Climate change is one of those problems that is both everywhere and nowhere — nearly as invisible as the greenhouse gases that cause it. With the 2018 midterms being one of the most politically — if not emotionally — charged in recent memory, one couldn’t be blamed for thinking that we’ve already got climate on lock with the lack of discussion around it.
With the exception of a few midterm ballots that could have an outsize impact on national climate policy, climate change largely has been absent from the conversation — having been, well, trumped, by more salient issues like immigration, healthcare and the economy. President Trump, in an effort to electrify his base in support of Republican candidates working to hold on to their seats in the Senate and House, has stoked fears of ‘migrant caravans’ invading the United States, Medicare’s Democratic destruction and economic Armageddon should the GOP lose control over Congress.
What all three of these issues have in common is that they are irrevocably connected to climate change.
In all my life, I’d never seen anything like it. From where I stood in the mountains above Tahoe City, there should’ve been a breathtaking view of Lake Tahoe, but today all I could see was something that looked like what could’ve been Karl the Fog’s evil twin. This was in stark contrast to the clear blue skies I’d seen there a month earlier. The smoky haze blanketed the sky for as far as the eye could see — which wasn’t far.
I was struck by the fact that I could see such smoke even hundreds of miles from the Carr, Ferguson or the Mendocino Complex fires. That really showed the sheer scale of the blazes. Climate change incarnate, I thought.
That was last week — and the California wildfires continue to burn out of control. But while even as everyone seems to agree that this situation completely sucks, many Republicans continue to purport false narratives which deflect blame away from climate and onto environmentalists. According to President Trump and Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, it’s those doggone tree-hugging-and-avocado-toast-loving liberals in California who are oppressing lumberjacks and hard working American farmers.