It’s not likely that sea level rise will drown you personally. The sea is creeping up on us slowly, and yet — all too soon — it has already flooded streets even on sunny days, seeped into groundwater making it undrinkable, carried sewage from septic tanks onto lawns, even stranded an octupus in a parking garage (yes that really happened, on a calm sunny day even). It’s not just hurting coastal property values, it’s killing them.
But there’s one group that actually is drowning due to sea level rise: climate deniers.
Mo Brooks, for example. At the recent hearing of the house committee on space, science, and technology, the congressman from Alabama pushed the idea that sea level rise is caused by rocks and dirt accumulating on the ocean floor. He has been so ridiculed for his ridiculous idea that he’s now a laughingstock, a poster child for the clueless idiot politician. Alabamans might reconsider whether they want such a dolt representing them, because the only rocks big enough for the job seem to be in congressman Brooks’s head.
Then there’s S. Fred Singer. He penned an editorial for the Wall Street Journal titled “The Sea Is Rising, but Not Because of Climate Change.” A letter to the editor from some actual experts on the subject asks the Journal whether they would run the op-ed “Objects Are Falling, but Not Because of Gravity”? Singer’s specifics are almost as ludicrous as Mo Brooks’s, and are proving to be nearly as great an embarrassment.
The recent string of moronic musings from climate deniers about sea level rise illustrates two things. First, it is a serious problem already plaguing us, and is bound to get worse with each passing millimeter — it’s such a big problem already their denial has become desperate. Second, they have so little sound basis to dispute its danger or its relationship to climate change that their denial has become desperate.
Dazzling displays of a dim wit might be expected from children called upon to give a book report when they haven’t read the book. But whether from paid consultants for right-wing think tanks or from elected officials, the notions being pushed these days from climate deniers are finally getting the message across to millions of Americans: that they will say anything, even the most nonsensical nonsense, to dispute the damage from climate change that we’re already seeing. They’re getting to the bottom of the barrel, flirting with claims so silly that even tea-party coal miners will have a hard time swallowing them, with the result that the day of reckoning is approaching so much faster. They are drowning in a sea of public relations disasters of their own making.
They should have paid more attention to Abe Lincoln’s warning, that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.
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