In 2009 China Miéville came out with The City & The City, a fantasy novel about two cultures, living in one physical location, that were so alienated from each other that they believed they lived in two separate cities, even though both cities were located in the same geographical location. Citizens of each city spoke a different language, had different laws and culture, and they had been trained since birth to ignore each other so well that they were invisible to each other.
When I read The City & The City I thought the idea too far out to believe, but the 2012 Presidential election is making me change my mind. This afternoon was I was reading news feeds on my iPad with the app Zite about climate change. There were two kinds of stories. 90% of the stories were science articles about the effects of global warming around the world. Not stories theorizing the coming of global warming, but reports of its effect right now. The rest of the stories were from climate change deniers. They no longer try to attack the science of global warming, they laugh at the the absurdity that anyone should even consider the possibility of climate change. They sneer at liberals who believe these science fictional fantasies. They applaud Romney, Ryan and the Republicans for giving zero thought and time to such Chicken Little fears.
We’re now living in The County & The Country!
What I’m writing now is completely invisible to conservatives. If they read this essay they would only see some silly story that sounds like nonsense. It’s doubtful any would even try to read it. And I’m not writing this to appeal to their reason. I know I’m invisible to them. They can’t hear me.
We have become so polarized in the United States that we can no longer see members of the opposite political party.
I could take the time to list many pro and con articles I read today, but what’s the point, those that see, do – those that don’t, can’t. Anyone can go to Google Alerts and set up a news watch on any topic. Just set up a “climate change” News Alert. You’ll be sent an email once a day with all news of any kind about the topic.
Global warming has been happening for decades. The effects have been felt for decades. Humans change the planet all the time in endless ways. We affect the weather all the time. And it’s all invisible to you if you choose to ignore it. I think even people who understand that climate change is happening refuse to pay attention. People do not want to change their lives. People do not want to make sacrifices. People do not want to believe that bad things are going to happen.
New Scientist has an interesting article that asks: “If 2013 breaks heat record, how will deniers respond?” I often wonder about that. At what point do the people who can’t see climate change suddenly start feeling the heat? Will they ever? How powerful is mind over reality?
The Republican party claims President Obama has been a failure as a leader and now it’s time for Republicans to lead the country. Only they can lead us out of our economic mess. I’ll admit that Obama hasn’t been a great leader. I’ll also admit that Republicans can be great at leading the country. But they are a one trick pony when it comes to leadership. All they know how to do is lower taxes, regardless of the economic impact. Voting Republican means voting to lower taxes on the wealthy. You can be absolutely sure they can lead the country into lower taxes. Whether they can lead us anywhere else is doubtful. But it’s also a 100% guarantee, that they won’t do anything about the environment, other than run away, or stick their heads in the sand.
Voting Republican means: “We want NO leadership on environmental issues. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Nix. Zero. Zilch.”
America is now two countries coexisting in the same spatial plane. There are two cultures, liberals and conservatives. They do not speak the same language. They can not communicate. Conservatives see reality on the North American continent different from liberals. It’s cool and refreshing where Republicans live. All they see is high taxes, wasteful governmental programs, welfare squatters, sin and a black man as President.
They want to grow the defense budget to protect America from any harm when our only real enemy is ourselves and climate change. Is that leadership?
[One reason I don't give Obama high marks for leadership is he hasn't lead on climate change. He does accept the problem, he just hasn't made it a political issue. Read "Obama and Romeny on Climate Change Science" at the Washington Post.]
JWH – 9/3/12.