Monday, September 05, 2016

Is Climate Denial Really Republican Plot to Regain National Dominance?

In NY Times story by Justin Gillis printed in yesterday's Alaska Dispatch News about how climate change is now causing regular flooding of coastal area in Virginia and other states, and talks about local expenditures to protect communities being inadequate.  It talks about how the military has made protecting bases against climate change threats, but that Congress' gridlock keeps money from being appropriated.  Gillis writes that
"A Republican congressman from Colorado, Ken Buck, recently called one military proposal part of a 'radical climate change agenda..”
"Radical climate change agenda."  This guy seems to have a pretty narrow circle of friends if he uses trigger words like 'radical' and 'agenda' to enclose climate change.

Reading that caused me to think.  OK, this guy is in Colorado.  His district is the eastern 1/3 or so of the state.  So he's probably about 800-900 miles from the Gulf of Mexico and maybe 1200 miles from according to Net State:
the Pacific Ocean.  Furthermore,
"Colorado's low point, 3,315 feet above sea level at the Arikaree River in Yuma County, is the highest low point in the nation and is higher than 18 state high points."
So, Colorado will be the last state where the population feels the effects of rising oceans.  Though the ski industry is concerned about how climate change will affect them, but it looks like those areas aren't in his district.

But then it hit me.  The Republicans see their party imploding.  Demographics are against them (at least in their current mode) and their presidential candidate seems to be using his nomination as a branding exercise for his businesses rather than a serious run for the White House.

But.  But.  If rising seas take out liberal strongholds on the east and west coasts, that would leave the more inland and more conservative states.  Yeah, I know this sounds far fetched, but I'm adding it to my list of possible reasons people oppose climate change legislation like a carbon fee with dividend.

OK, I've used this (to me) unknown legislator's comment to make a rather light-hearted post.  And I am concerned that I not, out of ignorance, disparage someone who's doing a decent job and who's been taken out of context.  Actually, I don't think I have disparaged him, I just used his comment as a jumping off point, but I thought I should find out more about him.  We all should understand more about the people who are quoted regularly in the news - otherwise how do we know how to take the person's comment in the larger context?

So here's what I found out about him.

Buck had enough going for him that got into and graduated from Princeton, though on Wikipedia he is quoted as saying, he went there to please his father.  He moved west and got a law degree at the University of Wyoming.  (Still Wikipedia:)
In 1986, he was hired by Congressman Dick Cheney to work on the Iran-Contra investigation. Following that assignment, he worked as a prosecutor with the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington D.C.[5] In 1990 Buck joined the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado where he became Chief of the Criminal Division. Buck was formally reprimanded and required to take ethics classes in 2001 for a meeting he had with defense attorneys about a felony case he thought should not be pursued.[3][6] Only one of the three men initially indicted on felony charges was convicted, for a misdemeanor offense.[6] Buck said he is "not proud" of the incident that effectively ended his career with the Justice Department,[6] but says he felt it was "unethical" to prosecute such a "weak" case against the three men.[7] One of the three men donated $700 to Buck's 2010 Senate campaign.[6]
The Denver Post tells us more about the case.  It involved illegal gun sales.

Then there's the case where he chose not to prosecute a rapist, even though the victim had a tape where the rapist acknowledges that what he did was rape.  He told her that she had 'buyer's remorse" and there was an allegation by the rapist that she'd had an abortion in the past.  Buck is against abortion, even in cases of rape and incest.  And he once said that homosexuality is a choice though it might be influenced by birth, like alcoholism.

 He introduced a bill this year to make attacking a police officer a hate crime.

This is one the men who helps pass (or obstruct) laws in Congress.  What do you know about the other 434 Members of Congress?


  1. But I look at the people who are the most invested in the worries of climate change are the same people who over the last 20 years have moved to urban areas in mass numbers. These urban area produce none of their energy or ever will. They require all their food to be brought to them, all their waste taken. Water pumped to them and everything else. So why if those so believe aren't moving to the country, putting cells on the roof, a heat pump in the ground. Installing a septic tank, pumping their water and getting off the grid? Because they rather have a cute cafe down the street where they can sit and write their screenplay on their macbook.

    1. Anon, Thanks for jumping in. What you say seems obvious, but maybe it's not so. There are those who argue that city dwellers have a smaller carbon footprint than country folks. For example


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