Monday, May 12, 2014

It's not just about Obamacare, folks.

Note to self: this is the 200th episode of The Wifely Person Speaks. Somehow it feels longer than that. 

Sunday, when he stopped by the house, the junior son filled my bicycle tires. Now, one might think I could fill my own bicycle tires, but noooooo. Not in the Ziggy household where we are are proud owners of a full sized air compressor. I have no idea why we even have a full size air compressor, and I'm not even sure I want to know. It’s right next to the freezer in the garage and unlike some people who unplug the freezer in order to plug in the giant air compressor and then forget to plug the freezer back in, I remembered to flip back the plugs.

There is nothing like peddling through the neighborhood at a leisurely pace while your bum is trying to get used to the bike saddle again. All those lovely calluses you built up last year are barely there. Your knees are screaming, "MURDERER!" with each push of the pedal...not that their whining is going to stop you from at least once around the pond. What almost did stop me, however, was a Prius. Damn thing is silent. Never heard it sneak up behind me. I think I'll invest in a rear-view mirror. 

Speaking of how fragile life can be...did you happen to hear that part of the West Antarctic ice sheet has collapsed? Scientists have known it was coming for a while, based on site measurements and real data collection...not computer generated modeling speculation. This is not one of these, "Oh, we can fix this later" kinda things. This is a serious game changer. 

In response, a number of our fine Congressclowns have launched yet another series of attacks on science. Now, I'm not talking about rocket science here; I'm talking about basic environmental science. If you passed the third grade, most of this stuff should be decipherable for you. You can grasp simple concepts like melting ice caps and increased sea level. No one is asking you to diagram the difference between nuclear fission and fusion. 

Marco Rubio, poster boy for the GOP these days, explained his position rather eloquently in an interview with ABC News broadcast on Sunday:

“Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that's directly and almost solely attributable to man-made activities…I don't know of any era in world history where the climate has been stable. Climate is always evolving, and natural disasters have always existed… I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it. That's what I—and I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.”
Really? You really think that, Senator-from-pretty-much-sea-level-Florida Rubio? You were absent the day they taught ozone layer and ice caps in science class? Oh! Wait! You probably didn't go to one of those liberal, progressive schools where they taught actual science as opposed to just mythology! 

Yeah, sure, it's going to take several centuries for the full impact of the loss of the ice sheet to be felt. But if ocean levels are already rising at a perilous rate, a few centuries aren't all that long. Put a guy like Rubio in the White House and you can bet your bottom dollar...but certainly not his.... the Delray Beach contingent will be moving in with me in pretty short order because I'm all the way up north and in-land. 

Out of the current crop of GOP contenders, only Chris Christie admits climate change is real. The rest, and this includes Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Jeb Bush, Mike Pence, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee are pretty much all deniers. 

Now, one would think We, the People would want the best and the smartest guys running this country. Sticking one's head in the sand or denouncing science in favor of profit are not desirable qualifications. 

West Antarctica, . 
Photograph: EJ Steig/Nasa
If you extrapolate, there's a bit of an issue if your elected representatives don't get the science part. How can they write bills to allocate funding for stuff we health research, agricultural development, land management, animal health, environmental protection....all that other stuff if they can't converse intelligently on science? These right-wing-pseudo-religious-wacko candidates go on and on about God's gifts to mankind and how we are all the recipients of divine bounty ad nauseum, yet they shit all over the biggest gift of all: Earth. They refuse to own up to their responsibility as leaders (and I use the term loosely) to speak up on behalf of the planet. Every single one of these assholes is letting greed and profiteering overtake protection of our world. 

If the collapse of the Western Antarctic ice sheet is a warning shot, there are things that can and should be done now to impede further collapse. We can begin by insisting our elected representatives have at least a working knowledge of global warming. Have differing theories, sure, but come to a unified decision that this is real science, not some kind of commie plot. 

Rachel Carson's SILENT SPRING was prescient when it was published in 1962, and her understanding of the impact of our existence in this world is as true now as it was then. 
“We stand now where two roads diverge. But unlike the roads in Robert Frost's familiar poem, they are not equally fair. The road we have long been traveling is deceptively easy, a smooth superhighway on which we progress with great speed, but at its end lies disaster. The other fork of the road — the one less traveled by — offers our last, our only chance to reach a destination that assures the preservation of the earth.” 
Our roads are diverging not at that yellow wood, but at a white sheet glacier. Where we go from here will be our decision and a big part of that decision will happen in the voting booth. 

It's not just about Obamacare, folks. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
It's time for the GOP to consider changing their mascot to an ostrich. 


  1. The truth. All we need is the truth. It's illogical to think that 97% of scientists are conspiring for some left-wing political purpose, but that's what the vast majority of Republican politicians are saying. These are the same people who lie about the results of the ACA, still spout off about the lies of Benghazi and declare the IRS to be a liberal hit squad despite all evidence to the contrary.
    Fox News is the biggest provider of mass media. CNN follows the wackaloon story of the day. MSNBC (my personal fave) is seen as left-wing radicals. Perhaps we need to listen to Al Jazeera, the BBC, Politifact or even Snopes. We just need people to hear the truth and make an EDUCATED (read: based on facts) decision. Yeah, good luck with that.

  2. It is troubling to me. Truly. There's a complete disconnect from any logical thought.

    So, forget about the present the naysayers with this: If I am wrong about climate change, but we spend our time and money fixing what turns out to be a non-existent problem, the worst thing that can happen is what? loss of jobs?..or higher taxes? Maybe. But those "lost jobs" will certainly be repurposed into new the new technical fields that have to exist to combat climate change. Those higher taxes will mean a higher standard of living for everyone due to the changing economy. Maybe it would also translate into better health for everyone... maybe a few people lose, but we end up in a better place overall.
    Conversely, if I'm right about climate change, and we do nothing, what's the worst that can happen? Death, famine, birth defects, disease? Reduced life expectancy? Overall lower quality of life? Well, at least my taxes will be lower. There is that.

  3. "Oh, we can fix this later" kinda things. This is a serious game changer. I got a kick out of how the press reported glacial melting as 'unstoppable' now. As if man could stop nature from doing what it does. Yeah, there was an ice age and there'll be another, based on history. That is a simple fact. And watch The Maldives if you want to know about seas rising. They'll be a great indicator. A few inches and they'll be under water.


  4. Okay, you've convinced me -- I'm casting my presidential vote for Rubio... sometimes when you fail to solve one problem it still helps to solve another. I am soooo looking forward to the "Delray Beach contingent" moving in with you. When should they start packing?

    Btw liked your tip of the week.

  5. One has to love the Wifely Person, there's no way around it...

  6. Your comments to Ross of NYT fame. You hit it on the head. Too many heroes with their backs to the front lines and not honorable enough to be carried dead on their shields. Good luck getting past religious zeal with good common national interest sense..