The intentions of two GOP Senators, Steve Daines (R-Montana) and John Barrasso (R-Wyoming) to oppose President Biden’s nominee to head the Department of the Interior, Debra Haaland (D-New Mexicio) are chronicled by Chris D’Angelo in Huffpost on February 8, 2021. Their opposition is, quite simply, outrageous. Haaland, an experienced and respected Native American interior Department administrator, is perhaps uniquely qualified to be Secretary of the Interior.
GOP opposition to her presents many stark examples of how deeply divided America is today. Those divisions go way beyond just Republicans vs. Democrats, or the Trump cultists vs. the still sane. The splits encompass all of the following divides:
— Exploitation of natural resources vs. protection of them
— The economy vs. the environment
— Fossil fuels vs. clean energy
— Climate denialism vs. climate concern
— Stasis vs. progress
— Exclusion vs. inclusion
— Misogyny vs. gender neutrality
— Privilege vs. equality.
If the Republican Senators who oppose Haaland’s confirmation are able to block it, they must be defeated the next time they seek reelection.
If we Americans and all we humans are to defuse the climate crisis, restoring the environment and conserving our natural resources are essential complements to our efforts to end the emission of greenhouse gases from fossil fuel combustion. Those gases trap heat which alters the climate and turns it against us. The climate has already deteriorated in ways all certainly have noticed — droughts, heatwaves, wildfires, floods, devastating storms. Within the lifetimes of today’s youth, our climate will become not just inhospitable for humans, but hostile to us. It will kill the very young and the very old, the poor, the sick, and the shelterless. The GOP Senators opposing Haaland’s confirmation are not just shortsighted. If they succeed in blocking her confirmation, they condemn us and our children to a future none of us would want to endure.