At his foundation, Mitt Romney does not think the hazards posed by climate change are anything to be concerned about, and instead is solely concerned with the individual and their family.
During his speech last night at the Republican National Convention, Romney said: “President Obama promised to slow the rise of the oceans—and to heal the planet. MY promise is to help you and your family.”
The audience broke into an agreeing laughter mid-comment, and applauded at the end. This comment breaks down in multiple ways, but there are two important fractures that epitomize Romney and his strategy of lies.
First, Romney attempted to compare two completely different situations, intending to claim that President Obama has failed at keeping his promise. While it may be true that Pres. Obama has not fully kept his promises concerning climate change, there has been progress. Regardless, the tactics employed by Romney were extremely deceitful and dishonorable.
Second, the comment appears to state the well-being of the environment and human life are mutually exclusive, and humans can do without protecting the environment. Romney is delusional if he actually believes what he says, and it is very disconcerting that this man is so close to holding a powerful position of authority.
The most upsetting part about Romney’s comment isn’t that he said those words, it’s the audience; they laughed and nodded their heads when Romney dismissed acting to control climate change. In a hypothetical situation in which Romney becomes president, this would be his climate change policy: nothing. The world will continue to physically transform, millions upon millions of people will be affected, and violent conflicts over basic resources will be routine—and these Romney supporters are fine with those consequences.
In the face of the threat of climate change worsening, a strong policy and president are necessary—neither of which will come from Romney. Although, if Romney is elected and we ignore climate change and all exist in a resource-war-fallout wasteland, at least our families will be protected.
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