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Red State Rural America Is Acting on Climate Change — Without Calling It Climate Change

By Rebecca J. Romsdahl, Professor of Environmental Science & Policy at the University of North Dakota. This article was originally published, Cross-posted from DeSmog Blog.

President Donald Trump has the environmental community understandably concerned. He and members of his Cabinet have questioned the established science of climate change, and his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency, former Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, has sued the EPA many times and regularly sided with the fossil fuel industry.

Even if the Trump administration withdraws from all international climate negotiations and reduces the EPA to bare bones, the effects of climate change are happening and will continue to build.

In response to real threats and public demand, cities across the United States and around the world are taking action to address climate change. We might think this is happening only in large, coastal cities that are threatened by sea-level rise or hurricanes, like Amsterdam or New York.

Research shows, however, that even in the fly-over red states of the U.S. Great Plains, local leaders in small- to medium-size communities are already grappling with the issue. Although their actions are not always couched in terms of addressing climate change, their strategies can provide insights into how to make progress on climate policy under a Trump administration.

“Deliberate Framing”

My colleagues and I did a survey of over 200 local governments in 11 states of the Great Plains region to learn about steps they’re taking to mitigate the effects of climate change and to adapt to them. We found local officials in red states responsible for public health, soil conservation, parks and natural resources management, as well as county commissioners and mayors, are concerned about climate change, and many feel a responsibility to take action in the absence of national policy.

But because it is such a complex and polarizing topic, they often face public uncertainty or outrage toward the issue. So while these local officials have been addressing climate change in their communities over the past decade, many of these policy activities are specifically not framed that way. As one respondent to our survey said:

“It is my personal and professional opinion that the conservation community is on track with addressing the issue of climate change but is way off track in assigning a cause. The public understands the value of clean water and clean air. If the need to improve our water quality and air quality was emphasized, most would agree. Who is going to say dirty water and dirty air is not a problem? By making the argument ‘climate change and humans are the cause’ significant energy is wasted trying to prove this. It is also something the public has a hard time sinking their teeth into.”

In order to address the vulnerabilities facing their communities, many local officials are reframing climate change to fit within existing priorities and budget items. In a survey of mayors, we asked: “In your city’s policy and planning activities (for energy, conservation, natural resources management, land use, or emergency planning, etc.) how is climate change framed?” The following quotes give a sense of their strategies.

“In terms of economic benefit & resource protection. This framing was deliberate to garner support from residents who did not agree with climate change.”

“We frame the initiative as: energy savings (=$ savings), as smart growth/good planning, and as common sense natural resource management. Climate change is only explicitly referenced in our Climate Protection Plan adopted in 2009. Most initiatives fall under the “sustainability” umbrella term.“

“We mask it with sustainability, we call it P3 (People, Planet, Prosperity)”

“The initial interest in climate change came about as a result of concern about the potential for poor air quality affecting economic development in the City. Air quality and climate change were framed as being extremely related issues.”

“Climate change is framed as one of several benefits of conservation measures. Other benefits of conservation, recycling, walking, etc. include it’s ‘good for the earth’ (regardless of climate change), healthful, economical, etc.”

The results show that energy, economic benefits, common sense and sustainability are frames that are providing opportunities for local leaders to address climate change without getting stuck in the political quagmire. This strategy is being used across the Great Plains states, which include some of the most climate-skeptical areas of the country.

Local Needs and Values

Every region of the U.S. will need to address practical questions of how states and local communities can reduce emissions and adapt to climate impacts. Under the Trump administration, it is likely any progress on U.S. climate policy will continue at these subnational levels. That’s why a variety of experts argue that we should encourage the types of pragmatic strategies now being employed by local leaders in red states.

In the Great Plains in particular, local officials are facing severe impacts from higher temperatures, which will place greater demands on water and energy.

In our research we found local leaders focus on regional and local issues such as drought, energy and flooding. These are problems that are tied to climate change, but are already a priority on the local level. And the sought-for improvements, such as energy savings, health benefit and flood management, fit well with local needs and values.

