Some anti-science, global warming deniers insist that “climate change” is a recently-invented term for global warming, created to account for the “embarrassment” of instances of unusually cold weather. The truth of the matter is that the term “climate change” was first coined in 1979. It’s been used ever since to help communicate the idea that global warming also includes temporary instances of cold. On our way up the thermostat we can expect sudden and highly unusual instances of extremes in both directions, including down the thermostat.
Such is the case right now in England where I live. Right now, as I write this, it’s a very unusually chilly (for us) -6 degrees centigrade (about 21 degrees Fahrenheit). Yesterday it got down to -7c (about 19F). In the 20 years I have lived here I only recall it getting down to -2c before. Last summer the mercury rose to over 40 degrees centigrade here (104 degrees Fahrenheit), an all time high.
These extremes in temperatures, particularly the cold, are very bad for the poor, of course. It’s the poor who suffer the most as a consequence of all our manmade disasters. Thanks to the stupid government of the tonedeaf Conservative Party, Britain is doing very little to help the poor survive this brutal Winter. The cost of fuel has skyrocketed here, and many Britons can no longer afford to heat their homes.
Meanwhile those same Tories are doing what conservatives everywhere are doing, pretending as if they are doing much to combat anthropogenic climate change when in fact they are doing very little. Conservatives everywhere are having to finally admit that climate change is real in the face of overwhelming evidence. So now instead of acting they just pretend to act.
It’s called greenwashing, or what Greta Thunberg refers to more colourfully as “Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” A lot of talk but very little getting done. Greenwashing has become policy among the rapaciously greedy oil companies, and House Democrats have caught them in the act.
Democrats on the House Oversight Committee recently released internal fuel company documents providing an insider’s view of a long term effort by four leading fossil fuel firms to greenwash their public image. These documents reveal employees and executives discussing climate policies and pledges they know would do more to protect their business model than secure a meaningful reduction in CO2 production.
Democrats charge that the big companies, Shell, BP, Chevron and Exxon, are selling a climate-friendly image in order to hide their shameful failure to make meaningful investments in the transition to cleaner energy. Meanwhile they are making blockbusting profits. This report is the result of a months-long investigation and bitter wrangling over subpoenas seeking internal company documents.
This is all part of an overall effort by Democrats to educate the public about how they are being screwed by conservatives, before Republicans take over in January so they can focus on the all-important and earth-shattering revelations to be found on Hunter Biden’s laptop. With what little time Republicans will have left over from this historic work, some will cynically pay lip service to climate change, pretend to do much while effectively doing nothing, all in the thrall of their lords and masters, Big Oil.
The great shame of it is we are all running out of time. The good news is that because Republicans are in disarray as a result of factionalism and a majority as laughably small as Donald Trump’s penis, they will be able to do little harm. The flip side of that is that they will do absolutely no good either. And good is what we very much need right now. We must take back the House in 2024. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.
Robert Harrington is an American expat living in Britain. He is a portrait painter.