Who needs the Paris agreement, we’ve got God

Vox’s Jim Tankersly on the “moral disagrace” of quitting the Paris Climate agreement:

No laid-off coal miners will get their jobs back if President Trump pulls the United States from the Paris accord on climate change. No extra oil rigs will sprout in the Gulf. There is no employment upside to an “America First” retreat from global leadership on one of the few issues that can accurately be described as a potentially existential threat to humankind.

There is only the profound immorality of abdication — of gleefully passing a mounting problem on to our children, and on to the poor…

Trump tweeted on Wednesday that he will announce a decision soon; when he makes it, he will almost certainly cast the departure in terms of job growth, particularly for the coal industry.

There is no evidence, though, to suggest the Paris deal is holding back coal or any other industry in America today. Trump’s position amounts to nothing more than a dollop of false hope for downtrodden coal communities, in exchange for a ton of additional risk heaped on everyone, particularly the poorest people in the world.

As more carbon accumulates in the atmosphere, and global average temperatures continue to rise, the odds of calamitous future environmental outcomes increase. Swamped cities, scorched crops, pandemics — nothing you would wish upon your children, or anyone else’s…

“It is a decision made for domestic political purposes that puts the livelihood and lives of millions of people in developing countries at risk,” says Trevor Houser, a former climate negotiator for President Barack Obama who is now a partner with the Rhodium Group. “This is a craven, symbolic political move without any direct benefits for the constituents he’s targeting.” [emphases mine]

Yep.  Ugh.  Of course, this is not Trump being Trump.  This is Trump being the leader of a head-in-the-sand, anti-science, pro fossil fuel at all costs, political party.  This is today’s Republican party, not some Trump idiosyncrasy.  Not just some no-name Republican state legislators, but real live members of the United States Congress are laughably backwards and ignorant on this issue.  To wit:

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) told a constituent last week that God can solve the problem of climate change if the global phenomenon truly exists.

The 66-year-old Republican, who is a climate change skeptic, made the remark at a town hall in Coldwater, Michigan, on Friday.

“I believe there’s climate change,” Walberg said, according to a video of the exchange obtained by HuffPost. “I believe there’s been climate change since the beginning of time. I believe there are cycles. Do I think man has some impact? Yeah, of course. Can man change the entire universe? No.”

“Why do I believe that?” he went on. “Well, as a Christian, I believe that there is a creator in God who is much bigger than us. And I’m confident that, if there’s a real problem, he can take care of it.”

Of course, not just bad science, really bad theology.  Would be nice if God took care of all natural events that presented a major threat to human life.  Pretty sure we’ve got some evidence that’s not the case.

But, hey, it’s only the planet we all share and depend upon for our literal lives.

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The mental load of parenting

I really loved this recent extended cartoon about the “mental load” of parenting.  I think it absolutely captures an underlying truth about how parenting works in many, many a household.  Here’s a key snippet (definitely, definitely check out the whole thing):

Exactly.  Parenting and running a household is so much more than just getting the kids to school on time and picking up the toys and getting the laundry done.  It’s knowing that the kids need to be to school early on Thursday and planning according Wednesday evening, and actually knowing where all the toys go, and knowing that the outfits the kids will need for church on Sunday need to be washed.

Based on regular conversations with fellow dads, I’d say I definitely do better than average on the mental load, but I would no way suggest I’m hitting the 50% mark that really, every parent should be (feel free to assign me a percentage in the comments, Kimberly).  Part of the way we’ve de facto divided the mental load is by sort of having a lead parent for various matters with the kids.  When it comes to my oldest, for example, I’m the one who’s always been at all the parent-teacher meetings, emailed the teachers, kept track of activities, etc.  When it comes to Alex, it’s definitely been Kim.  And for the other two, heck, it’s way easier.  That said, I’ve taken the lead on Evan and piano.  And, of course, I’m the lead soccer parent :-).  Okay, enough of an accounting.  I’ve never put a thought into teacher gifts, or what cute outfits the kids will wear for Easter, or what size Crocs to buy for Alex.  I do, however, think that the “mental load” concept is a great way to think about the reality of parenting and the real balance of parenting and household responsibility.  However much most men may do with cooking dinner, folding laundry, or picking up groceries, I suspect that it is here that we really do come up short.

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