For example, Fargo, North Dakota mitigates some of its greenhouse gas emissions and created a new source of city revenue by capturing the methane from its landfill facility and selling that gas to the electricity company. The city trash is now providing renewable energy for local residents and an industrial facility.

Perhaps the question facing us is: Should we reframe climate change and other environmental problems to fit the Trump administration’s priorities with a strong focus on practical solution ideas? For example, Trump has stated that infrastructure projects will be a high priority. That could easily translate into fixing the drinking water crisis experienced by Flint, Michigan and many other cities where it is likely to happen; Trump has also highlighted mass transit, which could help reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.

With an administration eager to expand fossil fuel development and consumption, the outlook for federal action on reducing climate-altering greenhouse gases is dire. Given that, reframing climate change to address cobenefit issues seems a logical strategy, and we can look for local government leaders in red states to show the way.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

33 comments

  1. BeliTsari

    Nobody ever said we shouldn’t fuck back: http://www.perennialsolutions.org/carbon-sequestering-agriculture-global-warming-solution-piece-remove-co2-from-atmosphere-organic-garden.html http://thebulletin.org/%E2%80%98we%E2%80%99d-have-finish-one-new-facility-every-working-day-next-70-years%E2%80%99%E2%80%94why-carbon-capture-no-panacea9949 https://www.nrdc.org/stories/how-you-can-stop-global-warming https://rodaleinstitute.org/regenerative-organic-agriculture-and-climate-change/ http://www.automotiveworld.com/analysis/powertrain-analysis/84211-the-challenges-of-micro-turbine-hybrids/ it’s time to IGNORE our betters?

    1. Alan Kirk

      thanks for taking the trouble to post those links, Beli! Brings me hope that our food system can actually be such a large carbon sink.

      1. BeliTsari

        Some folks have been heading into more resilient, regenerative and integrated lifestyles (of which agriculture is only one part) for considerably more than the few decades most of us have known of it (across political, economic and cultural backgrounds… I’m working in Amish country with disparate co-workers). I was shocked that Marrone Bio Innovations did well after November, but both parties support further consolidation in petroleum-based bioengineering sector & small landholders will now suffer far worse, from drought, erratic weather and pollution from fracking, mining & CAFOs. Without reliable online information, safe food and potable water will soon be a fantasy of the very affluent.

        1. Cal

          The couple in the first link working in the Mexican mountains are using an A frame. This is the kind of simple device that can save the world. It’s a wooden “A” with legs of equal length. The midpoint is marked on the crossbar. It’s set on a hillside the two feet located so that the pendulum hangs plumb, (the string crosses the midpoint.) Stakes put down where the feet. Then one leg is pivoted around and its adjusted until the string is at midpoint etc. Contour lines are thus established and these indicate the path of rock wall terraces or ditches that rainwater can run into with crops planted on the downhill pile of fresh dirt.

  2. Paul Boisvert

    In part, reframing anti-GW work is a reasonable strategy, given the current moment. But some tactical elements are better than others. Yes, focusing on clean air means reducing coal use, good for both air and climate. But focusing on flood “management” means accepting the greater flooding from GW and merely mitigating the damage, rather than preventing the GW and the greater flooding in the first place.

    Every tactic advocated that merely deals with “inevitable” GW damage is not really helping in the long run, as the current “ever-increasing carbon” mode of capitalist production is thereby not challenged. The upshot will be huge amounts of future resources needing to be devoted to managing damage that could have been prevented in the first place by addressing causes of GW, rather than effects. Such resources will inevitably be drained away from other social and economic needs, substantially reducing our future quality of life–and they will inevitably be only partially successful even in mitigating GW damage, and, at that, largely only for the wealthier folks who can afford it.

    1. Dead Dog

      yes, mate, when the garages of the coastal elites start to get wet, it won’t us that bails them out (think expensive sea walls (already happening), or relocating their homes to higher ground)

    2. that guy

      Yo! Former climate change denier here. I’d like to address some of your points directly from my own perspective and experience as such.

