The Republic of Kiribati, 226 square miles of Pacific islands is buying land on Fiji to settle its 100,000 residents once rising ocean water overwhelms the homeland. But, Fiji is threatened, too, as are Maldives, Palau and other island nations facing the consequences of our warming planet.

          In Miami, flooding has become a tidal event.

         Oklahomans don’t have to worry about rising sea levels, but our alleged leaders’ continued denial of climate change threatens us nonetheless. November’s National Climate Assessment contained these assessments for the Southern Great Plains:

           – “Temperatures in the region are projected to increase by up to 5.1 F by 2050 and up to 8.4 F by late 21st century.”

          – ”Warming will bring an additional month or two of stifling, hot summer temperatures: we can expect an additional 30-60 days a year above 100 F.”

           – “People and ecosystems will be hurt by extreme drought, unprecedented floods and wildfires, with future conditions potentially drier than anything the region has ever experienced over the last 1,000 years.”

          – “Each 1.8 F of warming increases the death rate of elders with chronic conditions 2.8 to 4 percent.”

          The University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science recently reinforced these findings.

          Using data for Lawton, the projections for 60 years from now will average 7.4 F warmer and 33.2 percent drier in the summer and 12.7 F warmer and 55.7 percent drier in the winter.

          Under a high heat and drought bull’s-eye, our future is jeopardized by Greed’s Own Politicians such as the Apostles of Ignorance representing us in the U.S. Senate.

         Sen. Jim Inhofe, authored the “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future.” He’s the genius who thinks a snowball refutes well-documented increases in global temperatures.

          Our other Apostle of Ignorance, James Lankford observes, “This whole global warming myth will be exposed as what it really is – a way of control more than anything else.”

          No, he doesn’t want any restrictions on the petro-polluters who poison us and pay him off.

          Not to be out-dumbed, Rep. Tom Cole once co-sponsored legislation to exempt greenhouse gases from the Clean Air Act.

          In December, The Oklahoman (RIP for Stephens County) editorialized: “When people are asked to choose between expensive electricity and expensive fuel and continued global warming, or affordable and plentiful fuel supplies along with the same global warming, most are going to favor the latter.”

          Did you catch the lie? It’s not “the same global warming.” Reduced carbon emissions reduce the warming. Still, Oklahoma Republicans say, “Gotta smoke?”

          The petro-propagandists concluded that “there’s no reason to embrace government policies that would reduce quality of life far more than what might occur because of climate change.”

          Those in sinking islands and flooding coastal cities might disagree with that last claim.

          We would be better served with leaders who stepped up and encouraged us to make a few tough choices in order to assure a sustainable quality of life for ourselves, our heirs and our cousins throughout the world.

         (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party)

A danger to ourselves

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