By Any Other Name: Resisting "Weather Extremes" and Other Trumpian Crapola
Here and front: Some of the stunning underwater art installations around the world by Jason deCaires Taylor.
About that deranged move by Dumpster and his oil-rich goons to create a pretend-it's-not-there-and-hope-it'll-go away-even-though-we're-all-gonna-die reality: Nope. Thanks to leaks published by The Guardian, Monday brought the Orwellian news that the "administration" has ordered staff at the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), a USDA unit that oversees farmers’ land conservation, to replace the scary-and-sciencey-sounding "climate change" with the more modest "weather extremes." Other helpful adjustments: “climate change adaption” becomes “resilience to weather extremes” and the need to "reduce greenhouse gases,” the prime, deadly culprit behind climate change, becomes a desire to “build soil organic matter and increase nutrient use efficiency” - because, says one official, "there are a lot of benefits to putting carbon back in the sail" (sic). Yeah, we have deep and abiding trust in your competence.
The mindless move to save the only planet we have by banning the term that threatens it - by which logic worsening floods become "lookit those big waves!" and random hurricanes become "wow blowy wind thingies!" - was met with the respect it deserves. "Climate change isn't like Voldemort," drily noted Not saying its name won't keep it from happening." It has also met with widespread resistance, both institutional and grassroots. In a dramatic act of defiance the day after the ban news broke, The New York Times published an unreleased draft of a massive, damning, 543-page report, based on studies by tens of thousands of scientists around the world and in 13 federal agencies, finding that, “Evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans.”
Scientists reportedly said they released the report, which was approved by the National Academy of Sciences, because they worried the reality-challenged Trump would withhold it. No wonder. It paints a grim picture that his fossil-fuel-loving minions would love to ignore: Recent decades have been the warmest in the past 1,500 years, temperatures in the U.S. have risen sharply since 1980 and will continue to do so, as will the frequency of extreme weather like heavy rain and heat waves, and global sea levels continue to rise, including three inches since 1990, thanks to human activity. Whatever what you want to call it, they might have added, this is happening.
Thankfully, scientists and the media are not the only ones insisting attention must be paid. Artists seek to keep us woke, Michael Moore supports vital leakers, and environmental advocates consistently blast what Greenpeace once called Trump's stupid "denying science for profit....until the boiling seas swallow Mar-A-Lago whole." The Natural Resources Defense Council is working to fund court cases and campaigns, including with cool new resistance t-shirts. Protect Our National Parks is posting spectacular photos of what's at stake. And a persistently rogue Alt National Park Service, representing a coalition of over a million EPA, USDA, park and forest service employees working to protect national treasures from Yosemite to Yellowstone to the Grand Canyon - more t-shirts! - continues to serve as an "official resistance team" to their devastation by a profit-driven administration that "has shown little mercy" for the environment. "We will not be silent," they write. "In unity, we find power." We all need to, because kicking that new Antarctica iceberg under the furniture just won't make it.