      Climate Change advocates tend to be their own worst enemy. They’ve completely politically polarized their movement, and they’ve screamed doom and woe for like, a hundred years. (That’s not an exaggeration, I can dig up Chicken Little newspaper articles from a hundred years ago.) And they’ve been very, very wrong for a very, very long time, but the shrill tone hasn’t changed. I remember that a New York Times article on the subject from 1985 assured me that half of Florida would be underwater by now. IIRC, one environmentalist described escaping methane plumes as an apocalyptic disaster. (That’s a thing that actually happened four years or so ago in the Arctic.) There are articles that rehash ground covered earlier by Malthus tied to climate change. There’s a lot of baggage and negative association there.

      You most certainly do need to reframe the issue. First, to shake all the previous baggage that comes with being wrong or shrilly overstating matters for a big chunk of a hundred years, and second because a big part of persuasion is convincing people that they want what you’re selling, and believe it or not, people want a lot of what conservation and a clean agenda is going to include. Most people want to get closer to energy independence; nobody wants to be the Saudis’ puppet. Most people want clean air and clean water. It goes on like that. You can make a strong case for every separate part on its own, usually, because it’s stuff people want.

      1. gepay

        I am in the man made CO2 induced catastrophic climate change denier group. I agree with many of the measures that man made CO2 is a pollutant believers advocate. Why would anyone not want clean air and water? Either doing away with coal burning pollution or doing away with coal burning. More efficient use of energy in transportation and home heating and air conditioning – That pesticides and herbicides and other chemical pollution needs to be dealt with. That we need to move away from our dependence on socalled fossil fuels. There are so many real issues that need our energy and time and resources. Why isn’t there outrage that Fukushima 5 years later is still pouring hundreds of tons of radioactive (since Mar 11) every day into the Pacific? Or overfishing? Where is the outrage of the US military machine and American foreign policy which are the biggest threat to the biggest threat to humanity? Why aren’t people outraged at the growing incidence of neurological damage to our children? .But consensus science says we are all doomed – the science is settled – our models tell us so – even though they can’t even model clouds with any certainty.

        1. zapster

          Amazing. One climate denier blames ‘overblown’ warnings while the very next denier demands to know “where is the outrage” over a long list of man-made disasters, while still thinking that man couldn’t possibly change the climate with those disasters. If we can blow gigantic holes in the ozone, do neurological damage to children worldwide, make air so filthy that people drop dead in it, on and on and on, it seems entirely reasonable that changing the chemistry of the atmosphere would have some knock-on effects, and there’s absolutely no doubt that we’ve done that. Both of you mention it, in fact. Climate intransigence funded by Exxon and Shell is just gullibility, imo. The fact is, climate is changing so much faster than IPCC models predict that it may no longer even be tackleable. We could have done it if we’d heeded the warnings in the 80’s. I suspect that most climate deniers now do it because if they admitted it, they’d have to face their own culpability for the impending doom that we all face now. And it’s genuinely doom. The tundras are melting incredibly fast, with all the methane that implies pouring out. Spring is 3 weeks early across the south. July is gonna be deadly down there. It’s here, it’s now and if you have to reframe it to do something about it, I spose that’s the best we can hope for. What we need is a war-scale effort to eliminate fossil fuels *this year.* Completely. And massive funding for carbon sequestration. We are out of time right now. The methane is the tipping point.

          1. artichoke

            A couple weeks ago here around NYC it was about 55 degrees, and NOAA was telling everyone it was 68 or 70. When people tell me the data is fudged, why shouldn’t I believe them.

            We had some warm days. Now it’ll be 35 here in the NYC area today. Temp. goes up, temp goes down.

            Some global warming could be good. Life could flourish where only polar bears and seals do now. Several physicists have said the same thing, maybe we just like warm weather and aren’t rich enough to own beachfront property.

