Thursday, May 15, 2014

US Senator Marco Rubio nurses self-inflicted political wounds as a climate change accelerates while ordinary Floridians grapple with the reality of being poorly served by elected representatives … by gimleteye

We've been on the MERS story the past few weeks. MERS is Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, and in the past month it has been accelerating an infectious route toward the World Health Organization's alarm bell. What this has to do with our climate change-denier-in chief Marco Rubio, Florida's junior US Senator, is economics 101. But every good economics course needs an interesting lead-in, and what better lead-in for a discourse on the economic costs of climate change than a disease that is killing about 30 percent of the people it infects?

MERS has been the lead story on NBC Nightly News for a few days running, with reports that an Orlando health care worker -- recently returned from Saudi Arabia -- has been diagnosed with the dangerous virus.

That the infection is in Florida should draw attention to US Senator Marco Rubio's lame performance last weekend, when he stated that we can't do anything about climate change because it would cost too much.

There are many ways to measure Senator Rubio's small mindedness against the real economic carnage from climate change.

Last night's news clip showed teams of health care workers at a computer center at the Center of Disease Control, resembling a war room. Think for a minute how much skill and organization it takes to identify each and every person an infected traveler from Saudi Arabia came in contact with.

Now, overlay the chaos of climate change on a future scenario involving health care surveillance, monitoring, treatment and quarantine.

In Florida we have a good sample of economic disruption: hurricanes. After 48 hours without basic services, people go bat-shit. Climate change forecasts that daily life will be disrupted on so many levels. And again, we don't need science fiction or great imaginations: there are big pockets of the Mideast where violence is so dangerous that rare and once dormant viruses have re-emerged. Polio, for example, in Syria.

The point is this: viruses are opportunistic. They can and will adapt to spread to as many hosts as possible. A virulent virus has the potential to cripple the world economy. We are keeping the worst bugs at bay, because stable economies provide the tools for disaster response like the US is mobilizing now. Climate change, if we don't get it under control soon, will create conditions within our own economy that are so disruptive we won't be able to marshall the kinds of resources we can watch today on NBC Nightly News.

If you think we can't afford the costs of protecting against these existential threats, well … you are not qualified to serve in public office.

Florida is poorly served by a US Senator, Marco Rubio, who is as ignorant on the matter of economic costs as he is on the science of climate change. Rubio, who EOM archives reveal has refused to even meet with climate change scientists, has earned derisive editorials from Florida's major newspapers for his latest performance.

Listen to Dr. Harold Wanless on Jim Defede's Sunday program, "Facing South Florida". I hope Senator Rubio does, nursing deep and self-inflicted political wounds.


Anonymous said...

And so, the answer is to destroy America's wealth and power while India and China, the biggest offenders,
do nothing?

Anonymous said...

America's wealth and power would only be enhanced by taking serious leadership here. Dealing with climate disruptions and moving away from fossil fuels are inevitable for all nations; whether or not we lead is up to us.

Anonymous said...

Well then, let's welcome nuclear power! Let's open the door to wind power? Why is this administration opposing both?

Or, let's drill off our coast and let's use our own fossil fuel so we can become independent of Middle-eastern principalities and oligarchies and of pathetic clowns like Maduro. Let's stop apologizing for our greatness and once again take pride in who we are.