The North Dakota GOP is throwing a fossil-fuel tantrum. The state’s citizens shouldn’t put up with it.

The only thing missing from the National Public Radio headline about North Dakota’s coal-coddling was the explicit chagrin:

North Dakota Officials Block Wind Power In Effort To Save Coal

To be fair, the reporter and NPR were maintaining the required neutrality of true journalism. No judgement, just reporting the facts, i.e., not at all like Fox “News” or Breitbart.

However, IV Words has never pretended to be an unbiased source of news, so I’ll go ahead and add the expression of “vexation, marked by disappointment or humiliation,” a.k.a., chagrin:

North Dakota Officials Block Wind Power In Effort To Save Coal.
Just How Deep in the Sand Do They Have Their Heads Buried, Anyway?

Coal Babies

The North Dakota GOP is doing everything in its power to save an industry that is literally destroying Earth and the human race, and in the process is hurting the state’s agriculture and tourism industries.

As the IV Words post of February 17 noted, no fewer than 22 pro-coal, anti-renewable-energy bills have been introduced by Republicans in North Dakota’s 67th Legislative Assembly. As a group – the Republicans, not the bills – they remind me of a bunch of toddlers who have just been cut off from an unguarded drawer full of candy – crying, screaming, kicking, flinging themselves down, pounding their fists on the floor and generally digging their heels into the dirty lignite coal that’s found in the state

“No, No, NO, NO!” they’re screeching at the top of their lungs, faces beet red from the unsustainable effort.

But, unlike toddlers, they should know better. 

Coal is going away, not just because it is one of the main causes of the climate crisis that threatens our very existence, but also because it can no longer compete economically with renewable energy.

Tough break, GOP guys and gals. Your black-sooted gravy train is coming to a halt, if not now then very soon. No more grimy coal cash for your re-election campaigns.

And that’s the case whether we’re talking a Republican in the state legislature or a county commissioner who voted to enact “…drastic restrictions on new wind projects in an attempt to save coal mining jobs, despite protests from landowners who’d like to rent their land to wind energy companies,” as NPR reported.

They should be paying attention to how reasonable, logical adults deal with what scientists tell us is coming, instead. After all, there are still sweets to be had, just not from the planet’s buried filth. 

Real Men & Women Face Up

Adults around the world are planning for and creating a sustainable future that no longer includes the burning of fossil fuels. The European Union, for example, is taking the horror of the Covid-19 pandemic and turning it into an opportunity to “build back better. In addition to addressing climate change, they’re following the science that demonstrates how global warming plays a significant role in bringing about pandemics. As the Harvard C.H. Chan School of Public Health puts it:

“Many of the root causes of climate change also increase the risk of pandemics. Deforestation, which occurs mostly for agricultural purposes, is the largest cause of habitat loss worldwide. Loss of habitat forces animals to migrate and potentially contact other animals or people and share germs.”

And – Surprise, Surprise, Surprise! – what’s good for public health is also good for dealing with the climate crisis. 

The most recent example of adulting comes from right next door, in Minnesota. Hennepin County, to be exact. There, county officials have been making plans to mitigate the effects of global warming and make the county more resilient in the face of negative climate change impacts that are coming.

Image of a story in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune about climate change
Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Feb. 28, 2021

As the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported, “The county is finalizing a 59-page Climate Action Plan that includes more than 200 strategies… as new research shows the area’s climate is getting wetter and that low temperatures in winter are getting warmer.”

Search “North Dakota” and “climate change” or “global warming.” Rather than headlines like the one above, you’ll see stories like the one by NPR instead.

 Wake Up and Smell the Climate Crisis

Rather than doing everything in their power to continue enabling industries that are literally killing us, rather than kicking, screaming and writhing across the deck in coal-withdrawal spasms, the state’s Republican elected officials need to face reality.

After all, the climate crisis is not something that will go away if you squeeze your eyes tight enough and pretend it doesn’t exist.

They need to start planning and implementing policies that address the climate crisis and protect the health and welfare of the citizens they’re supposed to represent. And rather than talking about saving coal jobs, they need to implement programs that will help coal workers transition to new careers, like WORC has proposed.

To put a finer point on it, the N.D. GOP needs to quit being a club full of coal babies. It really is time to listen to the adults in the room.

MCFIV copyright graphic 2021

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