Here and Now

Stormy Weather Ahead

Massive, record-setting hurricanes have walloped Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and several Caribbean islands in recent weeks, causing untold damage from wind, rain and intense flooding. Puerto Rico is in ruins, as more than 3.5 million people fight for their physical and economic survival.  Are we beginning to reach a point where we might not be able to recover from a weather-related catastrophe? 

Considering the ferocious strength of these storms, is climate change a factor and, if so, what can we do about it? “Nothing!” says President Trump and Scott Pruitt, Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency director. According to Trump, Pruitt and the Republican Party, climate change theory is unsettled. To them, there is no proof of causality. 

Over the last decade, to promote its agenda, the Republican Party has selectively chosen one scientific result or another to support the cultural, political, economic, and religious philosophy it espouses. They cherry-pick one or two scientific papers, out of thousands, and force-feed the material over and over again to the press and anyone else willing to listen. But for scientific fact to become an objective truth (unquestionably true, whether you believe it or not), it requires more than one or two scientific papers. It demands a systemic structure of research, all leaning in absolutely the same direction, and all pointing to the same conclusions. 

Sign Up for E-News

Climate change is brought on by human conduct. This is a known fact, concluded by 99 percent of scientific research papers.  For Donald Trump and the Republican Party to reference the 1 percent of papers that conflict with this conclusion and then build policy on that is incredibly irresponsible. 

Scientific truth is established by looking at the consensus of scientific experiments and scientific observations.  In 1863, as a result of an act of Congress, our first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln, established the National Academy of Sciences, which was hailed as a great step forward in government recognition of the role of science in American society. Lincoln knew that science mattered and should significantly influence governance.

We nourish ourselves and heal ourselves on the basis of science; we build on the basis of science; we look beyond ourselves on the basis of science.    

Settled science comes out of large bodies of research that the vast majority agrees on.  Scientists argue, but not about settled science that appears in our textbooks. Scientists fight over what is not yet known— that is the natural course of science. But a specific body of knowledge accumulated over decades should be the standard that precedes policy and legislation. This should be guiding principle for the Trump Administration and the Republican-led Congress.

Fifty inches of rain in Houston. A hurricane the width of Florida. Two fatal storms within a two-week period in Puerto Rico.  This is not purely happenstance. 

What will it take for Republicans to recognize that a community of scientists has stated an objective truth about the natural world? There are fewer deaths per hurricane. Why? Because we know about them weeks in advance. We now have scientific models that predict trajectories. 

We know that the human activity of carbon production is causing climate change and the warming of the earth.  And the warming of the oceans is triggering colossal storms.  The United States contributes the most, by far, to global warming. Republicans, choosing which science to believe—for purely economic reasons—is deeply troubling. 

I didn’t grow up in a country where scientific misinformation was a common phenomenon. I watched as we went to the moon and transplanted hearts, and knew that science and technology birthed these accomplishments. But today, we’ve got politicians arguing about whether science is true. And nothing will get done to protect our future. Nothing! Are we looking at the end of an informed democracy? 

Our greatest cities—centers of commerce and transportation—are on the oceans’ edges. As oceans and waterways rise, these cities will be the first to go. We cannot pick up a city and move it inland 20 miles. 

Climate change is happening way faster than we could have imagined. The economic and human consequences will be huge. The longer we delay accepting this scientific fact and responding responsibly to it, the less chance we’ll be able weather these storms.  

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of TAPinto.net or anyone who works for TAPinto.net. TAPinto.net is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Mahopac

The DACA Dilemma and the Trick of the Trickle-Down Theory

Here is our very own Sen. Charles Schumer on the Senate floor last week: “President Trump has stood in the way of a bipartisan solution to DACA, a problem he created in the first place, and yet the president is in this dream world. He thinks, ‘Oh, I can blame Democrats for the impasse.’ As I said, only in the 1984 world where up is down and black is white could this be true.

Cuomo’s Frivolous Lawsuits Cost Us Money

Since Donald Trump became president, New York State has filed more than 100 lawsuits against the federal government. This includes those filed by both Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It does not include lawsuits filed by the City of New York. Most of them are political in nature, filed to please the plaintiffs’ voting base. In the real world, if we had filed ...

Beautiful, 'Clean' Coal

After completing his first full year in office—an alarming year, at that— Donald Trump has concluded that climate change is not a significant national threat and that the sacred lands and waters of this country should be sold to the highest bidder. 

The Trump administration has withdrawn from the Paris climate agreement; deregulated national landmarks; freed public lands for ...

Multigrain, Please

I have no craving for white bread; it’s too plain, predictable and tasteless for me. I hunger for a chunk of multigrain or rye, maybe even a good-sized piece of pumpernickel raisin, with a schmear of cream cheese on the side.

I have no appetite for bland, clean-cut, middle-of-the-road, isolationist politics. And I find unsettling the cultural sameness, gross consumerism and incurious ...

I Love 'I Hate Halet'

Let’s face it, folks. Not everyone loves Shakespeare. Not even all actors. Andrew Rally is one of them. In fact, where there’s a Will, there’s a way Andrew will find to avoid acting in one of those famously timeless plays. And for good reason. Shakespeare tests, to the fullest, an actor’s mettle, and Andrew is strictly a TV actor.

He has just ended a star turn in the ...

A Trip to the 'Liberry'

Raise your hand if you didn’t—did not—call the library the “liberry” when you were little. I’m guessing not a lot of hands just went up.

Didn’t just about all of us say “liberry” when we were learning to read? (Well, whaddya expect when a place is named something way too easy for little kids to mispronounce?)

OK. Now, raise your hand if ...

I Am Woman, Hair Me Roar

When you have short hair, it is inevitable that you will spend an inordinate amount of time growing your hair out and then getting fed up and cutting it again. I have been down this hair-brained road several dozen times before, complaining for months until I am convinced my husband is going to cut it all off while I sleep just so he doesn’t have to listen to me whine about it one more ...

I'm Mrs. Heat Miser

To be perfectly honest, I did not need a large rodent with insomnia to convince me that we had six more weeks of winter. It’s been so cold outside lately that when I go out, my nostrils stick together. The dog is so hesitant to go out that he does his business right on the deck, less than five feet from the door, and then gives me a look of contemptuous indignation when he comes back in the ...

Upcoming Events

Wed, February 28, 6:00 PM

Putnam County Department of Health, Brewster

Freedom from Smoking

Health & Wellness

Thu, March 1, 7:00 PM

Kennedy Catholic High School, Somers

The Kennedy Catholic High School Players ...

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Fri, March 2, 7:00 PM

Kennedy Catholic High School, Somers

The Kennedy Catholic High School Players ...

Arts & Entertainment Other Religions And Spirituality

Bazzo Needs to Get His Facts Straight

February 15, 2018

To the editor,

Once again Mr. Bazzo, in his Feb. 8, column cherry picks facts, ignores other facts, passes along lies and spins so fast to the right that it’s amazing he doesn’t drill himself into the earth.

Bazzo is correct—the economy is doing well, and we should give credit where credit is due. Thank you, President Obama for taking the economy from the brink of another ...