            If people want to think they’re fooling us by focusing on clean air and water rather than CO2 emission, that’s fine with me. EPA used to regulate SOx and NOx and it cleared the smog from the cities. But then it was ridiculous to see CO2 named a poison. We don’t have SOx much any more because of ultra low sulfur diesel fuel, but NOx is still an issue and should be regulated.

        2. Norb

          All of the problems you mentioned are connected to the current economic system we are all coerced to participate in- The unrelenting drive to increase profits at all costs, regardless of the damage caused to the environment and people. Profits over people (and the environment) is our creed.

          I believe the outrage and despair is there in the hearts and minds of most people, and many more who are not strong enough to take on the extra burden such dire news brings. All this demonstrates the power of the current propaganda machine we are all subjected to on a daily basis, misdirecting our attention away from things that actually matter, for the current generation and those that will come after us.

          The common ground needed is to accept our human responsibility as stewards of this planet we occupy with all other lifeforms. Those that say we have the God given right to to take as we please for our own selfish ends are in error. We have been given a paradise and are despoiling it, on this point I think common ground is legion.

          The planet is being treated as an open sewer. The scale of the dumping is almost beyond comprehension. Nature is treated only as a commodity storehouse waiting to be raided. How long can nature absorb this callousness?

          The rich absolve themselves of responsibility for this arrangement as long as the dumping can be perpetrated against weaker groups and regions. Third world nations absorb heavy industrial pollution and poor communities in the US are used as dumping grounds. All justified by the catch all phrase, “we can’t afford” to do otherwise. This is a lie. A gross distortion.

          Forget about modeling clouds, which is another distraction. The connection is not a matter of science, for science is only a tool which can be used to understand the workings of the world in a more systematic way, which for all of our human limitations in understanding is always limited and incomplete. There is a moral and spiritual plane that is being totally distorted for selfish interests and this cannot be ignored for much longer. The common ground is that our way of life is killing the planet. We must choose to carry on our merry way, or try to do something about it- to proclaim our responsibilities.

          A link to work being done showing that soon 50% of all lifeforms on this planet will be extinct.
          https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/feb/25/half-all-species-extinct-end-century-vatican-conference

      2. Enquiring Mind

        Earth Day was instructive in that regard but didn’t quite live up to the promise and hope after the Nixon environmental acts. Some of that was due to the subsequent moralizing component of an otherwise valuable message. The average citizen got turned off by the delivery, overlooking the content. Instead of being enlisted in cost-effective solutions that could have saved billions and made lives better for so many, decades were squandered.

        I thought that the environmental movement tried to push the Overton Window a lot further than was plausible, to the detriment of so many. Combine that with the countervailing forces stirred up by the Powell Memo and that meant trouble.

  3. H. Alexander Ivey

    Humm, this idea of shifting what you call it (soil conservation, clean air, beautification of our cities – plant trees, instead of ‘doing something about climate change’) may prove a good rebutal to my personal opinion that you must know the reason for something before you can effectively act. I can see that labeling the reason for action as ‘climate change’ causes a lot of heat but not much action. In fact, it seems to stop action.

    I must confess my being embarassed about forgetting the term ‘soil conservation’. I had forgotten this really important concept and basis for actual action with my pre-occupation with climate change predictions. I see this idea of focusing on what to do now, on addressing today’s problems, as a way out of our blind alley of fighting over ‘what to do about climate change’.

    1. DH

      There are multiple reasons for doing things that can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.Smog, bio-diversity, soil erosion etc. Its not accidental that Texas is a renewable energy leader while simultaneously pushing back on climate change talk. I think the blunder that the environmental community has made on the messaging front is making everything ALL about carbon emissions, which has effectively polarized the issue. After all, many of the people participating in the discussion have not adequately funded pension plans (if they are government officials) or not saved for retirement (if they are citizens), so planning for the future (30+ yrs away) isn’t something that they act on for typical known challenges.

