Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ex-columnist: Republicans just like Watts rioters

Blessedly former Denver Post columnist Diane Carman, in a Rocky Mountain News Speakout column:
The irony was almost creepy. Thousands of Republicans were gleefully chanting "Drill, baby, drill" inside a convention hall in St. Paul, Minn., some 43 years nearly to the day after the infamous Watts riots [my linkie, of course] when the original chant, "Burn, baby, burn" was coined by mobs determined to incinerate Los Angeles in a fit of rage.
Actually, Republicans are worse:
The delegates' apparent appetite for destruction is similarly insatiable, only unlike the burning of city buildings in 1965, the damage from rampant oil drilling and continued runaway consumption of fossil fuels now would be permanent.

Not only would fragile wilderness areas, sensitive habitats and our ocean ecosystems be sacrificed for the sake of our continued quest to extract more and more oil, but the health of the planet would be forever altered by the burning of it. . . .
Carman, by the way, quit her Post job to become communications director at CU-Denver's School of Public Affairs, home of the "Presidential Climate Action Project." From the project's "About" page:
Leading climate experts estimate that the international community has 10 years to make dramatic changes in greenhouse gas emissions if we wish to avoid the worst consequences of global warming. A similar need for action in the next decade is being created by the growing international competition for oil, the approaching peak in world petroleum production and America’s increasing dependence on oil from unstable or hostile regions. Left unaddressed, these problems may create unprecedented economic and environmental hardships and increasing global tensions.

By the time the 44th President takes office, the window of opportunity to prevent these crises will be one-third gone. . . .
And so on. Goreian "small window" warmenists, in short. Anyway, after goreing on for a bit about melting ice and James Hansen and the indisputability of the evidence, Carman returns to those rioting Repugs:
Every political convention-watcher knows that the rhetoric inside the hall is meant to appeal to the most basic emotions of the rabidly partisan faithful. Unfortunately, what happens inside the hall doesn't stay there.

It gets broadcast around the world to places like Denmark, Brazil, The Netherlands and Japan where people who have dramatically changed their lives and their economies in an effort to avoid the devastating effects of climate change hear the bleating of "Drill, baby, drill" and can't help but feel utter despair . . .
The Netherlands has actually reduced its CO2 emissions, but then again, so has the U.S. But none of the countries Carman mentions has dramatically changed anything. No matter, their citizens still feel utter despair:

. . . Just like Americans did when they saw the pictures of Los Angeles on fire and heard the crowds yelling, "Burn, baby, burn."

It's an irrational, sadistic, self-destructive impulse, and Americans would do well not to indulge it.

Irrational, sadistic, and self-destructive. Remember, she's talking not about her own thought processes, but about drilling for oil.
As Hansen so often has said, the planet is not ours to destroy.

Please. If it's not ours to destroy, whose the bloody hell is it?

Incidentally, Carman says the Repukes were doing their mindless robotic chanting 43 years "nearly to the day" after the Watts riots. The convention was September 1-4; the riots were August 11-14. That's more than two weeks apart. Synecdoche, baby.

Unfortunate but instructive, too, that an hysteric like Carman moves so smoothly between journalism and academia.

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