California Governor Jerry Brown recently discussed global warming, wildfires, and his state's drought, and asked Republicans: "What the hell are you going to do about it?"
Well, judging by the first round of Republican presidential debates--the pre-school debate that aired first, and the kindergarten debate that aired second--the answer is: "Not much."
Instead of addressing America's record-setting wildfires and crumbling infrastructure, the Republican
U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham: "If I have to monitor a mosque, I'll monitor a mosque."
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal: "immigration without assimilation is an invasion." (Isn't that a line from Star Trek? The episode with the Borg?)
Wealthy Businessman Donald Trump: "...we need...to build a wall, we need to keep illegals out."
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio: "we need a fence...need an e-verify system and you need an entry-exit tracking system and all sorts of other things..." (What other sorts of things, Mr. Rubio? Maybe GPS collars for every person to wear??)
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie: "The first thing we need to do to make America stronger is to strengthen our military, and I put out a really specific plan: no less than 500,000 active duty soldiers in the Army. No less than 185,000 active duty marines in the Marine Corps. Bring us to a 350 ship Navy again, and modernize the Ohio class of submarines, and bring our Air Force back to 2,600 aircraft that are ready to go." (Hell yeah, let's do even more! Let's build 5,000 aircraft carriers!... and 50,000 jets!!... and FIVE MILLION tanks!!!... Go team! Oh...wait a minute, America already spends nearly as much as the rest of the world combined on national defense, and operates about "662 overseas bases in 38 foreign countries." But, apparently, that's not enough for Governor Christie and his fellow hawks. They want more. And they'll get it by blowing up the national debt, just like Reagan and Bush Jr. did.)
In both Republican debates, not a word was mentioned about our nation's record-setting wildfires (see, e.g., here) or our crumbling infrastructure. Not a word about the quarter-of-a-million water main breaks that occur in America, every single year, not a word about the $11 billion maintenance backlog in our national parks, and not a word about the fact that "32% of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition, costing U.S. motorists who are traveling on deficient pavement $67 billion a year."
"So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."
If a Republican becomes president, or if Republicans remain a majority in Congress, or if Republicans retain just enough numbers in Congress to block legislation, then, mark my words, our natural areas will continue to burn at a higher-than-average rate and our infrastructure will continue to crumble. There is no other possible outcome under modern Republican "leadership."