Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The Blue Lady Actually Talks to Someone in Washington

Best time of year in DC coming up soon.
I hope he has time to get out and smell the flowers sometime.
Gentle readers, I do have plans to write about some other subjects, but, as I say later, I can see I need to be in this game over the long haul. Ok, next chapter. 

I can't get tired of this, but I am already. He made a big deal in the campaign about stamina. Apparently he has it in abundance. (Stories are that he really does not sleep much hence all the tweet storms at odd hours.) And he is over 70 for heaven's sake. Can't let him see any weakness I guess. So here we go.

Dear Mr. Trump,

Today I received a phone called from my senator’s office … Senator Thune … by a very nice young man, Adam, a native of South Dakota who has this opportunity right now to work in Washington DC on behalf of the people of South Dakota. Adam asked what “other” concerns I had, aside from those expressed in my previous letters. We proceeded to have a very cordial, wide ranging  conversation.

That’s the way things should work between an elected representative and a constituent. There should be a willingness to be polite, to listen and to engage in dialogue … that is two people talking together with mutual respect. I have to commend Senator Thune for directing his staff to act in this manner.

Then I heard Senator McConnell on the radio saying that winners get to enact policy and losers need to just go home (and shut up probably although I did not hear him say that.) This is the epitome of rudeness and disrespect.  Senator McConnell is treating people like me as though we were children who just need to be sent to our rooms and are of no account whatsoever.

This is the only tone that I have heard from you and your staff since you first came on the public stage. You dismiss us with barely a word and characterize us as being paid non-voters which I find to be personally offensive. It’s time for a change.

Yes, elections have winners and losers. The Republican party won most of its elections, and you won the majority of the electoral college vote. I agree. It’s done. You are, indeed, in charge. I’m “over” the election, but I still have a voice and things to say. I fully intend to say them even if you don’t really care to hear me.

But now it’s time to govern. Now it’s time to stop electioneering and realize that you represent a majority of the population of the United States who did not vote for you (81%) along with those who did (19%). Now is the time for you to show some respect to people like me who did not vote for you, but whom you represent, none the less. Now is the time for you to learn to demonstrate some behavior, which shows you understand the concepts of responsibility and accountability, to say nothing about civility.

In this letter I would also like to remind you of the critical importance of public policy designed to mitigate and even reverse global climate change. THIS is the existential threat that faces everyone in the whole world. I intend to speak about this often and a lot. It’s my number one issue.

May I suggest that you watch two films, originally aired at the Sundance FilmFestival. First there is “Chasing Ice” (2014) about the effects of climate change on glaciers; the second is “Chasing Coral” (2017) about the effects of climate change on coral reefs all over the world. Both are stunningly beautiful films, well worth the time to watch them. I suggest seeing them on a large screen, although you can also see them from on-line sources.

Did you know that most of the coral reefs off the coast of Florida are now dead? Perhaps some guests at your resorts have complained about their experiences with diving recently. Did you know that this affects the fisheries of Florida? That’s an industry that creates jobs in a place that is important to you.

I am very saddened that Mr. Pruitt is now head of the EPA. You do  know that the Supreme Court ruled that creating regulations intended to mitigate climate change IS a threat to public health and safety and therefore part of the mandate of the EPA, correct? Clean air means just the absence of particulate matter, but the correct amount of carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases.

I get worried when I hear ideas floated about things like removing responsibility for monitoring climate change from NASA. NASA is the only agency that has the capability to monitor the whole earth. Good scientific data is crucial for making good policy. Not measuring or monitoring will not make the problem go away. That’s the old head in the sand way of dealing with a problem. It will only make the problem get worse because of ignoring it for too long a time.

You must not cut funding for scientists, public and private, who study climate change in any discipline. You must not constrain scientists from consulting with each other from all over the world. You must make all scientific data and results publically available for any scientist … even grade school aged ones … to perform secondary analyses. And you must pay attention to what the scientists say we need to do in the real world to keep us from disaster.

I’m sure that science is not really your thing. You probably did not study it very much back when you were a student. That’s all right. All you have to do is to recognize the importance of the work that scientists do and to get out of their way.

Just so you know, I’ll be in Washington DC on Earth Day this year. I’ll be taking part in the March for Science. I’m not a paid agitator. In fact this is costing me a fair bit of money. Hotels are expensive in Washington. But it’s important to me to take part in this peaceful expression of political views. The people who will be with me are your constituents too.

I can see now that I will need to be in this for the long haul. Becoming active in the political sphere was actually not a part of my plans for what I would be doing in retirement. But I can see that it’s necessary. I’m in good health with plenty of patience and stamina. You’ll be hearing from me again and again.

Until the next time, sincerely

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