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On August 13, 2014 at 06:41PM, Tom at Watery Foundation published the following article:
Next week, Rick Scott is supposed to meet with Florida climate scientists for 30 minutes. Always a clumsy speaker, he may already be rehearsing what to say afterward. My guess is that he will emerge from the science lesson saying that “of course” the climate has always changed and that it is an important issue but we must also consider the effect on jobs, jobs, jobs.
That’s meaningless, of course, and is meant to be. Herman Melville addressed similar rhetorical tactics in his last novel, published on the eve of the Civil War. He has a frontiersman demand that a con-man oppose slavery:
You are an abolitionist, ain’t you?” he added, squaring himself with both hands on his rifle, used for a staff, and gazing in the herb-doctor’s face with no more reverence than if it were a target. “You are an abolitionist, ain’t you?”
“As to that, I cannot so readily answer. If by abolitionist you mean a zealot, I am none; but if you mean a man, who, being a man, feels for all men, slaves included, and by any lawful act, opposed to nobody’s interest, and therefore, rousing nobody’s enmity, would willingly abolish suffering (supposing it, in its degree, to exist) from among mankind, irrespective of color, then am I what you say.”
“Picked and prudent sentiments. You are the moderate man, the invaluable understrapper of the wicked man. You, the moderate man, may be used for wrong, but are useless for right.”
If pushed hard enough, Scott will say something designed to look like acceptance of the climate challenge. It will be useless for doing the right thing.