The Weekend Politics Thread Heats Up

Most of the time, I like the Earth. Without it, I would be floating in the vacuum of space, which sounds pretty uncomfortable. Another cool thing about Earth is that nearly all my friends live here, and it’s nice to have a place we can all hang out. So the fact that the Earth is being damaged by human actions in various ways is upsetting to me. I have the impression that most people feel similarly. Perhaps they also prefer this comfy habitable zone over all the alternatives competing for their presence, such as the previously mentioned vacuum of space.

But not everyone! There are some folks who heard the news about global warming and environmental degradation and said, “Good! I hate this planet and its biosphere! I want it to suffer!” You may note the hypocrisy here, as anyone who says such a thing out loud does so via the atmosphere, provided free of charge by that same planet. Anyway, it’s a bit hard to fathom: Who doesn’t like the Earth? What is the origin of this rare but not nearly rare enough anti-environmentalism? Let’s take a look at three motivating forces, with examples.

1. Money

This requires little explanation. Oil companies and other polluters make a lot of money doing what they do, and they buy politicians and propagandists to make sure they can keep doing it. FIN. Well, wait, I guess we need some examples. Are you familiar with a gentleman named Ryan Zinke? He is the US Secretary of the Interior, responsible for implementing policy about land use. He is a climate change denier, and has consistently fought against the regulation of fossil fuel emissions and the development of alternative energy sources. His motivation is shrouded in mystery, but I’m willing to speculate: Bribes.

The Interior Department’s internal watchdog has launched a full investigation into a real estate deal involving a foundation established by Ryan Zinke and developers including Halliburton Chairman David Lesar…

-Politico, July 18, 2018

It goes on from there, but you get the idea. Also, he made a lot of his wealth from the oil industry in the first place. Also also, he’s from Montana, and a lot of politicians from places with big oil industries are conveniently servile to the industry’s needs. Remember Sarah Palin? No? That’s good, you’re better off. Anyway, her “Drill baby drill” routine was pretty outrageous, but it didn’t come from nowhere. It came from Alaska, one of America’s oil-drillingest states.

2. Partisan hatred

Anti-left fervor. Self-destructive berserker rage against liberals. The wrong people said it, and I will oppose it with every fiber of my being, even if it kills me! Raaaaargh!

This kind of heartfelt hatred is expressed through accusations of conspiracy. It’s all lies to hurt innocent, helpless polluters! Scientists are all in on a liberal plot to destroy our precious bodily fluids! If we clean up the Pacific garbage patch, we’ll be defenseless against kaiju!

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012

Yes, exactly like that, Donald. Good job!

Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe accused the Environmental Protection Agency Thursday of creating “propaganda” and “brainwashing” American children.

“We are going to take all this stuff that comes out of the EPA that is brainwashing our kids, that is propaganda, things that aren’t true, allegations,” the Republican told CNN’s Poppy Harlow on “New Day.”

-CNN, March 16, 2017

Right, yes. Thanks for the assist, Senator. I think that’s sufficient for a demonstration of…

In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record. Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 29, 2017

OK, you can stop now. Please.

3. I don’t know. Man, just, *sigh* I don’t know.

Brazil just elected fascist Jair Bolsonaro to the Presidency, and he has appointed Ernesto Araújo as foreign minister. Let’s hear from Mr. Araújo, via the Guardian’s summary of his blog:

In another [post], he claimed the centre-left Workers party in Brazil was “criminalising sex and reproduction, saying that all heterosexual intercourse is rape and every baby is a risk to the planet as it will increase carbon emissions”. He then went on to accuse the party of criminalising red meat, oil, air conditioners and Disney movies.


President Trump, anything to add?

You have to take care of the floors, you know, the floors of the forest, very important. You look at other countries where they do it differently and it’s a whole different story. I was with the president of Finland and he said we have a, we’re a forest nation — he called it a forest nation — and they spent a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things and they don’t have any problem.

-November 17, 2018

Here’s my editorial comment: There are few things on Earth more dangerous than focused stupidity. Combine greed, spite, and colossal dumbitude, and you get a serious threat to the well-being of everyone stuck in this here biosphere. Not exactly a hot take, but like everything else, it’s getting hotter all the time.

Enjoy the politics posting this holiday weekend! But don’t threaten anyone, including Mayor McSquirrel.