Look, we all make mistakes, but we also have a range of certain sensitivities and limits that we know not to cross. These are limits we don’t just know logically, but that we have a broader emotional sense and perhaps spiritual sense not to cross.
Again, we all fail, but not all of us murder, kidnap, or commit sexual assault.
There has long been a strong intellectual discussion about the connections between such horrific human-to-human actions and the way we treat the natural resources of the world. For decades, terms like “raping the earth” have been used in both academic and colloquial circles. This is not just for rhetorical effect, but because both activities involve a lack of sensitivity, a lack of empathy, a lack of morals, and in the most cerebral way, a lack of foresight.
No, mining and burning coal for electricity (at a time when we finally have better options) is not the same as actual human rape and sexual assault, but the lack of sensitivity and the lack of appropriate limits come from a similar source.
I think it isn’t a pure coincidence that the political candidates who are routinely promoting less clean energy, more deadly energy, and weaker regulations are also often the candidates who are not pushing for women’s rights and equity — and who may even be pushing for the opposite.
It’s not all that surprising that political candidates who think a past when dark-skinned people and women had fewer rights and less wealth was “great” also want to bring us backward into a world full of health-destroying smoke from coal power plants and inefficient vehicles.
Now, I’m not going to highlight any particular candidates (for example, Donald Trump). I’m not going to say that Trump, his supporters, and the politicians who spent the last few decades opening the door to his candidacy actually support sexual assault. Maybe they do, maybe they do, I don’t know. Some people say they do, but I don’t have the details so I won’t say they do. It would be really horrible if they do, and I hear some really trustworthy people say they do, but I won’t say anything about it out of respect for these people’s families and the judicial process.
However, the idea that we should be destroying the earth in order to create more expensive electricity than we can get from solar panels and wind turbines is absurd and should be put in the dust bin. The idea that we should keep subsidizing oil with trillions of hard-earned dollars is absurd and needs to be retired — we have better electric cars that offer strong economic benefits, a better driving experience, a more comfortable ride, less maintenance, less inconvenience, and other benefits.
The idea that we should be pushing deadly coal, oil, and gas on American citizens and citizens of the world is absolutely insane, and anyone promoting this should be identified as lacking good judgement, lacking foresight, lacking sensitivity to important matters, and lacking empathy. They shouldn’t be seen as fit to “lead the free world.” They are looking to pull us backwards — as even they admit — not lead us forward into a brighter, cleaner, more enjoyable future.
I don’t want to say such people would be horrible, horrible congresspeople or presidents, and that they’d make our country and our world much, much worse, but, well, we all know they would, right? We all know this, right? …
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