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Bloggings: Right wing global warming deniers are also making the weather hot for immigration. By Roger Algase

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For the past week, much of the capital city area of the country with the world's largest economy, most powerful military, and, according to what every school child is taught, most advanced values, has been sweltering without power in triple-digit heat, causing widespread suffering that would be an embarrassment to most third-world countries. Meanwhile, large parts of Colorado have been burning from uncontrollable wildfires. 


An Associated Press article, reprinted in the Huffington Post on July 4, states:


"But since at least 1988, climate scientists have warned that climate change would bring, in general, increased heat waves, more droughts, more sudden downpours, more widespread wildfires and worsening storms. In the United States, those extremes are happening here and now."


"So far this year, more than 2.1 million acres have burned in wildfires, more than 113 million people in the US were in areas under extreme heat advisories last Friday, two-thirds of the country is experiencing drought, and earlier in June, deluges flooded Minnesota and Florida."


It is. of course, true that evidence for man-made global warming (and isn't it time to drop the euphemism "climate change"?) is still being hotly debated among scientists (no pun intended). But global warming needs to be discussed and taken more seriously. A good friend of mine, who has long experience and great expertise in environmental issues, has suggested that life on this planet may be in danger of being extinguished in only a few centuries because of global warming, not thousands, or millions, of years as many people think.


It would be far beyond the scope of this blogging to offer definitive opinions on controversial scientific issues. But global warming needs to be mentioned and widely discussed.This is something that one of America's two political parties, controlled by corporate money, categorically refuses to do. Nor have the corporate dominated media generally been willing, despite some exceptions, to cover this issue in much detail.


However, global warming denial is only one facet of the right wing's war on science. Evolution, which has been accepted by all thinking people for more than a hundred years, is still under attack from the radical right. And it is not only science which is being targeted. Other self evident facts, such as that government regulation is often necessary to protect the public from corporate abuse, are taboo among Tea Party and other right wing ideologues.


In the wake of last week's storm and ongoing power outages in the Washington DC area, the Washington Post ran an article pointing out that the utilities have been unwilling to spend money to locate their cables underground, where they would be protected from devastating storms. At the same time, the utilities have been spending hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbyists and campaign contributions.


More than a million people in the area who have been sweltering in the record heat, without electricity, for the better part of a week, are not only victims of the natural weather. They are also suffering because of the political climate.


Why is this relevant to immigration? Because immigrants have been exposed to a great deal of extreme weather too - especially in Arizona, Alabama, South Carolina and Georgia. They not only have to deal with local storms and conflagrations, but also with destructive nationwide weather patterns, also known as Secure Communities, Section 287(g) and E-verify. 


Occasionallly a fire brigade will come along to throw some water on the flames of right wing anti-immigrant hate, as Chief Justice Roberts and Justice Kennedy did by joining three more liberal Justices in throwing out one part of Arizona's: Achtung! Wo sind Ihre Papiere? ("Hand over your papers immediately!") SB 1070 immigration law ("AWSIP") last week. President Obama did the same by announcing that students who would have been eligible for relief from deportation if the DREAM Act had survived a Republican filibuster threat in the Senate will be granted temporary administrative relief.


But while the fire fighters are dousing a few of the flames with water, they are also throwing gasoline on others. The Supreme Court left one of the worst features of Arizona's AWSIP law intact last week, one which directs police to check the immigration status of, among others, people pulled over for suspected traffic violations. Many other states now have a green light to enact similar laws.


Meanwhile, President Obama is continuing to stoke the flames of anti-immigrant prejudice by deporting almost 400,000 people a year, a record number. As America's right wing ideologues try to take the country backward in time to a 19th century era of scientific ignorance, laissez-faire government, extreme income inequality, denial of union rights, no social safety net, discrimination against women, lifestyle and religious minorities, denial of voting rights, and legalized racial bigotry, the weather for millions of immigrants is also growing hotter.



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