God's Day... And God's Taunt
Above is a sermon by guest preacher Bill McKibben from last Sunday, April 28, 2013. If you know much about McKibben it won't surprise you to know that the sermon is about Climate Change-- starting with the Hebrew Bible's story of Job, moving on to the Hindu Bhagavad Gita and winding up with the Christian Bible's Matthew 19. I'd go to church on Sunday if I knew of any preachers giving sermons like McKibben's.
The is the largest social justice issue that we have ever faced... When I started this work, one of the things I'd always heard was that environmentalism was something for rich white people who had taken care of their other problems and if you worried where your next meal was coming from you wouldn't be an environmentalist. What we found as we worked around the world is exactly the opposite. Rich people tend to feel themselves immune from these changes. Most of the people we work with around the world are poor and black and brown and Asian and young because that is what most of the world consists of and, what do you know, those people care as much about the future of the world as anybody else, maybe more so because if you are poor in this world right now, the future bears down harder on you than it does on anybody else...I just want to follow up on one of his thoughts. Below are the dozen current Members of Congress who have taken the biggest legalistic bribes from Oil and Gas since 1990, a time when Oil and Gas deployed $198,833,341 in bribes to Members of Congress and to candidates for Congress.
As I've said, so far we've raised the temperature one degree but the same scientists who told us that would happen have shown quite clearly that that one degree would be 4 or 5 by century's end unless we act very swiftly to get off coal and gas and oil. And the larger question is why aren't we doing that? Why aren't we trying to make ourselves somewhat smaller? Why aren't we following, say, the lead of Germany, the only major country that's really pursued renewable power at an appropriate pace? There are now more solar panels in Bavaria than there are in the United States. [Population of Bavaria- 12,595,891 in 27,239.29 square miles; population of the U.S.- 316,668,567 in 3.794 million square miles.] There were days last summer when Germany generated more than half the power it used from solar panels within its borders and this is Germany. Munich is north of Montreal. Think what a country could do if it had... oh, I don't know... Florida or Nevada, Texas or California or Arizona to work with!
But we don't act; and for a particular reason-- one that will be clear to those who are used to reading the Gospels. Our richest people don't want to act because it would reduce their wealth somewhat. The fossil fuel industry is the one percent of the one percent, the richest enterprise in human history. Exxon made more money last year than any company in the history of money... These companies have more money than God.
And so far, they have been able to deploy those funds in political ways to make sure that nothing ever changes. They have bought, in our nation's capital and many others, a 25-year bipartisan effort to accomplish nothing. By all means listen to the rest of McKibben's sermon; it gets better from here.
• John McCain (R-AZ)- $3,043,404These 11 extraordinarily corrupt men and this one extraordinarily corrupt woman have been career-long, absolute shills for Big Oil and Gas. They have carried their agenda faithfully and blocked any and all attempts to deal with Climate Change realistically. Is there anything we can do about it? Next year, McConnell and Landrieu are up for reelection, as are all 6 of the House Members above. Once there's a plausible candidate running against McConnell, Blue America will be working to help him or her defeat the corrupt old closet case and oil shill. Of the House incumbents, Joe "Oily Joe" Barton, Big Oil's #1 shill in the House, already has an opponent, progressive Democrat Kenneth Sanders. You can help him overcome Big Oil cash with small grassroots contributions here.
• John Cornyn (R-TX)- $1,990,350
• Joe Barton (R-TX)- $1,734,255
• Steve Pearce (R-NM)- $1,479,701
• Jim Inhofe (R-OK)- $1,457,696
• Miss McConnell (R-KY)- $1,348,311
• Don Young (R-AK)- $1,193,613
• David Vitter (R-LA)- $1,144,385
• Mary Landrieu (D-LA)- $1,086,084
• Mike Conaway (R-TX)- $942,118
• Pete Sessions (R-TX)- $868,346
• Charles "Lord" Boustany (R-LA)- $803,655
Joe Barton also claims to be a Bible scholar and he uses a simplistic interpretation of the story of Noah in the Bible to justify the Oil and Gas Industry agenda. The biggest newspaper in his district, the Star-Telegram reported on Ken Sanders' response.
Apparently Congressman Joe Barton is also a Biblical scholar and a climate scientist as he has looked into the Good Book and found evidence to deny the clear reality of human impact on climate change.
This is just another example of Rep. Joe Barton, placing his financial interest over the needs and concerns of fellow Texans in the 6th Congressional District. His statement does not come as a surprise considering how he has received $3.2 million in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industries, any number of plausible responses might well come to his mind. However, support of the Keystone Pipeline need not be conflated with the political rhetoric for the sake of Joe Barton's financial gain.
Joe Barton is a disappointment to Texans who count on him to represent their interest; his understanding of God’s holy word is somewhat suspect as well. As a person of faith, I'm personally disappointed that he has looked into the Good Book and found evidence to deny any human impact on climate change. I believe most people in the faith community consult the Bible to strengthen their faith and for instruction on how to live a moral and upright life, not to twist and misinterpret the Word of God for political purposes. He simply supports big oil without restrictions. We have to consider the environmental impact of oil drilling and pipeline construction. His comments lack sound judgment or logic.
This is typical rhetoric from "Smokey" Joe. Joe Barton is not new to debate and where his loyalty lies when it comes to the oil and gas industry. Congressman Barton is the same person who in 2010 apologized to BP after the Gulf oil spill. He simply supports big oil, its use without hazardous restrictions to humankind and the environment in which we must live. His comment, like his unfailing support for the oil industry, lacks reasoning.
The fact is that climate change is real, evident and supported more by scientific evidence daily. His comment, like his unfailing support for the oil industry, lacks reasoning.
In the year 2013 it is completely unacceptable that a backward thinking politician like Joe Barton is voting on legislation that will affect the quality of life for future generations. The science on this issue is not debatable. Joe Barton simply does not believe in science. Voters in the 6th Congressional District must get to the polls in 2014 to retire Mr. Barton. His political reasoning or lack thereof on this critical issue must not be supported.