Saturday, February 06, 2010


I was all set to write a post this morning about fiscal conservatism and why it is actually a cause that LIBERALS should usually embrace. Unfortunately, something inconvenienced my plans. For the third time in a week, Washington, D.C. was hit with a snowstorm.

Last weekend's nasty snowfall resulted in a car accident for my family; some Einstein nailed us from behind while we were stopped at a red light. The next storm resulted in a day of missed school. And today's little shower has brought something like 2 or 2 1/2 FEET of snow to our southern hamlet. This is the second time that we've had at least two feet of snow in DC this winter, and I don't ever remember having that much snow in the 40+ years I've spent in this city; maybe it happened once or twice, but certainly not twice in the same winter.

Some will take this opportunity to mock Al Gore for talking about global warming. How, they might ask, can we be "warming" if we are constantly dealing with snow 100 miles south of the Mason Dixon line? But let's keep in mind that D.C. frequently gets below 32 degrees in the winter. What isn't common for us is so many STORMS. And this is precisely what Al Gore predicted: that as our climate changes due to our carbon consumption, storms will be increasingly frequent and increasingly powerful.

Tonight, my family is without electricity and heat, as are hundreds of thousands of others in the D.C. area. I am typing this from the home of a friend who rescued us in his SUV late this afternoon. But after being in a frigid home for the better part of the day, and after contemplating all of my neighbors and friends who can expect to spend several days in that state and all the millions upon millions of people whose lives will be impaired and even lost during the upcoming decades because of the man-made effects of climate change, I find myself making a simple request: can we PLEASE not take climate change off the front burner as a pressing public policy issue?

I heard Barack say that getting people back to work is our number one priority, and I know that my conservative friends are consumed with the need to fight terrorism and to put our budget back in order, but I'm getting the distinct impression that we are on the verge of making a tragic error if we ignore the lessons from "An Inconvenient Truth." I worked to elect Barack Obama to be a progressive leader, and one of his greatest tasks as a progressive had better be to fight against climate change and the Neanderthals who continue to deny its existence. Whatever can be done to help him in this cause, let's do it.

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