Opinion » Note

Wooly Bully



According to an Aug. 7 article in The New York Times, a draft of a report on climate change was leaked to the Times and the Washington Post. The report, which was created by "scientists from 13 federal agencies" and has been signed off by the National Academy of Sciences, shows "evidence for a changing climate abounds, from the top of the atmosphere to the depths of the oceans." The numbers in the report are startling (you can read the draft online at nytimes.com), but even more astonishing is the reason why the article was leaked: to prevent President Donald Trump from suppressing it. Sigh. We're only 200 days into Trump's presidency, and it's already tough to gin up the outrage this situation merits. I feel like my sense of injustice is lying quietly under a heavy shroud of apprehension and shameful apathy. It reminds me of when I was young and would spend the rare night with my grandmother. She lived alone and didn't often have overnight guests, so the accommodations were more for appearances than comfort. In the guest bedroom there was a little wooden chair, a dresser my grandmother used for extra clothes and a small bed made up with a beautiful but lightweight bedspread over scratchy, unyielding wool blankets. When I stayed over, I would spend a fitful night alternating between holding still to avoid the itchiness of the wool and shivering under the thin bedspread when I pushed the blankets aside. I was a shy, anxious (and sensitive) kid who rarely spoke above a whisper and didn't like to make a fuss. It never occurred to me to ask for different covers.

Now, as an adult, I've found my voice. I don't mind using it, and I don't mind being part of a little (or much) ado if it's to defend my convictions or on behalf of a worthy cause. But, c'mon. When, in spite of scientific evidence, President Trump continues to believe/claim climate change is a myth, and the scientists tasked with gathering said evidence are so worried about what he'll do with it they leak the information like they're part of some covert operation, I want to crawl back into bed and wish the madness away. I'd trade the softest linens in the world for my grandmother's wool blankets if, just once, President Trump would say, "The environment is in trouble. We should do something about it."

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