The GOP’s Ten Commandments on Climate Change

March 24, 2015

(printed in Counterpunch and Context Florida)  In public, GOP leaders are climate change deniers. In private, they understand climate change perfectly well. The difference is that disclosure doesn’t serve the party’s purposes. Climate change denial – against the backdrop of accumulating science and fact – is like an electrical charge stimulating the Republican base. Here are the GOP’s Ten Commandments of climate change.

1) Climate change is like the weather: there is nothing we can do about it.

2) We are top predator. Others must adapt to us or die.

3) It doesn’t matter if climate change is man-made: whatever happens is God’s will.

4) Since our God in the only God, we know what is best for you.

5) As the party of limited government, any effort to strengthen environmental regulations is cutting our own throats.

6) As the party of capitalism, we are against any climate-driven protectionism unless it serves our interests.

7) If climate change requires subsidies, existing subsidies will be protected, first. Any additional subsidies will have to adapt to ours.

8) Dissenters on climate change within the party are psychological deviants, to be dealt with and isolated from decision-making.

9) If there is a dispute on climate change between constituencies the GOP represents, the leadership will side with that person who concentrates our political power.

10) We will adapt our behavior to impacts of climate change as they happen, not before.

Alan Farago writes the daily blog, Eye On Miami, under the pen name, Gimleteye. He is president of Friends of the Everglades, a grass roots conservation organization based in Miami, FL. A long-time writer and advocate for Florida’s environment, his work is archived at Column courtesy of Context Florida.


Of Fetuses and the Everglades: Mercury Flows Downstream

July 6, 2011

The conservative right deploys right-to-life as its battle cry, but when it comes to rallying against environmental pollution that is arguably a greater threat to fetuses than abortion, the right is silent. With a few exceptions, there is hardly a whisper from the pulpits about organizing to protect the unborn by rallying congregations to support tougher anti-pollution laws and candidates for public office who support them. Mercury exposure, for example, is known to cause deformities and developmental disorders. In Florida, mercury is as ubiquitous as sulfur thrown on sugar fields by billionaire farmers, flowing downstream to God knows where.

Southern Christians (I’m singling out Southern Christians, because this writer is from Florida) ought to recognize that the rights of fetuses are harmed by pollution. So why isn’t the conservative right deploying their message machinery to educate Southern Christians about the threats of environmental pollution to the unborn, especially since it is clear thatpollution is arguably a bigger threat to fetuses than abortion? Read the rest of this entry »

Down goes the peloton: American politics and the faltering economy

March 3, 2008

(Published at  A small percentage of Americans ever heard of the peloton; the tight-knit pack of riders leading a bicycle race. But Americans generally are clueless about so much of what the rest of our trading partners understand: the United States has dropped to the back of the world economic peloton.

Read the rest of this entry »

Slumbering giant awakens on global warming

January 20, 2007

On global warming, the American public is slowly rising to attention. Congress and the White House cannot be far behind.

The occasion for optimism is a first-of-its-kind collaboration between evangelical and scientific leaders who met in December to find common ground in the greatest threat to humanity: global warming and climate change.

These are no longer unlikely allies. On Wednesday, the nation’s leading scientists and evangelicals joined in Washington, D.C., to urge action to reverse rapidly escalating environmental problems, including global warming and species extinction. Read the rest of this entry »

Florida environment: A wish list for 2007

December 31, 2006

To greet the new year, there are so many wish lists it is hard to know what to want. So let’s give it up for the environment, in no particular order, that:

Florida’s agencies charged with protecting public health and the environment shall abandon predetermined outcomes based on political expediency. Read the rest of this entry »

Cathedrals in sea decline: Reef should show how creation is knit together

December 11, 2005

I am asked, often, “I know what you are opposed to, but what are you for?”

How is this for an answer? I am for a sustainable creation. I am for Jerusalem.

Oh, I know: Who is against Jerusalem? Who is for chaos?

Yet the question moves with the questioner, toward a familiar direction: compromise, the magnetic north of politics.

In 15 years of watching Florida’s environment — and intensely now, global warming and climate change — even when land purchases, global assurances and hard lines drawn on a map are held as signs of progress, compromise is no match to the threats.

Read the rest of this entry »

50 years from now, Florida’s environment

June 23, 2005

What about environmental issues in 50 years? It is a question recently asked by a friend who will soon be discussing the subject with a group of Florida’s newest lawyers.

Here is the good news:

Florida, on the leading edge of effects from global warming, will lead the nation in changing energy consumption from fossil fuels.

Florida, with unexplained concentrations of mercury pollution threatening public health, will eliminate toxics contributing to the rise in cognitive learning disabilities and chronic disease. Read the rest of this entry »