      For example, oil and gas provides a lot of revenue of destabilizing regimes, such as Iran, Russia etc. as well as providing specific financing for ISIS etc. So a dual case can be made for the US, China, and Europe to increase renewable energy and increase fracking production. This would drive down the price of oil and gas by simultaneously reducing demand (renewable energy) and increasing supply in the consuming countries. Total carbon-based consumption should drop over time as renewable energy comes on-line. The lower prices would reduce funding of bad actors while greenhouse gas emissions are reduced.

    2. Uahsenaa

      Then I’m curious what you do to reframe things, when you really do need to look at things less locally and more globally. For instance, the smog that occasionally blankets the west coast of the US is the result of pollutants released into the atmosphere by Chinese industry. What are the people of LA supposed to do about that? Or take the clean water issue. Much of the issue with polluted water in the Midwest comes from farm runoff. If this is taken wholly within the context of a given state, say Iowa, then things can be handled locally, but what happens when the runoff goes into a watershed shared by several states, the Missouri or Ohio rivers, for instance? All of the states in that watershed have completely separate DNRs and therefore need an umbrella organization to coordinate them, which is ostensibly what the soon to be gutted EPA is meant to do.

      Local solutions are good but ultimately insufficient. Sure, climate scientists may at times have made wildly hyperbolic claims, but while Florida may not [yet] be entirely underwater, Bangladesh is. How exactly should the Bangladeshis reframe the argument to prevent what really is a simple, global sea level rise? I’m not trying to be flippant about this; if there really is a way to get people on board with how dire the situation is, then I’m all ears.

  4. susan the other

    In fact, local communities would be a good place to preserve EPA goals like protecting endangered species. What are your local endangered species and how can you protect them? Probably much more effective than a government decree which is such a blunt instrument it might not work for anything but PR. The Amazon rain forest could use a little international help though. And the oceans.

  5. HBE

    I This is exactly the right way to go about it, unfortunately global warming is a politicized term by both tribes. Neither of which is to keen to actually do anything substantive about (outside of flowery pronouncements one way or the other). Driving a wedge between the two tribes at the local level when they really want the same things.

    To a large extent the dems use it as a way to differentiate, and allow the more fervent base supporters to reinforce their feelings of enlightenment and virtue over those “backwards and deplorable” they so despise.

    And the Repubs use it to show the other tribe as arrogant and condescending. While working to take away jobs desperately needed with more “regulations”. While cozying up to Labor exploiting businesses who don’t want regulations for other reasons entirely.

    Neither of which at the National level actually do anything to stem the effects of climate change.

    Focusing on global warming as the primary reason to promote projects that work to improve social and ecological benefits, is not going to work and it seems local govs have realized this and adjusted accordingly. Bypassing the politicized and virtue signaling aspects to actually achieve something. Which is awesome.

    I can still however wish (more like dream) there was some way to achieve the same gains at the local level about overpopulation as well.

    1. Lynne

      On reframing the debate: what has shocked me is the zeal of the debate, to the extent that “liberals” treat as illegitimate any efforts to reduce fossil fuel use if the effort is done for ANY reason other than a “proper” belief in global warming orthodoxy. See, eg, this 2010 NY Times article and its comments (http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/19/science/earth/19fossil.html): “In Kansas, Climate Skeptics Embrace Clean Energy”

      Among the comments left on that article:

      “So, please, Kansas, trust us when we say that candles and incandescent bulbs are the work of Satan, and the baby Jesus wants you to use CFLs and LEDs. Amen.

      “People in these towns are evangelical fundamentalists who have no idea what the meaning of science and reason is. These fundamentalists do not believe in scientific facts. They have been so brainwashed since birth there is no possible way to reason with them.

      “and are apparently completely cut off from all news, books, endless documentaries, and the flippin’ planets’ worth of totally obvious and not at all hard for a 4-year-old child to grasp MOUNTAINS OF EVIDENCE! Criminy! Just because someone wants to believe the Earth is flat doesn’t mean I have to pretend they’re smart, or allow the planet to be ruined by their failure to accept the truth.

      “Seems even the most devoutly religious Americans, including people more apt to believe a fertilized egg is a human being than in the melting of the ice caps, respond to the appeal of filthy lucre.

