Here we sit in the comfort of Washington, D.C., and read of the discomfort in Florida. The massive Hurricane Irma moved from the Caribbean up through south Florida, displacing as many as 5 million people. It marched up the west coast, displacing many more. The eye of the storm settled on Naples and Fort Myers, Florida, but it terrified pretty much the whole state, including the largest population of retired Americans gathered anywhere. It was the largest hurricane ever in the Atlantic, and it came on the heels of the death and destruction that Mother Nature visited upon Texas with Harvey, prompting one cynic to say, "We've got to get Mother Nature before she gets us."
Florida's governor, Rick Scott, was tireless in issuing warnings to the apprehensive citizenry of his state, and monitoring the activities of the Florida National Guard and first responders. He was on the nation's television screens nonstop. He declared at one press conference, "This is a catastrophic storm our state has never seen." He expressed similar sentiments continually. He also said: "Pray. Pray for everybody in Florida." The citizenry responded responsibly. The state and local government responded responsibly. But what was the response of the national media, or as we say, the mainstream media? The Washington Post neatly summed up the MSM's general response when it headlined an article "Florida Governor Has Refused to Recognize Climate-Change Risks, Critics Say." In the body of this preposterous article appeared a telling line that said, "Scott's office did not respond to a request for comment for this article." Did it occur to anyone at the Post that the governor's office might be underwater, or that the governor might be otherwise preoccupied?
This is how poisonous left-wing politics has become in America. Even at the height of a historic crisis, the mainstream media has time to advance a political point -- a point that is, incidentally, highly debatable. Not that there is ever any time for debate with the left. It blabs on about how the consensus of the scientific community is global warming is behind such events as Irma. It quotes political critics of Gov. Scott at length. It never could find a person who sided with Scott. It only quoted his opponents. It never lets up on advancing its point of view. Nonetheless, its point of view is not in the ascendancy.
Now, I shall startle you, perhaps, but along with Gov. Scott's critics, I think that there is a human factor in "global warming." It is not large, and by no means is it a steady growing factor in global weather. We really do not know what the future holds for climate. We do know that all the nostrums advanced to solve global warming will impede global growth, which means ensuring continued poverty for the world's poor. Moreover, a significant number of the world's governments have shown no inclination to follow the nostrums' inhibiting requirements, which means the nostrums will have little or no effect. The debate about climate and how to limit global warming is a farce.
The most prudent course is to follow a policy that allows growth worldwide. By allowing growth, the industries of the world would be able to apply science and innovation to the problem of our "carbon footprint." A wealthier world, in time, will have the resources to develop technologies to deal with future problems, among them climate. There is no proof that Irma or Harvey were caused by or intensified by global warming, but global warming could, in time, be dealt with by technological development.
As for the poisonous rhetoric of the left, I have no cure. Do you remember a few years ago when the left was actually boasting of its anger? It was as if anger were a political virtue. At the time, I marveled that the descendants of former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt would consider anger a noble political value. I rather thought there might be a rebellion within the left's ranks. Suddenly, a reform movement would spread through leftist ranks, and leftists would favor sweetness and light over anger. Obviously, I was wrong. Anger amongst the left has endured. In fact, it has gottten more intense. Is there anything like it on the right? Actually, there is, if you go far enough on the political spectrum. Consider the Ku Klux Klan -- there may even be a few thousand members.