Culleton: Time to depoliticize climate change

The political circus in our nation distracts us from from far more serious matters that deserve our immediate attention. Unfortunately, the current president is the leading clown in that circus.

The House of Representatives has already become a Democratic Party stronghold. The Senate still has a Republican majority, but when the president attempted to take over powers properly belonging to the legislative branch, 12 Senate Republicans voted against him to stop this violation of the Constitution. The president vetoed this action. In the Senate there will not be enough crossover Republican votes to override the veto.


More Republicans would have voted against his veto were it not for the fear of being "primaries" in the next election. While the president is not popular overall nationally, he carries a majority among Republican voters overall and in most states.

One Republican senator, Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, found a way to beat the primary game. When she was defeated in the 2010 Republican primary she ran as an independent, write-in candidate in the general election against the Tea Party candidate who beat her in the primary. Democratic voters joined with her Republican supporters to defeat the Republican candidate in the general election. She voted against the national emergency declaration.

However, a Republican senator who promised to vote against the emergency declaration, North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis, voted Thursday to support Trump's national emergency declaration, a reversal from his previous public position. Tillis is up for reelection in 2020.

The courts have yet to be heard from on this emergency declaration issue.

In the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton actually collected several million more popular votes than did the winner. With a centrist Democratic candidate, and Donald Trump as the expected Republican offering, the next president will probably carry the "D" label.

Trump can do a lot more damage between now and January 2021 when a new president will take office. However, perhaps the only way he can gain reelection is if he survives a failed impeachment attempt led by the Democrats.

Democrats know this, which is why House leader Nancy Pelosi is saying "No" and the Republicans say "the Democrats want to impeach the president." He is their mistake and if they want to remove him they will have to choose another candidate.

And now to more serious matters.

Climate change may well make the earth uninhabitable for species Homo Sapiens — that is, you and I. The chart of world temperature shows that it varied for several millennia and then had a steep and permanent climb upwards when the said species spread over the planet with their camp fires. Then it leveled off and varied at a higher range.

In more recent times the temperature is rising again. The pollution of the atmosphere has caused weird climate changes. An area of Arctic cold has moved south over the upper part of the Western Hemisphere, causing unheard of cold weather. This has caused warm air to move north thus accelerating the already dangerous melting of the Arctic ice pack.

Ocean levels are rising, threatening coastal areas around the world. Major cities may become modern versions of Venice. In the next hundred years most or all of the state of Hawaii may become submerged. Already major floods are damaging significant parts of our nation.

There is debate over how much of this climate change is caused by human activity. But the massive increase of the use of fossil fuels is a likely suspect.

If we switch from fossil fuels to electric power the degree of climate change may be slowed. China has recognized this likelihood and is leading the way in production of electric cars.

We should probably follow their lead. Unfortunately that will reduce air pollution in the USA by only a quarter. Another quarter of our pollution of the air is attributable to the flatulence of our cattle! If we switch their feed to seaweed this factor will be mostly eliminated. But what will that change do to our agriculture?


We don't have all the answers. But as a start we can depoliticize our approach. The flood waters do not discriminate between Dems and Repubs.