      “Using the rhetoric that sounds acceptable to these Kansans is a great idea, as they are obviously not critical thinkers or would have accepted climate change in the first place.”

      With friends like these, environmentalists don’t need enemies.

  6. Carolinian

    Every time I drive across the Great Plains I see an increasing number of wind turbines and the Texas panhandle in particular is starting to look like one giant wind farm. So when it comes to renewable energy it’s possible some of these red states are a lot more climate friendly that those NIMBY easterners who squawk about windmills off tony Martha’s Vineyard.

    However people in the great empty do drive a lot. Higher government enforced mileage standards would be helpful.

    1. Annotherone

      Wind farms are a common sight in Oklahoma and in parts of Texas. Someone once realised there was money to be made and took off with the idea (T. Boone Pickens, oil man!). Sadly some of the benefits are cancelled out by excessive fracking here in Oklahoma- the earthquake capital.

  7. Bernard

    i don’t trust Red States to do anything “good” for anyone but for their plantation masters. “States Rights” has returned full blown control under the Republican Party. Growing up under “States Rights” before the Civil Rights Era, i doubt anyone who is for States Rights, a code for the Rich who already run things indirectly. Local Government is run by the Rich for the Rich. or those who have assumed/co-opted power from those “previous” owners. Change of the appearances is all i have seen under the “guise” of States Rights. The poor in the South has always been anti-government, their cultural heritage as white Southerners. i know nothing about the rest of the country’s mindset.

    Watching Jeff Sessions “resume” White Power control of the Government, but now at the Federal level, portends more evil than meets the eye. the Horrors of States Righters. I am really bigoted against my fellow older White Southerner voters, having grown up knowing what “States Righters” wanted/did in the South in the ’60s. better a poor white than “black” ideology.

    And George Wallace was just the exception, for example.

    Finding the way to reach those brainwashed with centuries of anti-government/neoliberal indoctrination is a difficult and necessary task. Joe Beagant explained this mindset really well. Until the “old White Supremacist” Southern voter/mindset dies in those Southerners who vote solidly Republican, we are in their “clutches . which is why education was destroyed and charter schools, neoliberalism, et al was imposed to “brand” the Correct/Right Way of thinking. Solidarity, indeed.

    maybe the Northern Republican voters are different from those in the South. I don’t know. to expect anything good/change from Republican voters or their leaders in the South is truly an Alice in the Wonderland fantasy, IMHO.

    1. Mel

      Fair enough. Get your project working without them. Advance on a broad front. Double the chances of something working.

    2. Susan

      Okay, a handful of southerners for ya.
      in Georgia:
      a climate change solutions movie
      [that doesn’t even care if you believe in climate change]
      http://www.carbonnationmovie.com/about/clips/244-one-hundred-thousand-beating-hearts-short-film
      in North Dakota, Mississippi and Saskatchewan: http://www.carbonnationmovie.com/about/clips/225-new-video-soil-carbon-cowboys
      in Texas: (on water)
      https://vimeo.com/158492815
      and in Ohio, which is the south basically outside Cleveland
      https://youtu.be/owk8eK61Bfc
      There are many stories in The Soil Will Save Us by Kristin Ohlson – stuff she learned from a bunch of good ole boys. And Jannisse Ray in Georgia is approaching it with style and grace over many years and volumes – served up with authenticity and love. It doesn’t always have to be the bat of “science.” Some southerners just respond to horse sense. And no, I don’t know how any of these folks voted or if they did.

  8. Elizabeth Burton

    I’ve been saying for years we’d be better off not letting the other side dictate how we label things that need to be fixed. Like wondering what would happen if we replaced “gun control” with something that didn’t sound so authoritarian.

    The right has been employing the rules of advertising propaganda for decades, including skillful manipulation of the language to push all the buttons necessary to persuade people to become single-issue voters. That anti-choice activists can call themselves pro-life while avidly supporting the death penalty is one prime example. Sweeping terms like “global warming” and “climate change” are all fine for the scientifically inclined, but most people just want to be able to get clean water from their faucet and turn on the lights without having to mortgage their firstborn to pay the bill.

