POTENTIAL TOPICS FOR HEARINGS, ABOUT ISSUES OF
TRUTH, JUSTICE, FAIRNESS, RESPONSIBILITY & ACCOUNTABILITY
Recognize from the outset: Debates about abstract concepts can never
be won, or solved, so they cannot be allowed to entangle, stall, or
prevent practical & effective responses to climate change.
The previous page sets forth questions which may indeed have actual, practical answers, and which may help point Congress (and voters) toward better-informed and better responses, to climate change.
By contrast, the questions below are on issues that relate to more abstract concepts, principles, and ideals, such as truth, justice, fairness, responsibility & accountability. These types of arguments can be argued endlessly, especially if clients with money are paying teams of lawyers and lobbyists to keep generating and injecting endlessly more arguments into a debate or proceeding, for as long as possible, with the goal of stalling and delaying any genuine and effective response which might reduce the short-term profits or impinge on some other goal the clients have. Therefore, these types of topics must be controlled, limited, and guarded against, carefully, in order to create an actual, useful, helpful and productive response to a problem.
Therefore, the real goal of including these topics, in a list of potential hearing topics, is to add the warning set forth above, to anyone who is tempted to go wandering off on digressions and detours suggested by one or more of these topics. The optimal solution might be to put them on the table, give the “paid deniers” a fair chance to commit themselves even more deeply, and on an official record, under sworn oath, to the harm and the evil they are doing, then firmly move on, and allow things like “justice” and “fairness” to take their own time, follow their own course, and eventually circle back to the wrong-doers.
And, as that happens, over a span that will take decades to play out, perhaps the best form of justice that can be achieved, over the short run, is to firmly plant, in their minds, some form of constant, gnawing, corrosive fear.
Based on everything I have learned about human nature, human history, human greed, and human psychology, from practicing law over the past 40 years, I would suggest that perhaps – just perhaps – the single best way to deal with such people, and to persuade them that they really should change course, now, and at least TRY to atone for at least some of the evil they have done, would be by planting, in their heads, a seed which can grow with the power of truth, logic, and reality.
That truth which they will NOT want to hear, and NOT have to think about, all alone, in the darkness, night after night, as they try to go to sleep, is this:
QUESTION SET #7:
If Congressional hearings are held this year (2022), they would offer an excellent opportunity to get sworn testimony – under oath, and on the official record – about climate change, by both:
(i) actual and genuine experts, in climate science; and,
(ii) some “client change deniers”. I prefer to call them “paid disrupters”, since they have been paid big bucks, by various companies and individuals, to do anything possible (e.g., cynical and manipulative half‑truths, loudly insisting that trivial matters were truly important, etc.) to stall, delay, thwart, and hold off any effective actions to reduce CO2 emissions, for as long as possible, since each and every year of delay will bring in more profits to the companies and donors that are paying the ‘paid disrupters’. I would even raise the question as to whether it would be proper and appropriate to call them "mouth-whores". I don't think I will do so, myself, but it raises a sufficiently interesting question that I might defend the right of anyone else to begin openly and publicly calling them that, in ways that they will hear, and have to listen to, and have to try to answer.
Witnesses from both groups – the experts, and the paid disrupters – should be asked to describe, in detail, under oath, what their current positions are, and why they have those positions, now that they’ve had time and opportunity to evaluate recent events (such as the droughts and wildfires in the west, the monster tornados of the past few years, and any or all of the nine sets of facts described on the preceding pages).
Any committee which is holding such hearings should keep any paid disrupter sitting at the witness table, where he (that is not meant to be sexist, but ‘paid disrupters’ are almost always men, presumably because nearly all women have more powerful instincts to care, to feel compassion, to help nurture things, etc.) will be required to listen (and, out of fairness, be allowed to respond), while a genuine expert dissects, dismantles, and disproves whatever some ‘paid disrupter’ just finished trying to claim, argue, spew, and pretend.
If that type of hearing is held, the committee(s) could also ask a few people such as Lee Raymond, and Charles Koch, to appear before them, and testify, under oath, about what they did, and how they feel about it, now that they have had more time to see the actual results of global warming. For those who might not recognize the names, Lee Raymond – while the CEO of Exxon – did more than anyone else, ever in history, to fund “research” and “scientists,” if they would promise to try to create doubts about climate change (even though Exxon’s own internal documents showed that the officers of Exxon knew, even then, that it was very real, and very serious).
And, Charles Koch, and his brother David (Koch is pronounced as ‘coke”, so they are usually called “The Coke Brothers”, using either spelling) gave out hundreds of millions of dollars, to Republican candidates (always and only Republicans), but only if those candidates would swear eternal fealty, loyalty, and submission, to the false pretense that global warming was just a hoax. And, lest anyone jump to the conclusion that they were so successful and wealthy because they were brilliant, courageous, daring visionaries who could see into the future . . . well, the fact is, they became wealthy and powerful, by simply inheriting a petrochemical company, which their father had already created, and had built into a major success. David has passed away, but Charles is still alive, and is now trying to distance himself from what he did, back then, to (and with) those politicians he funded. So, it would be appropriate to now give him a full and fair chance to describe, explain, and defend – openly, in public, and while under oath – what he did, and how he now feels about it, now that he has had time to see what the actual effects of his (and his brother’s) past actions are turning into.
