During an era when civil discourse seems more endangered every day, Rossean Hunter manages to maintain respect for others while making a good case for science over politics. We’ve made some minor changes to her comments on a recent story by Keith Law and featured them here. We appreciate her insights and tone.
Perhaps you remember my husband and I. We have enjoyed working with you and know you to be a kind, community-minded person. I hope you feel the same about us.
You organized our small canvassing group so we were all able to stand up for Linda Santos’ place on the OID board. Together we all saved her from losing her seat, and later we all worked together for Grover Francis. We all wanted the same: Representatives with backbone and a willingness to listen to all constituents, make independent pro-community decisions and protect our local water.
In fact, The Valley Citizen has played a large part in informing me on local water politics.
Scientists help solve so many problems important to us. There’s no reason to believe a politician over scientists unless the politician is accurately passing onto us widely researched, tested and held scientific facts. The Democratic party has been doing that; only the Republican or conservative parties have abandoned scientific facts.
My husband (Vietnam Vet, working electrician, raised in and working in Oakdale) and I (Army brat, grammar-schooled in WI, PA, CO, and on base overseas) are lifelong Democrats.
I was in the past married to a Republican who grew up farming in the Valley with his dad. In 1975, with our own hands, we began building a passive-solar, energy-efficient home together, in which he still lives.
Do you recall that back in the 1960s through at least the 1980s Republican party leaders clearly acknowledged the reality and impending danger of man-made Global Warming? Reagan even signed an international treaty to protect the ozone, which also required his acceptance of worldwide scientific findings. But conservatives gradually made a political calculation about global warming and worked to create phony doubt with a few willing sellouts. Their false position can only be explained by threats of nonsupport from the fossil fuel industry and other political donors who feared being negatively impacted by a transition to alternative energies.
This idea of “doubt” is similar or related to actions around the 1960’s when corporate tobacco industry lawyers abused cancer and industry research to create “reasonable doubt” to use in court when they were sued by people, or those on their behalf, who were dying of lung cancer. Industry tactics were eventually exposed when their internal research and communications became public.
As I understand it, that model of “creating doubt” was then repurposed to create doubt about global warming when there never has been real doubt that humans are causing it, and no doubt that it is changing and negatively impacting weather, water levels and life on earth. There is also no doubt that with enough initiative and cooperation we can abate it.
Scientists have noted human-caused warming since at least the 19th century, and in our lifetime, presidents up to George H. W. Bush were advised by experts that human carbon activity was dangerously warming the planet; then, the Republican party began playing that “doubt” card. They get away with it because scientists as a group, “stay in their lane” of expertise, working with facts and avoiding politics.
We have had a summer that was the hottest on record, and even someone who grew up here like my husband, or lived here several decades like me, can see weather events have become much more variable. The days of triple digits are more numerous now, and unbroken by occasional cooling days as they used to be.
I acknowledge fuel sources need to be removed and managed. We have plenty of private property in our own area that should be kept mowed down and cleared of dead trees and branches, but as I understand it, that’s not going to solve the problem of rising seas, the impact on weather and temperature, agriculture, human, animal and plant life.
I’m someone who was raised in the church, but I am angry that the USA is losing our leadership and world competitiveness because of what I see as a trend in conservative leaders to now discard science as something that can’t co-exist with religious beliefs. I suspect it is because science is tied to logic and it’s easier to manipulate voters tied to emotion, and that bugs me.
The article by Keith Law and the comments about it caused me to pick up the phone and ask my ex if his concerns about global warming or respect for the science have changed along with the conservative party to which he’s registered. His concerns have NOT changed and he’s no longer willing to overlook conservative leaders’ now obvious departure from scientific leadership. In fact, he’s pissed. Conservative leaders should not be intentionally misleading us with their politics or disrespecting the scientific community, which has undeniably contributed to America’s centuries of greatness. This issue should once again transcend politics