Why, oh why, did I watch Romney’s speech? I guess if I’m going to write with spirit, I might as well write in anger once in a while. Anger is usually a defense for me, a denial of deep sadness. And sadness seems an appropriate reaction to that convention. Oh there were the lighter moments, such as watching Clint Eastwood do whatever the heck it was he thought he was doing with that chair. Offensive, yes, disrespectful and juvenile, but kind of a giggle because it was so nonsensical. I just hope he made it out of the building OK. And then there was the over-the-top pandering to women, Latinos, and African-Americans – that was so blatant, it was kind of funny.
But the underlying message of the whole shebang seemed to be, “Americans love money.” The notion that America is all about who gets the most stuff is now, apparently, something to be proud of. Oh yeah, we love our kids, but mostly for their earning potential. They must make more money than their parents, or they are failures. I kept telling myself to calm down, I was over-reacting; it was just politics. Until the end of the speech, when Romney dropped what has to be one of the most ignorant, terrifying statements ever made at a convention. And that’s saying a lot.
“President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans,” said Romney, and then paused dramatically while his followers figured out that they were supposed to scoff at climate change. Then he finished his sentence, “and heal the planet.” Oh my God, you’re kidding! What kind of a nutcase would want to take care of the planet we live on?? Oh no, Romney has much bigger aspirations. “MY promise is to help you and your family.” Like curbing climate change won’t help people? Yes, it’s true (and highly unfair, IMHO) that the effects of global warming won’t be as lethal for North America as they will be for less developed nations, which have contributed relatively little to carbon emissions. But still, don’t the drought, heat waves, wildfires, West Nile, and more frequent and severe hurricanes, floods, and tornadoes cause Romney to at least raise a well-groomed eyebrow? Is he so out of touch?
Yes he is, and he’s not the only one. I think the reason I was so bent out of shape by his willful denial of reality is that earlier in the evening, I had inadvertently ended up in a debate with a “friend of a friend” on Facebook. He had started on health care reform, trashing “Obamacare.” I don’t know why, but I piped up that I had just received an $800 check from my insurance company because they had not met the new standards and spent too much on admin. I also said that I was glad my brother with a pre-existing condition would be able to get care. Well, then this guy smelled liberal, so he moved on to abortion, which I happen to think that reasonable people can disagree on. We did. Then I said that I thought climate change was a more important issue in the scheme of things. “Climate change isn’t climate change,” he wrote. “It’s caused by solar flares.” OMG. I ended the discussion and turned on the convention. So I was primed to erupt.
No more politics for a while. Bad for blood pressure. I said in my last post that I couldn’t seem to get worked up about it anymore. Guess I was wrong. Not too long ago, a friend suggested that my “overreaction” to anti-environmentalists was a deep-seated issue within me. I did some inner healing work on it, following the agitation and anger back to childhood memories of escaping from my dysfunctional alcoholic family to the safety of the outdoors. Catching guppies and frogs in a nearby pond had restored my sanity. Nature was my refuge, and it saved my life. So today when I deem nature threatened, I fear I might not survive. Deep-seated inner angst, indeed. But in the case of climate change, I’m afraid it’s not displaced.
Noted Climate “skeptic” changes his tune in new scientific study:
Some of the latest: