How a Climate Disaster Denier/former Republican US Senator/former Astronaut got Shot Down by the Sierra Club for NM Cabinet Position
First of all, as a preface question and as a deeply sincere empirical observation: can we please cease and desist in using this pusillanimous mousy term, Climate Change, and call it like it is: "Climate Disaster Deniers"?
I am moved to write this because of the plaintive bleats from some of my younger Facebook group brethren and sisters, who are particularly vexed and dismayed at how can climate change deniers be so bestially stupid and oblivious to the facts. You don't have to have conversations with arctic animals like the remaining Polar Bears to comprehend how real this all is.
[It is believed that there are only 20,000 to 25,000 polar bears living in the wild.The IUCN reports that the polar ice cap is predicted to completely melt within the next 100 years. This will leave polar bears without a home and will affect the polar bear population greatly.]
I replied to some of them that what they are forgetting is that climate change denial is massively supported by think tanks and by the same corporations who have the most vested interest in quashing and squelching the climate disaster conversation. Without going into the obvious and researching them and then reciting the list of corporations culpable for perpetuating this malarkey, we'll leave that to others.
Then, I recalled this 2 old article of mine, which I would like to share with you. When Harrison "Jack" Schmitt was announced to be the first choice, the major star power, for the incoming New Mexico Cabinet position for Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, even I, Yellow Dog Democrat that I am, was initially dazzled with his credentials, as lunar astronaut, former US Senator, Harvard Ph.D. Geologist. I knew that Schmitt was there on the moon as the first true scientist; all the rest of the astronauts up to that date were there as former military pilots.
The Republicans had won in 2010; Governor Susanna Martinez was in power legitimately, and she was appointing her own Cabinet; at first glance, Schmitt seemed like a brighter star in that context than perhaps the Governor herself.
Then, the Sierra Club reminded everyone that from 1982 when he left the Senate after losing to Democrat Attorney General, Jeff Bingaman, till that year, 2010, for 28 years, he had worked for various think tanks and in various Republican apparatchik capacities as a climate change denier, much to pleasure of the energy companies who were paying the bills for these various think tanks and organizations.
The Sierra Club woke up everyone, including me, and this is the story I wrote for the Taos News six years later:
Sierra Club plays role in politics
(Published Friday, December 23, 2016)
By Stephen Fox, Santa Fe
Steve Terrell's in depth article ["Cabinet members create controversies for Gov. Martinez," Santa Fe New Mexican] is an excellent analysis of New Mexico cabinet matters -- a thorough job by one of New Mexico's top three political journalists.