Global warming is settled science, but one wouldn’t know if from conversations heard in Iowa. Blog for Iowa reported on Congressman Dave Loebsack, who wrote, “as Iowans, the threat of flooding never seems far away, and it’s only getting worse… flooding is costing taxpayers billions of dollars a year for preparation and recovery. The prediction and prevention tools from a National Flood Center would help prevent damage and allow our communities to better allocate resources such as sand bags, machinery, volunteers, and temporary flood walls. Every year flooding costs taxpayers, and the new technologies and methods already being put to use in Iowa could save our country untold millions.”
Loebsack was giving Iowans half a loaf. He did not mention the cause of the worsening weather events, saying Iowans should adapt to a climate that produces more frequent and stronger flooding, without mentioning the fact that mitigating the causes of global warming, which strengthens extreme weather events like Iowa’s recent flooding, is equally important.
This is not surprising for a politician. Inculcated in our culture is the erroneous idea that global warming is a liberal hoax, and to get elected in Iowa’s second congressional district, the liberal moniker is more liability than asset. Global warming is not a hoax. The idea that it is has been the direct result of a conscious effort on the part of American businesses with an interest in perpetuating our carbon culture for short term profits.
Noam Chomsky, linguist and political critic, said, “the chamber of commerce… the American petroleum industry and other business lobbies have publicly proclaimed, in fact with enthusiasm, that they are carrying out a campaign to try to convince the population that global warming is a liberal hoax… and it’s succeeded unfortunately. The latest polls I have seen show that maybe a third of the population believes in anthropogenic global warming.”
It is easy to say Iowa should do something to reduce the cost of increasing and more devastating floods in the state and a National Flood Center, as Loebsack proposes, may help. What would help more is doing something about the causes of these floods, and that falls to what is politically unmentionable, reducing CO2 emissions drastically and immediately through the assignment of a price on carbon.
Below is a link to the Noam Chomsky YouTube video where he discusses global warming. The part from the beginning up to the 5:43 mark is most relevant.
~ This is part of a series of summer posts on climate change.