Fire and Water

Governor Jerry Brown of California called out politicians across the country after blaming the recent forest fires raging in his state on global warming. Asking “what the hell are you going to do about it,” Governor Brown expressed anger over some politicians ignoring the issue or doubting man’s impact on global warming.

There is almost too much to unpack here. I guess we can start with the backwards priorities Governor Brown is exhibiting. If your state is suffering from drought and fire, I would hope the lines you aim to get headlines for would be focused on expressing sympathy and instilling hope. Instead, the Governor aims for political headlines and media attention by using this emergency situation for his own political and ideological benefit.

A similar event happened back in my home state of New Jersey. In October 2012, Superstorm Sandy hit the Jersey Shore, along with many other areas along the coast. My hometown, Lavallette, was one of the hardest hit towns. The town and surrounding communities are still under repair and construction. While many officials and politicians, including President Obama, blamed the storm on global warming, other leaders refused to use the tragedy for blatant political and ideological gain. Instead they helped unite communities by helping cut through red tape in rebuilding efforts, aided in the organization of relief efforts, and provided hope by just letting the people know someone was there who had the power to help and would do everything they could to make things better.

When you are forced from your home because of a hurricane, you don’t want your leaders to blame it on global warming and call for carbon emissions standards. You want to know how they will help you get out of a hotel room and back into your own bed. Governor Brown should focus more on helping the citizens of California with real, immediate solutions.

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