I challenge any partisan climate change denier to travel to Alaska and tell the residents of the 31 communities shown on the map depicted above that climate change isn’t real. It’s easy to sit behind a microphone and blow steam or to makes stupid claims on the floor of the Senate, but it is a whole different story to experience it first hand on a day-to-day basis. Places like Newtok, Kivalina, and Shishmaref in Alaska are some of the earliest and most obvious victims of the foolish delays caused by those who deny scientific facts. They are literally the canaries in the coal mine, clearly warning us of impending doom on a much larger scale.
As shown on the map above, fully twelve of these towns and villages are exploring relocation due to the impacts of climate change. Such monumental efforts are not going to come cheap. The projected cost of moving just one town of 650 people, Shishmaref, Alaska, is estimated to be a whopping $180 million. But instead of proactively tackling the root causes of climate change, some would prefer to fiddle away in fantasyland as impacts and costs rise. Meanwhile, more and more climate refugees will be created, uprooted, and dislocated.
Far too often, it’s minorities or the underprivileged who suffer the most due to the selfish actions of powerful elites and bloviating ne’er-do-wells. In the case of these Alaskan communities, the Inuits and other native populations are suffering the consequences of inaction. Like Flint, it could be guaranteed that if well-to-do white communities were being affected, Heaven and Earth would be moved to solve the problem. Just wait until Palm Beach, Southampton, La Jolla, Greenwich, Newport Beach, Coral Gables, Hilton Head, or similar wealthy enclaves start feeling the impacts of climate change.
A most recent example of climate change denial-style politics took place when the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources removed references to climate change from its website. Hiding one’s head in the sand or denying the truth only delays the inevitable need to take corrective actions and makes the ultimate solutions that much more expensive. Such actions represent incompetent leadership and villainous reporting on a massive scale.
- Shame on you Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker;
- Shame on you Oklahoma U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe (a.k.a. snowball man);
- Shame on you Sean Hannity;
- Shame on you Rush Limbaugh;
- and shame on anyone else who is perpetrating lies about climate change, including those who may harbor such inane opinions in the new administration.