Making decisions doesn’t always involve easy decisions. There are often many complex factors, but I hope to base my decisions on the best information available. Emotions are not easily measured and are not reduced to facts and figures, but we make many decisions for which there is clear evidence. For example, there is very compelling evidence that a full, plant-based diet is the best diet for our health and the health of the biosphere.
We are influenced and influenced by the decisions of our neighbors. We are even affected by people we will never meet. Those who chose not to get the COVID vaccine made a decision that could have had dire consequences for others. While there are individual rights to be respected, there is the right to be protected from the decisions of others. Those in political office make decisions that can have a huge impact on all of us.
I want politicians to base their decisions on the best available knowledge. Political decisions should not be based on political ideology first. Whatever policy considerations can influence a final decision based on inaccurate information, it may not be the best decision. As has been said in the past, you are entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts.
As a voter, I believe that I have a right to know whether my elected representatives make decisions based on the best evidence available. Republicans in the state legislature have endorsed a number of measures to boost the gas industry at a time when we must begin drastically limiting carbon and methane in the atmosphere. The promotion of the gas industry contradicts the overwhelming evidence that we are now facing a widening climate catastrophe. Science has been telling us this for decades. The reporting of increasing frequency and intensity of floods, fires, droughts and storms seems to be an almost daily occurrence.
I called my state representative several times and asked if he would accept the results of the IPCC and the National Climate Assessment. Both have come to the conclusion that we are running out of time to take action to avert the worst of the climate crisis. I was told that someone would get back to me with an answer. Nobody answered my call. After several calls, I finally spoke to one of his helpers. He told me he didn’t think I would get an answer because it was a political question. What??? We mustn’t expect a politician to answer a political question? The question I asked wasn’t even a political question. What knowledge my representative based his political decisions on is a fair question. How could he vote to promote an industry that will make a major contribution to the coming crisis?
Republicans preach the gospel of capitalism, in which the government should lend a hand and let the markets decide who is winners and losers. Their hypocrisy is overwhelming with their enthusiastic support for the gas industry. The gas and oil industry doesn’t care about our health or the health of the biosphere. You are only motivated by profit. This has been proven by the hundreds of millions they have spent on climate damage information.
Our government was founded on the principle of “promoting the common good”. To do this, it must protect us from the greed of the markets. Governments at all levels must step in to protect our country from one of our greatest enemies, the terrible damage that is and will be caused by an out of control climate.
A few years ago Noam Chomsky called the Republican Party the Stupid Party for denying the realities of climate change. Now they have gone beyond stupidity. Not only do they deny the truth, but they also accept the blatant lies of their sociopathic, narcissistic leader. You will be kicked out of the party if you do not accept the lie that Trump won the election. A claim based on zero evidence. Do you have a new conspiracy theory? No facts needed.
Jack D. Miller lives in Lewisburg.