NC Law Shows (again) Climate Denial, Bigotry, Go Hand in Hand
April 5, 2016
Above, a cartoonish Westboro Baptist Church protest against NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, and their “scientific blah blah blah”. Normally a sideshow to ignore, but in this case, a pixel in a larger picture.
I’ve pointed out the correlation between climate denial and racism a number of times. That’s not the only bigotry that seems epidemic in the climate denial community. As we see more and more the unraveling effects of increasing greenhouse gases, expect more of this.
Perhaps the commonalities between science denial and bigotry are the rule of fear, the elevation of ignorance, and always, always, as the clip of North Carolina governor Pat McCrory, below, shows – the transparently fake religiosity as a cover for craven servitude to the powerful.
North Carolina a “Pioneer in Bigotry” – New York Times:
Officials in Charlotte, N.C., spent more than a year carefully considering and debating an antidiscrimination ordinance that was passed in February to promote the city’s culture of inclusiveness. State lawmakers quashed it on Wednesday by passing an appalling, unconstitutional bill that bars transgender people from using public restrooms that match their gender identity and prohibits cities from passing antidiscrimination ordinances that protect gay and transgender people.
Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the bill into law late Wednesday, said it was necessary to undo Charlotte’s ordinance, which included protections for gay and transgender people, because it allowed “men to use women’s bathroom/locker room.” Proponents of so-called bathroom bills, which have been introduced in state legislatures across the country, have peddled them by spuriously portraying transgender women as potential rapists.
IT IS pretty clear that nothing was going to deter North Carolina lawmakers from their blind rush to enact legislation sweeping away basic protections for gay, bisexual and transgender people. Debate was a hasty 30 minutes; the span between introduction and the governor’s signature a mere 12 hours. Completely ignored were constitutional concerns about discrimination, potential harm to individuals or the reality that the supposed crisis being addressed (dangerous bathrooms) is a concocted issue.
In a 2008 interview, then gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory (R) was asked if he believes climate change science. His response was that “some things are out of control” and that “it’s in God’s hands.” Since then, he has admitted the climate is changing, but still shows some doubt on how much is human-caused. Since he became governor in 2013, there have been drastic changes to the state agencies responsible for addressing climate change, including the Department of Energy and Natural Resources (DENR). The Asheboro and Randolph Courier-Tribune reported, “DENR had previously made climate change a key component in its 2009-13 strategic plan. That plan included launching a climate change initiative and forming a climate change steering committee. The strategic plan cited a ‘fierce urgency’ for dealing with climate change.
But with the election of Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in 2012, new leadership was also installed at many state agencies, including DENR. A DENR employee who worked on the Interagency Leadership Team plan, ‘Climate Ready North Carolina,’ was reassigned to new duties when the current administration took over, and she said she didn’t know who might be working on climate change.” Since that article was published in July 2013, DENR has removed links and documents containing information about climate change from its website. McCrory has also been very outspoken about his desire to open up more land and even the coast of North Carolina, a popular tourist destination that fuels the coastal economy, to drilling operations. He joined a coalition of governors that support drilling in the outer continental shelf and signed a law that lifts the state’s moratorium on fracking permits.
In the through-the-looking-glass world inhabited by modern American politicians and activists of the right, climate change and the contributing role played by humans and their consumption of carbon-based fuels is a left-wing myth. Like the fierce tobacco defenders of the last century who for so long loudly proclaimed that the jury was still out on cigarettes and health, there is scarcely a prominent conservative politician with the courage to acknowledge the obvious — even when they know better. With rare exceptions — Senators Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire are two of the most prominent to publicly break with Koch-funded orthodoxy — denial and obfuscation are the name of the game.
Some politicians, however, seem to want to have it both ways. Take North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory for example. Since taking office, McCrory has regularly regurgitated the official right-wing lines that there is no conclusive evidence, that current warming may be the result of other natural forces, blah, blah, blah. Recently, the Guv has even gone so far as to join forces with other conservative governors to oppose the Obama administration’s late and inadequate efforts to combat climate change — an EPA initiative known as the Clean Power Plan.
The only bright spot here is the fact that, like climate denial, bigotry based on sexual orientation is in decline around the country, and the gap between the anti-science community and increasing majorities of young people continues to grow wider each day.