Bill Murchison

The hollowness at the core of 21st century liberal politics stands out against the backdrop of the big climate change ... would "debate" be the word? Not likely. The air fills with assumptions, generated by the media sources that channel most political assumptions. Among these: The people will believe every word from on high, duly knuckling our foreheads.

As President Obama himself put it, referring to a recent National Climate Assessment report: "Earlier this week I issued ... " With characteristic modesty the president corrected himself: "Or we issued a report (showing) that climate change is not some far-off problem in the future. It's happening now ... more severe floods, more violent wildfires." "More and more Americans" know it, including "Republicans outside of Washington." Alas, "inside of Washington we've still got some climate deniers who shout loud, but they're wasting everybody's time on a settled debate. Climate change is a fact."

Speechmaker though he is, Obama has his work cut out for him, what with polls reflecting no more than marginal concern with climate change as an issue. For which state of affairs I would suggest three likely causes, all having to do wtih the style of politics practiced currently by liberals.

Phrases such as "a settled debate" -- meaning the "experts," as opposed to ordinary folk, own the terrain. Get outta here, you "deniers"! The experts, if you please, will dish out the facts. No dissent; no contrasting views wanted. Modern-day "Progressives" aren't known for their patience with questions.

The lack of a coherent, understandable goal. What would Climate Reform look like, once accomplished? Would all regions receive just the right amount of gentle rain at just the right times and intervals? How thick should the polar ice cap be? Thicker than now? As thick as in, say, 1890? Warnings about rising sea levels suggest that experts know, or should know, what levels are ideal. They have yet (so far as I know) to inform us as to these ideals, preparatory to proving, in the face of challenge, why the levels they have in mind are best for us.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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