The Defining Battle of the Climate Crisis
Climate flooding, flooding the zone politically & Halloween climate rallies | oct. 27.2021
These are tumultuous times, as we eye constant climate-juiced crazy weather along with wild climate negotiations in the U.S. Congress and ahead at the COP26 United Nations climate summit. What’s a planet to do? Here’s what’s on our climate radar. EDITOR: Douglas John Imbrogno, firstname.lastname@example.org. If forwarded this newsletter, free subscribe at: ChangingClimateTimes.substack.com
‘The defining battle of our time’
Iconic climatologist Michael E. Mann has never been one to mince words on the existential cul-de-sac of runaway climate change. Mann will deliver his views right in the backyard of the politician single-handedly altering and confounding the Biden Administration’s ambitious climate proposals. Mann will be a featured virtual speaker at a Halloween Rally for Climate Action, 1 to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 30, in West Virginia’s capital city of Charleston. The rally is aimed directly at West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, urging him to stand with new climate legislation, not crosswise to it.
Or, as Mann put it in advance of the rally:
“Climate change is the defining battle of our time. And West Virginians are on the front lines, with the devastating and deadly climate change fueled floods they have endured in recent years. They need Senator Joe Manchin to be on their side, fighting for meaningful climate action, rather than simply doing the bidding of powerful polluters.”
‘Lord willing and the creek don’t rise …’
The New York Times took the measure of the alarming rise in climate-powered flooding and what it means in Manchin’s own West Virginia, whose mountain holler communities have long been easy targets for high water. The headline on this Times’ Oct. 17, 2021 story cuts right to the chase: “As Manchin Blocks Climate Plan, His State Can’t Hold Back Floods: As the senator thwarts Democrats’ major push to reduce warming, new data shows West Virginia is more exposed to worsening floods than anywhere else in the country.”
Times reporters even looked up some of Manchin’s own flooded-out relatives in his hometown of Farmington WV, in a state in which countless folk carry familial trauma from centuries of flooding tragedies:
Jim Hall, who is married to Mr. Manchin’s cousin, recounted how rescue workers got him and his wife out of their house with a rope during a flood in 2017. He described helping his neighbors, Mr. Manchin’s sister and brother-in-law, clear out their basement when a storm would come … “These last few years here in West Virginia, we’ve had unbelievable amounts of rain,” Mr. Hall said. “We’ve seriously considered not staying.”
Like Michael Mann, the Times proceeds to not mince words:
Mr. Manchin has rejected any plan to move the country away from fossil fuels because he said it would harm West Virginia, a top producer of coal and gas. Mr. Manchin’s own finances are tied to coal: he founded a family coal brokerage that paid him half a million dollars in dividends last year.
‘A revolt against the future’
I came across this quote below on Twitter unaware of its original context. But it is easily applicable to the climate crisis, whose calamities won’t go away no matter how much politicians and “fossil fools” evasively champion a carbon-spewing economy that keeps their bottom lines humming at the expense of a planet’s people.
“We are living through a revolt against the future. The future will prevail.” — Anand Giridharadas
‘Climate Common Sense’
But let’s roll tape on the impact of climate-related flooding in West Virginia. Here’s a new 10-minute mini-documentary I co-produced and narrated for the WV Climate Alliance, titled "CLIMATE COMMON SENSE: Follow the science to a safer future.” It features footage from the deadly June 2016 “thousand-year-flood” in West Virginia, which killed 23 people and destroyed or damaged more than 5,000 homes. The video also features Bobby Lee Messer’s striking aerial photography of the glory of West Virginia. After all, climate activism is fundamentally about enjoying and preserving a world handed down to us from our families and ancestors, isn’t it?
YouTube link to “Climate Common Sense”: youtu.be/IUb2_iKAbb0
The video features WV Climate Alliance co-founders Perry Bryant and Angie Rosser, director of the West Virginia Rivers Coalition, along with WV House of Delegates member Evan Hansen. They talk of the importance of rooting decisive action on the climate crisis in the science as laid out by the global scientists of the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Some key quotes:
“At the end of the day when it comes to responding to climate, we can do things that look good and feel good. But if we're not meeting those scientific benchmarks that we know we have to meet to avoid the worst impacts of climate change — again, it's going to be a lot of wasted time. And we just don't have the time to waste.” ~ Angie Rosser
“I care about the climate crisis because it's probably the most important challenge we're facing, as a state and as a country. It's impacting West Virginians right now. Our infrastructure isn't built to handle these fast flushes of rain. It's killing people in West Virginia.” ~ Evan Hansen
“It's important for us to recognize that we all have a responsibility to pass on to future generations that we have stewardship of the land and the water and the air. And we need to take care of that and make sure that we give our children as good a future as we inherited from our parents.” ~ Perry Bryant
PS | You Promised Climate Cartoons.
I did, way back in ISSUE 1. Here’s a timely one by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Walt Handlesman of The Times-Picayune The Advocate.
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