    1. Steve B

      I’ll make a deal with you, I will accept the label anti-choice if you accept the label pro-death. By the way, I am pro-life and against the death penalty. The key for liberals is to stop the attempts at identity politics and understand that not all of your positions are necessarily correct.

      I don’t understand why it is so important to label everything unless it is just an attempt to control speech.

      1. Atypical

        Steve B
        March 5

        You must not know of Frank Luntz – focus group maven thus labeler extraordinaire on the right. Sends daily faxes (likely now emails) to all republicans to get “labelers” on the same page.

        As to the so-called pro-life position; it is simplistically ideological, hypocritical and therefore phony.

        Why?

        Because the right is against sex education, against contraception, against PP, an org that works for family planning which PREVENTS unwanted pregnancy and abortions, and against anyone, including doctors, to tell THEIR patients about options that promote health and well-being. This from the “small government” party. Viciously phony.

        Oh, almost forgot…militarism is rampant on the right. Death follows.

        http://www.salon.com/2006/03/20/anti_contraception/

        1. Vatch

          I’m with you, Atypical. Until the right wing ideologues stop bashing Planned Parenthood and show some sincere enthusiasm for inexpensive, easily available, and effective contraception, I have no respect for the so called “pro-life” viewpoint. If a person is genuinely opposed to abortion, then that person must strongly support contraception. Preventing pregnancy in the first place is a very effective way of preventing abortion. Any organization or religious denomination that opposes contraception is an organization that implicitly supports abortion.

          1. Atypical

            Vatch
            March 5, 3:47

            I left out the phony ads and clinics that use psychological warfare against women who are in need of assistance, right-wing anti-choice legislators that get (or force) abortions for their mistresses or girlfriends, religious “leaders” who do the same, and religious groups that do not protect children against predators of all kinds.

            It’s a mandatory truism for the right…once you’re born you’re on your own. No support of any kind.

            THAT’S WOULD BE WRONG.

            Thanks, Vatch.

      2. zapster

        Are you also prepared to support all the children you force into lives of misery and raise them in the same fashion you would want your own children raised? If not, you are not pro-life. You’re pro-child-abuse.

    2. Vatch

      most people just want to be able to get clean water from their faucet and turn on the lights without having to mortgage their firstborn to pay the bill.

      And then there’s this in East Chicago, Indiana. Flint, Michigan, has a sibling:

      http://www.theindianalawyer.com/coalition-asks-epa-to-act-on-lead-in-east-chicago-water/PARAMS/article/42969

      http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/watchdog/lead/ct-east-chicago-lead-water-20170302-story.html

      Pittsburgh:

      http://pittsburgh.cbslocal.com/2017/03/03/kdka-investigates-thousands-in-the-city-drinking-lead-contaminated-water-and-dont-know-it/

      And Texas:

      http://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2017-03-03/unsafe-lead-levels-found-in-texas-schools/

      It interesting that the electors of Indiana, Wisconsin, and Texas all voted for Trump. Will Trump’s EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt take effective action on these problems? I won’t hold my breath.

  9. charlino

    Somehow in all of this, I haven’t seen one of the biggest causes of ‘global warming’ being addressed, and that is the cause and effect of weapons of war, and the clean up that is never done. The climate change advocates believe that ‘geo-engineering,’ cloud seeding, crop dusting, solar management, etc. is the solution. Right now, there are more than 250 projects going on by the NOAA, NSA, NASA, etc., that all involve chemical solutions being sprayed over our heads in an attempt to control the weather, control the sun, and control the rain – all under the guise of global warming. Cow flatulents are not the problem. The stuff being sprayed over our heads and raining down on our earth is the biggest – if not the major source – of the problem. Most farmers know how to farm without pesticides, antibiotics, and run off, but there is nothing they can do about the acid rain falling over their crops, fields, and animals. The US Patent Office has a trove of information on aerosols and their intended purpose.

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