Republicans get billions of dollars in public funding to fight climate change by pretending that it isn't real

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/02/03/republicans-get-billions-of-do.html

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TGOP Pork Barrel Politics? Yes it is.

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I always thought, “Ok red states, you can deny climate change all you want now, but eventually, when shit hits the fan, you’ll need to acknowledge it to deal with it.” Turns out I was wrong.

Also, I more-than-half expect that once Trump realizes California snuck on that list, he’ll be doing everything he can to deny us federal funds in the same way that he’s deliberately screwed us over at every other opportunity he’s had. I know there have been bad presidents that favored regions where they had the most support, but I’m not aware of anyone being so actively hostile to states that didn’t vote for them…

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This isn’t any old bad administration. It’s the nature of right-wing populist regimes to punish enemies to the same or greater degree that they favour supporters (many of whom eventually find themselves turned into enemies of the regime).

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I’ve got mixed feelings about this. I’ve lived most of my life on the gulf coast (from New Orleans, live in Houston now) and am all for investing in prevention of storm damage. We have a terrible history of gutting preventative funds (especially along the Mississippi) only to pay way more after a disaster.

And Louisiana was screwed over by the Bush administration during Katrina, largely because of the democtratic govenor. Nice to know the current democrat govenor in La. isn’t similarly getting passed over.

If this money actually goes to needed projects on coastal erosion and infrastructure repair (which is a big if), I don’t care that much about the politics of the states

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I keep having to reaffirm to myself that this isn’t just the most corrupt and inept administration, but we’ve actually moved into third-world dictatorship territory. Inconceivable before Trump was elected.

… And I’ve just seen that Trump has apparently compiled an impeachment-related “enemies” list with Bolton on the top, and he wants everyone on it to be criminally prosecuted.

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If calling it “changing environmental conditions” is what it takes to actually do something about it, that’s fine with me. Let’s get going!

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Isn’t this socialism? I can feel the freedom collapsing. /S

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Oh, yeah — I certainly wasn’t meaning to imply that these states didn’t deserve this money and support because of their political affiliations. I think everyone should be taking a more proactive position on climate resiliency, because it’s more fiscally responsible to build up preventative infrastructure than pay for the damage after the fact.

I just find it frustrating that the politicians in these states could simultaneously ask for the money while still denying climate change, which only hurts them in the long run (because it prevents them from taking those proactive climate resiliency measures).

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So in order to help those people — and to help them help themselves — you need to meet them where they are, and appease them in a way that will get through to them.

No, I’m fine with letting them suffer with their denial. Is that petty?

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They think they’ll be out of office before that happens, but every year the odds get worse that they won’t be retired in time and actually be stuck holding the bag.

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This seems like such a common sense hope to hold out, that human pride should eventually be tempered by a deeper appreciation of reality.

This ignores the power of pigheaded denial. These fuckers will find themselves capable of blaming somebody, and acting out to punish them, no matter how unrelated the issue.

There is no possible future where those most responsible for global warming will make the connection and change their policies. Only slightly more likely, is the scenario where the electorate wakes up to the knowledge that democracy cannot guide us out of this mess.

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Let’s also remember that the oil business is very big in Texas and Louisiana. As the saying goes, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” The same is true at the state level.

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The Houston Chronicle recognizes global warming.

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What’s happening now is disproof of my naive assumption. They’re already having to deal with climate change while simultaneously denying it. I keep wanting to think, “Well, they can’t keep that up for long,” but that strategy, denying reality, is the Republican brand.

Yeah, also there’s the cognitive dissonance at the core of the Republican party. Paul Krugman talks about “zombies” taking over the Republican party - ideas that have been thoroughly disproven that are central orthodoxies (e.g. tax cuts are good for the economy and pay for themselves). Climate change denial is one of these. So they can’t believe in it, while simultaneously now having to deal with it. Of course, they can’t effectively deal with it since they can’t publicly accept it, but…

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The Austin Chronicle does too.

San Antonio Express News still has adults in the room, and their brain cells seem to be working ok:

On the other hand, Dallas Morning News ran this opinion piece (ugh!):

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