Climate Change, Shoes and the Politics of Harvey: Graham
But should we politicize a human disaster at all? By Michael Graham, excerpted from CBS News
Some conservatives and Trump supporters are complaining about attempts to politicize Hurricane Harvey. They believe there's an effort to inject partisan politics into what should be a moment of unity on behalf of those suffering in the storm's wake. Where did they get this idea?
"It's important to politicize Hurricane Harvey."
That's the beginning of an opinion piece for CNN by Columbia University economist Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned expert in the areas of sustainable development, climate change and poverty.
Sachs has also been a persistent critic of corporate interests, and in this op-ed, he argues, among other things, that Republican Gov. Greg Abbott should resign as soon as the storm passes because Texas supports the oil and gas industry, rather than backing restrictions on carbon to fight global warming.
Political opportunism by climate-change activists is hardly unexpected, and there's been quite a bit of it. Obama adviser Ben Rhodes tweeted out on Tuesday "How will GOP explain to our kids that it failed to combat climate change or prepare for its impacts because it denied basic facts?"
Nobody disputes that the debate over climate change issues is serious or worthwhile. But such blatant partisan attacks, even as the rain was still falling and rescuers were still saving the stranded could be off-putting.
It's certainly not subtle, and it goes beyond climate change to questions about the competence of the response to Harvey.
"How Many Votes Could Hurricane Harvey Cost Trump In Texas?" That Washington Post headline was so direct that it inspired the liberal magazine New Republic to urge restraint.
"Yes, politicize Hurricane Harvey—just not like this," the magazine opined.