Extreme Weather; Extreme Denial

[Content Note: Extreme weather; death.]

While parts of Texas and Oklahoma prepare for more storms and more flooding, and more people are being displaced by rising water, on the other side of the world, a heatwave in India that is literally melting streets has killed nearly 1,400 people.

Extreme weather is becoming the new normal.

Meanwhile, we have more than a dozen official and potential Republican candidates for the US presidency who still won't even acknowledge that global climate change is a real thing over which we have some control.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the first major US presidential candidate to make climate change a central part of her campaign. And here is Senator Bernie Sanders on climate change and its importance just last weekend:

CNN Reliable Sources anchor Brian Stelter: It's rare to hear a candidate, or any politician, really talk about the systemic issues in the press the way you did last week. Ah, I kinda lit up when I heard it, and I wondered: Is that a winning strategy for you? To be going at the press?

Sanders: Look, I don't know if it's a winning strategy or not, but this is what I do know: The middle class of this country is disappearing, despite the fact that people are working longer hours and they're earning lower wages. We have seen an explosion in technology and productivity, and yet all of the increase in income and wealth is going to the top one percent. Do you think that that's an important issue to discuss? According to the scientific community, uh, climate change is the great planetary crisis we now face. Do you think we might want to be discussing that issue? You have the top one-tenth of one percent now owning more wealth than the bottom ninety percent.

I'm the ranking member of the budget committee—I dealt with the Republican budget, which throws seven million people off of health insurance, cuts educational programs by tens of billions of dollars, gives tax breaks to billionaires. You know how much coverage that got? Outside of the political gossip? Virtually nothing.

A few years—last year, I had the presidents of CBS, NBC, ABC in— We tried—we talked to them. Why is it that you're not covering climate change significantly, okay? You tell me why.

Stelter: So what happened in that meeting?

Sanders: Well, actually, a coupla weeks later, there was a lot of discussion about climate change.

Stelter: Mm.

Sanders: But the scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, already causing devastating problems, and that we have to reverse course. Do you think we're seeing that kind of discussion in the media?

Stelter: Some Republicans will hear about that meeting you had with the presidents of some of the networks, uh, the news divisions of the networks, and say that sounds like some sort of, uh, inappropriate coordination between the government and the press.


Sanders: [laughs contemptuously] Inappropriate coordination? To ask them why we're not discussing the major planetary crisis facing us? I don't think so!

Stelter: Yeah, but the rebuttal would be: The press should make up its own mind, collectively, about what should be a priority to be covered.

Sanders: No. The answer is, of course, the American people and elected officials can weigh in as well. No one is telling them; no one is forcing them. But when the scientific community tells us something is enormously important, maybe just maybe we may want to be discussing it.
There are candidates who care what is happening to the planet and to the people who inhabit it, and an entire party of shitlords who don't.

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