that anthropogenic climate change is a liberal lie, a plot to destroy the American oil industry, a dirty hoax perpetrated by those nasty scientists, or it doesn’t exist and everything is normal.

Republican members of Congress claim that climate change is non-existent because, by their own admission, “we aren’t scientists,” so how would they know if there is a reason to be concerned or why would they take steps to combat it? Maybe because seven years ago 18 of the same 31 leading scientific groups sent a nearly identical letter to Congress warning; “We’re Alarmed. Here’s Why You Should Be, Too,” and “IPCC Scientists Emphasize Immorality Of Inaction By Focusing On ‘Irreversible Impacts’.”

The 31 scientific groups attempted to explain yet again that:

Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research concludes that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver. This conclusion is based on multiple independent lines of evidence and the vast body of peer-reviewed science.’”

The letter also noted that,

There is strong evidence that ongoing climate change is having broad negative impacts on society, including the global economy, natural resources, and human health.” The latest scientists’ letter is, in one respect, different than the 2009 letter where the 18 organizations “only warned of the impacts to come.”

In that letter instead of saying “climate change ‘is having’ broad negative impacts,” it only warned that “there is strong evidence that ongoing climate change ‘will have’ broad impacts on society, including the global economy and the environment.” Any conscious American with half-a-brain, except Republicans, already sees and feels the effects of climate change such as those the 2009 letter warned “will impact” society.

The latest letter to Republicans in Congress explained what those “broad negative impacts” are having on America. “For the United States, climate change impacts include greater threats of extreme weather events, seal level rise, and increased risk of regional water scarcity, heat waves, wildfires, and the disturbance of biological systems.” To date, and currently ongoing and getting worse, all of those “impacts” are playing out daily with no end in sight with unseasonal and deadly flooding, killer heat waves, and horrifically devastating droughts.

It is beyond difficult to comprehend why any American, Republican, religious extremist, or otherwise, would doubt the reality of climate change no matter who raised the alarm. Climate data, not conjecture, from the air, land and water all reveal indisputably that the Earth is warming to the detriment of society, America’s national security and economic stability.

In January of this year the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA jointly announced that 2015 was the warmest year on record for the planet ever. The previously warmest year on record was set the year before and, as noted by climatologists, the 2014 record “wasn’t merely broken, it was smashed.”

The really bad news is that this annual record-breaking temperature increase is not, as some climate change deniers claim, just an anomaly or part of a “normal weather cycle.” According to empirical data, “15 of the 16 warmest years in NOAA’s 136-year climate record history all occurred since 2000.”

In fact, the record temperatures in 2015 marked the 39th consecutive year in which global temperatures have been higher than average during the 20th-century dating back to 1977. That was about the same time climate scientists began warning that without some kind of concerted global effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the Earth’s population would see substantial climate changes within a couple of generations.

Those changes the world is seeing now came sooner than expected in great part because no-one paid any heed to scientists’ warnings or attempted to rein in the cause of global warming: greenhouse gas emissions. Without President Obama’s one-man crusade to reduce emissions, America would have made no effort whatsoever to combat climate change because Republicans are wholly-owned, operated, and controlled by the fossil fuel industry. It is why they both deny climate change exists and fight tooth-and-nail to obstruct any and all of President Obama’s efforts to combat it.

If the 31 scientific groups thought a letter to congressional Republicans would have any effect, or convince them to join the President and rest of civilized society to stave off certain climate disaster, they are deluded. To date, there have been several agencies and organizations unrelated to “climate scientists” that have issued stark warnings that not reducing greenhouse gas emissions was “game over for the climate,” a threat to national security, and an economy destroyer.

For dog’s sake, even the world’s largest oil companies have weighed in and warned that without swift action to reduce emissions there would be irreversible damage. Still, because Republicans aren’t scientists, and one moron senator from Oklahoma found a snowball in Washington D.C. in the winter, in their minds climate change does not exist.

Republicans are not solely to blame for the lack of climate change action, because main stream media continues affording Republicans “a free pass on this most preventable of existential threats to America.” Tragically, even if the public understood that Republicans are solely responsible for blocking climate change action, they would still elect idiot Republicans.

Look, if roughly 90 percent of Americans support the most basic gun safety regulations, simple background checks, that Republicans refuse to act on, it doesn’t matter how many scientists, Pentagon officials, economic experts, or Americans suffering droughts, wildfires and flooding warn policy makers they had better combat climate change; these are Republicans and if they are not abiding the wishes of the NRA, they are drooling to obey the demands of the Koch brothers.  Terrorists are not the greatest existential threat to America, Republicans and the ignoramus Americans that keep electing them are.