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Climate change isn't going away page 2
The time to ignore climate change has passed. (By Richard Amrhine)

 A threat to vital military installations: Hampton Roads is second only to New Orleans in storm surge vulnerability.
Steve Helber/ASSOCIATED PRESS
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 1/20/2013

continued

Gov. Bob McDonnell likes to portray himself as energy-conscious, particularly in pushing Virginia to lead the Atlantic off-shore wind energy industry. But as with other initiatives, he's really only in it for the business advantages. In proposing to eliminate the state's gas tax, he would encourage Virginians to drive and pollute more. Chambers of commerce and business groups love the idea.

Virginia Republicans, and Republicans in general, have proved their determination to thwart sound environmental initiatives on everything from the Chesapeake Bay to clean coal with arguments that are penny wise but pound foolish.

The truth is that in the long run, the challenge that global warming presents us trumps all else. Sooner or later we'll surely pay the price for failing to take the issue seriously, or change our polluting and energy-consuming habits, or divert our attention from senseless ideological debates.

What amazes me and should concern you is the time we're wasting on political intransigence. Why are we politically stymied by a congressional minority that inexplicably sees itself as superior to the rest of us and loves to express its ignorant views with such misguided certainty and gusto?

RECIPE FOR DISASTER

When it comes to leaving the Earth habitable for future generations, conservative Republicans' belief in a tax-free, self-based, self-reliant society is a recipe for disaster. If we can't overcome knee-jerk opposition to spending on health care, education, and even the most basic environmental programs we need in the short term, how are we supposed to cope with saving the planet?

We listen incredulously as loony right-wingers rail against both abortion and contraception. We roll our eyes as conservatives inject religion and Scripture into a public policy debate, apparently unaware that they and their arguments are then instantly irrelevant. We hear the NRA's gun gods claim that schools would be safer as armed camps, and that somehow the Second Amendment means any schmuck should be able to stockpile semi-automatic rifles and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Why in the world do we have to put up with this garbage?


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