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Letters, Aug. 29

Dazed and confused

The massive conglomeration of petrochemical and oil facilities along the Texas Gulf Coast has asked the federal government for $12 billion on top of the $3.9 billion the administration gave them last month.

The tax-funded support would be used to continue construction of a huge 60-mile-long wall/barrier to “combat the more powerful storms and tides yet to be expected from the ongoing results of climate change.” Now this climate change effect poses a threat to these facilities and the spectre of an equal threat to “national security” has been raised. In addition, the state of Texas maintains a “rainy day” fund of around $11 billion for these kinds of contingencies, but has opted not to use any of it.

Enter daze and confusion. We remember that the U.S. government has denied the existence of climate change and, in fact, has deleted all mention of the phrase from all federal scientific documents. Candidates run on that denial, and somehow, even sensible Republicans seem to have drunk that Kool-Aid. The pretend reality, and the actual reality do get blurred on occasion, don’t they? Could the pretend reality win out?

Don Azar



An image appears: it’s a boxer, being hammered and pounded around the ring by a merciless opponent. The harried boxer is our dear planet Earth, pummeled by bouts of extreme weather: storms and flooding; or heat, drought, wildfire and smoke. A technical knockout seems to be at hand.

Is there hope? We don’t know for sure, but an election looms. Elections really do have consequences.

The denier-in-chief is not on the ballot this time, but many of his supporters, climate-change enablers, are. Here’s an alternative vision: the merciless weather events are the same, but the staggering boxer represents the climate-change deniers, backed by their seconds — those climate-change enablers — all “encouraged” by funding from fossil-fuel interests and lobbyists.

Isn’t it well past time to truly “drain the swamp” of those who refuse to recognize the reality of climate science, and replace them with representatives of the people (and the Earth) who know the technology exists to stem the tide of global warming and extreme weather? The peril is ever more apparent. Business as usual, championed by a market economy and growing profits, isn’t working. We need new members in Congress with backbones to insist on a new way forward.

John Kloetzel


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