02 Apr Avoiding the term “climate change” doesn’t make it any less real
Written by Amanda Cronin |
On Sunday, March 8th a report was published by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting stating that “[Department of Environmental Protection] officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports.” This so-called “unspoken policy” was created by Rick Scott, an outspoken denier of climate change and the governor of Florida. Interestingly enough, Florida has been pinpointed by scientists as one of the most vulnerable states in the U.S. to climate change. The Sunshine State has already experienced serious flooding, erosion, coral reef bleaching and habitat loss – all devastating effects of a warming planet. So why is Rick Scott banning these terms when they are directly affecting the citizens of his state?
I don’t know whether these men flunked sixth grade biology class, or just can’t face the facts. If they fail to understand basic scientific concepts, why were they chosen to help make decisions for our government?
Just this week, the non-profit group Organizing for Action held their first “Climate Change Fantasy Tournament,” a mock March Madness in which the top climate change denying U.S. senators and representatives were voted through a competition to determine who is worst denier in America. The winner? Senator Jim Ihhofe of Oklahoma, author of “The Greatest Hoax,” a book about the absurdity of the existence of climate change, and famed thrower of a snowball on the Senate floor in an attempt to illustrate that climate change couldn’t possibly exist when there is freezing water falling from the sky.
I don’t know whether these men flunked sixth grade biology class, or just can’t face the facts. If they fail to understand basic scientific concepts, why were they chosen to help make decisions for our government? And, if they simply are choosing not to believe the obvious evidence, then have to realize soon that they are just plain wrong. Even if us kids can’t vote – something that I am constantly reminded of by adults – we need to be the change. Start a movement! Spread the word that denying the existence of something so powerful that it could singlehandedly determine our future is not cool. Urge your parents, the ones who can vote, to support candidates who realize the catastrophic effects of extreme climate change and want to do something about it. And finally, contact climate deniers and tell them why it matters to you that they start taking action in the fight for climate justice.
I sent an email to Governor Scott through an online server. The subject line was “On banning the term ‘climate change’ ” and I wrote but one sentence:“If you block the sun to shield your eyes, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t shine.”