Wait, Florida Gov. Rick Scott: On whose information did you rely?
You told Floridians to expect catastrophic storm surges from Hurricane Michael, as high as 12 feet. That proved to be correct. But where did you get that?
Could it have been people who study weather? Or was it the Koch Brothers and the Carbon Mafia? Maybe casino king Sheldon Adelson?
Republicans just can’t stay consistent with whom it is they trust. Scientists who study weather were right about this climate event. Yet when scientists project catastrophic changes decades ahead — rising sea levels and even more deadly storm surges because of global warming — Republicans like Scott and our president plug their ears and hum loudly.
Scott, now in a tight race for U.S. Senate with incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson, has been offering himself to Floridians as an environmentalist. This is a little like Trump’s offering himself as a unifier.
Anyone in Florida who has paid any attention knows that Scott has been no friend of the environment.
For one, he directed that state literature shed terms like “climate change,” “global warming” and “sustainability.”
For another, he ignored voters who wanted the state to stem a catastrophic tide of blue-green and “red tide” algae in southern Florida estuaries.
Now he is dealing with the most vicious storm to ever hit the Panhandle.
Once again a super storm has affirmed what climate scientists say: Warmer ocean temperatures accentuate the severity of such events.
Warmer-than-normal waters also make such storms less predictable. That means one of these days a lot of people will die when something that seems mild turns out to be monstrous.
In fact, Michael started that way.
So, Republicans, whom do you believe? Apparently you will accept the word of those who know what they’re talking about when the storm is bearing down on you. You just don’t want to believe anything about the specter haunting all living things down the road.
A meme circulating on social media says, “Every disaster movie starts with a scientist being ignored.” Yep.
One ceases to be stunned by the opt-in ignorance of this president and his brethren in high offices across the land. But consider:
An impact statement by Trump’s own National Highway Traffic Safety Administration projected a beyond-catastrophic seven-degree increase in global temperatures by the end of the century.
This was not done to encourage the nation to do something about the carbon-loading scientists linked to climate change. It was about how to, um, live with it.
Yes, Mr. President, your own people agree with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — just not in the business-as-usual, sniff-and-shrug attitude you have about this very serious matter.
Forget seven degrees, folks. The U.N. study is looking at 1.9 degrees as a threshold at which horrible things happen, particularly around our sea shores.
Then again, horrible things will happen in the highlands and lowlands and in the in-betweens, with depleted snowpack and parched forests and fields, with monstrous wildfires, with glacier-fed rivers running dry, with just about every living thing in danger except maybe for those in limos and hallways of gold leaf.
Sorry if this sounds hysterical, but that’s what all those scientists say, and it’s what we’ve been seeing with drought conditions, with super storms, with tidal surges beyond belief.
Once again, Republicans: You apparently believe science when disaster is knocking at your door. Why can you not believe science when the projections are beyond next week?
The central reason is that you have hitched your star to a set of blue-sky charlatans. And nobody wants to pay the price.
Longtime newspaperman John Young lives in Colorado. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.