Political party conventions have been meaningful and historic events at times such as when President Franklin Roosevelt's unveiled the New Year and Ronald Reagan made his 1976 debut as a bulwark against perceived government excesses. Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney took the stage at his convention last night and told a joke mocking climate change and President Obama's desire to address the issue.
Romney acknowledged the significance of climate change science when he was trying to appeal to moderate voters in 2007, but now he has fully reversed himself and climbed into the far right's clown car. The candidate quipped, "President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. [Pause, Laughter.] My promise is to help you and your family."
Cute joke, but the red herring debate about the issue is being eclipsed by extreme weather events. Vast swaths of the United States are experiencing drought, which prominent NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen has linked to human activity. 2012 was also the warmest year on record.
Greenland's surface ice melted in July, and a new study by scientists writing in the journal Nature is warning about the impending release of a massive vein of methane - a potent greenhouse gas - from Antarctica's melting glaciers. Last year, scientists were able to link extreme weather events to rising global temperatures. And Mitt Romney made a funny.
The bigger joke is the hypocritical nature of tonight's statement. Mitt Romney knows better, and the world is watching his refusal act on the unfolding climate crisis.
Watch a video of a more thoughtful rendition of Mitt Romney advocating a global solution to climate change, before the Republican party's politics tilted to the fringe and conspiratorial beliefs triumphed over reason:
(Image credit: email@example.com / wmxdesign)
Related on SmartPlanet: