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05.26 Australia's dirtiest power station may be closed or sold, French owner says

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05.25 Interview: CO2 'Air Capture' Could Be Key to Slowing Global Warming [Algae?]

05.25 Up against strict laws, Texas women learn do-it-yourself abortions [Is this what "conservatives" want?]

05.25 World War III will be fought over water

05.25 Coastal flooding: a sign of the damage our economy is wreaking on our fragile environment

05.25 My father warned Exxon about climate change in the 1970s. They didn't listen

05.25 How cracking down on America's painkiller capital led to a heroin crisis [As seen in Portugal and elsewhere, physicians prescribing safer, dosage-controlled drugs to addicts would save lives and suppress illegal drug cartels]

05.24 World could warm by massive 10C if all fossil fuels are burned

05.24 Single-payer health care is more popular than ever. Here are 10 questions for its future.

05.24 Largest U.S. Water Reservoir Shrinks to Record Low Amid Major Drought

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05.27 Sanders to Trump: Let's Debate in 'Biggest Stadium Possible'

05.27 Sanders’ DNC platform team pushes for Palestinian rights, blasts Israeli war crimes

05.26 The Hourly Wage Needed to Rent a 2-Bedroom Apartment Is Rising

05.26 They don’t want Trump or Hillary: Half of voters would consider a third-party presidential candidate

05.26 Elizabeth Warren labels Trump 'money-grubber' who rooted for financial crash [videos]

05.26 “Come with me if you want to live”: Morning Joe panel gets weird, claims white men trust Trump to protect them from robots [governments, as yet, have no plan, policy or response to rapid robotic automation that's certain to replace millions of workers]

05.26 State Department audit finds Hillary Clinton broke agency rules with private email server

05.25 Here’s the Full List of Companies & Organizations That Paid Hillary Clinton From 2013-2015

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05.23 Panama Papers Confirm Miami a Disneyland for Fraud

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  Global Warming Will Save America from the Right...Eventually
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COMMENTARY:

Global Warming Will Save America from the Right...Eventually

by Dave Lindorff

The future political map of America is likely to look a lot different, with much of the so-called “red” state region either gone or depopulated.
Sat., 12/22/2007 - 19:21—Say what you will about the looming catastrophe facing the world as the pace of global heating and polar melting accelerates. There is a silver lining.

Look at a map of the US.

The area that will by completely inundated by the rising ocean—and not in a century but in the lifetime of my two cats—are the American southeast, including the most populated area of Texas, almost all of Florida, most of Louisiana, and half of Alabama and Mississippi, as well as goodly portions of eastern Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. While the northeast will also see some coastal flooding, its geography is such that that aside from a few projecting sandbars like Long Island and Cape Cod, the land rises fairly quickly to well above sea level. Sure, Boston, New York and Philadelphia will be threatened, but these are geographically confined areas that could lend themselves to protection by Dutch-style dikes. The West Coast too tends to rise rapidly to well above sea level in most places. Only down in Southern California towards the San Diego area is the ground closer to sea level.

So what we see is that huge swaths of conservative America are set to face a biblical deluge in a few more presidential cycles.

Then there’s the matter of the Midwest, which climate experts say is likely to face a permanent condition of unprecedented drought, making the place largely unlivable, and certainly unfarmable. The agribusinesses and conservative farmers that have been growing corn and wheat may be able to stretch out this doomsday scenario by deep well drilling, but west of the Mississippi, the vast Ogallala Aquifer that has allowed for such irrigation is already being tapped out. It will not be replaced.

So again, we will see the decline and depopulation of the nation’s vast midsection—noted for its consistent conservatism. Only in the northernmost area, around the Great Lakes (which will be not so great anymore), and along the Canadian border, will there still be enough rain for farming and continued large population concentrations, but those regions, like Minnesota, Wisconsin and Illinois, are also more liberal in their politics.

Finally, in the Southwest, already parched and stiflingly hot, the rise in energy costs and the soaring temperatures will put an end to right-wing retirement communities like Phoenix, Tucson and Palm Springs. Already the Salton Sea is fading away and putting Palm Springs on notice that the good times are coming to an end. Another right-wing haven soon to be gone.

So the future political map of America is likely to look as different as the much shrunken geographical map, with much of the so-called “red” state region either gone or depopulated.

There is a poetic justice to this of course. It is conservatives who are giving us the candidates who steadfastly refuse to have the nation take steps that could slow the pace of climate change, so it is appropriate that they should bear the brunt of its impact.

The important thing is that we, on the higher ground both actually and figuratively, need to remember that, when they begin their historic migration from their doomed regions, we not give them the keys to the city. They certainly should be offered assistance in their time of need, but we need to keep a firm grip on our political systems, making sure that these guilty throngs who allowed the world to go to hell are gerrymandered into political impotence in their new homes.

There will be much work to be done to help the earth and its residents—human and non-human—survive this man-made catastrophe, and we can’t have these future refugee troglodytes, should their personal disasters still fail to make them recognize reality, mucking things up again.

It should be considered acceptable, in this stifling new world, to say, “Shut up. We told you this would happen.”


Lindorff speakingAbout the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is a 34-year veteran, an award-winning journalist, a former New York Times contributor, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a two-time Journalism Fulbright Scholar, and the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of a well-regarded book on impeachment, The Case for Impeachment. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.


Copyright © 2007 The Baltimore Chronicle. All rights reserved.

Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.

This story was published on December 24, 2007.
 

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