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Arizona GOP sues to keep out climate change

Faced with irrefutable proof of climate change — the proof of their own eyes — Republicans no longer deny it’s happening.

Now, their battle has shifted to keeping it out of their states. By preventing people from elsewhere bringing it with them.

For example, when the Arizona attorney general, a Republican, sued to make the Biden administration build a border wall, he argued that migrants “directly result in the release of pollutants, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.” (See story here.)

Presumably by breathing, which involves exhaling carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

If migrants stay in Mexico, or Guatemala or wherever they come from, they’ll breathe and emit the same amount of CO2 into the atmosphere and no wall can keep it from wafting wherever the wind carries it. But never mind that. This lawsuit isn’t supposed to make logical sense.

It’s supposed to make these officials look like they’re doing something, justify their budgets, and keep “the base” riled up. That’s necessary because grievance is the fuel on which the Republican Party runs.

Let’s look at what the lawsuit actually says. “Migrants (like everyone else) need housing, infrastructure, hospitals, and schools. They drive cars, purchase goods, and use public parks and other facilities. Their actions also directly result in the release of pollutants, carbon dioxide, and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which directly affects air quality.”

In other words, normal activities of everyday living cause air pollution. So do theirs, so what’s the difference? I think the goal is to keep migrants from polluting so they can.

As this article points out, these complaints about “polluting” usually segue into diatribes against “overpopulation.” Once again, it’s the migrants’ population they want limited, so theirs won’t be.

The usual contradictions attach themselves to these arguments like slugs to leafy garden lettuce. People who fret about “overpopulation” also oppose abortion and birth control. When they rail about “air quality,” they don’t wear masks, and spread a deadly virus into the air. Rightwing complaints and arguments typically are freighted with a heavy cargo of hypocrisy.

Who listens to hypocrites? Nobody. They’re tiresome. To the rest of humanity, it’s just yada-yada-yada and blah-blah-blah. This really has nothing to do with combating climate change. It’s only an excuse to wage tribal warfare, and everyone knows that.

Republicans have fought climate change measures tooth-and-nail, often quite successfully. Climate change isn’t coming, it’s here, and accelerating. It’s already too late to stop it; at best, we can only slow it down. Eventually climate effects will cause mass migrations of displaced peoples. The resulting conflicts will make today’s disputes look like petty bickering. Which they are.

Photo: Do these people look like they’re concerned about air quality?

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