QUESTION SET #8:
Is there any solid evidence which should be aired publicly, which would indicate that Donald Trump’s actions, when President, were “unduly” affected by the number and the value – TO HIM, PERSONALLY – of the coastal properties that he and/or his companies or children own? Clearly, if he is asked that question while NOT under oath, his answer will be, ‘No.’ However, valid and legitimate questions can (and, in the opinions of many, should) be raised, about things like, ‘What part – in absolute numbers, and in fractions or percentages – of his fortune consists of properties that are on or near coastlines? Trump Tower, in New York City; the Mar‑a‑Lago estate, on the Florida coast; and, the Trump golf course in Scotland, are all near coastlines, and those are just three examples. How many coastal properties does he actually own? How much are they worth, to him, and to his companies and/or children? Is there any specific evidence that he put their value to him, personally, in a higher category than “the public interest, and what is best for America”?
There are plenty of records of Trump political appointees who deleted, watered down, diluted, and rewrote information – originally written by actual experts – which tried to warn the public and Congress about the damages of sea level rise. Therefore, a question arises which can be stated as: Were ALL of those efforts “legitimate and valid” efforts to serve America, and the public interests? OR . . . were they attempts by groveling sycophants to gain favor with Trump, by protecting and increasing the values of Trump’s private properties and holdings, at the expense of the public interest?
Anyone can argue and speculate about what Trump’s motives and thoughts might have been, when it came to those actions. However, the undeniable fact is that numerous official actions – imposed by political appointees, on agencies and experts that tried to resist – helped prop up and sustain the values of the coastal properties that Trump and his companies (and children) continued to own, while he was President. So, the question becomes: are ANY of those appointees – the ones whose actions did indeed help sustain and increase Trump’s private personal wealth – willing, now, to testify, under oath, about WHY they took (and/or were told to take) those actions? And, are there any emails, on that subject? And, what would Trump, himself, say about it, directly . . . NOT if merely asked about it by a reporter (anyone can guess what the answer to THAT question would be), but what if Trump – plus Ivanka, Don Junior, and Eric – had to answer questions like that, while under sworn oath?
QUESTION SET #9:
This final question can be phrased as follows:
Stated in alternate terms, how should concepts and principles such as accountability, responsibility, and justice be applied, to those who made the problems of global warming even worse, more destructive, more horrible, and more deadly? Should actions which deliberately ignored, mocked, and ridiculed the best scientific advice – for a continuous span of about 40 years, when useful things could and should have been done – become the basis for telling those particular states which aggressively led the fight to NOT do anything useful, things which those states will NOT want to hear? Things along the lines of, ‘We sure are sorry about those mega‑tornadoes that tore up your state so bad. But, we have only limited funding left, to help lots of people who have suffered similar problems. And, since your state, in particular, did everything it could to make things even worse, we have decided to release those federal funds, and send these National Guard troops, to states which tried to help reduce, control, and limit the problems, rather than to states like yours, which ignored and mocked and ridiculed all the warnings, and made things even worse.”
Would THAT be a reasonable position, perhaps, for some future Congress to take? Or, some future President?
I’m not saying that it either would or wouldn’t, or should or shouldn’t. Instead, I’m merely predicting that quite a few people will begin to openly ask questions like that, in a few more years, when politicians start pointing fingers and trying to shift the blame in true and deadly seriousness, rather than as mere posturing and electioneering. I’m suggesting that maybe we should anticipate that type of argument in advance, in the hope that we can at least try to get out in front of it, and deal with it rationally and intelligently, rather than letting it trap and paralyze us when it rears its head in real and genuine anger . . . as it someday will.
I will openly admit that my effort to raise this question – at this time, and in this manner – is intended to try to provoke some thought, questions, and concerns, among the citizens and voters of states that have, for decades, consistently elected people to Congress who stubbornly, stupidly, and adamantly did everything they could to ignore, belittle, criticize, and attack every warning, and to block and prevent any effective actions that might have helped slow down global warming. I hope and believe it might become a good thing, if voters in those states are confronted with the unpleasant possibility that some day, perhaps, they might be held accountable for what they did, in ways they will not like, at all, if and when it actually happens, in some future decade.
And, I will openly admit that the implicit suggestion and hope, intended by raising this question at this time, openly and publicly, is that voters in those states should try to begin trying to do better, starting now. By way of analogy, this is like truthfully and honestly telling a life‑long smoker that his lungs can at least begin to repair themselves, somewhat, no matter how much damage was done to them in the past, if he will stop smoking, now; and, he should also be told (again, in total honesty), that no matter how much he has smoked in the past, he will indeed be less likely to get lung cancer, or heart disease, if he will stop smoking, now – or even just cut back – rather than continuing to smoke as heavily as before.
The wealth, prestige, and power they gathered – by damaging this planet so badly that hundreds of millions of innocent people will have to die horrible deaths – is NOT going to keep them safe, or comfortable, or protected. It is NOT going to make them (or their children, or grandchildren) happy and secure. Instead, that wealth – and the stories, rumors, and whispers that will follow that wealth, wherever it goes – will become a curse. Rather than making those people – i.e., the ones who made more money, by knowingly, intentionally, and greedily making global warming even worse than it otherwise would have been – safe, protected, or comfortable . . . the wealth they managed to gather, by doing evil, is only going to turn them (and their children, and grandchildren) into bigger, fatter, wealthier, and more tempting targets.
At some point in time, if things get so bad that the federal government (and budget) simply cannot respond adequately to all of the environmental disasters that will be happening in different parts of the country, should the amount of federal financial or other aid (including the allocation of National Guard troops, or other disaster-response personnel) that must be divided, distributed, and allocated in some manner, among various states which all have competing needs, be “adjusted” by one or more factors which will indicate or reflect how strongly, consistently, and stubbornly certain states kept sending people to Congress, who did everything possible to BLOCK any sort of useful and realistic action, to help control global warming?