The Outstater

April 27, 2023

A Mayor Sells ‘Sustainability’ — His Own

IF YOU CAN STEP BACK for a moment, the absurdity of modern electioneering becomes clearer — not acceptable, but clearer.

My mayor, running for his fifth term, is pushing the council to approve a quarter million-dollar plan that promises to “sustain” the city through climate change. What? Can the mayor somehow save our 111 square miles from a global catastrophe?

Absolutely. News stories announcing the mayor’s plan note that it is “science-based.” It has an acronym so you know it is serious — CAAP, the Climate Action and Adaption Plan. Without it, and by implication without his reelection, the mayor says the city will see a “336 percent increase in 90 degree days over the next 27 years, with a 125 percent increase in decadal extreme precipitation events.”

Compared to what? By whose calculation? And how many nephews, cousins and party operatives can you hire for a quarter million dollars? Never mind, we don’t have time for that. This is a matter of life or death. Quick, approve the money (it’s only a start, please understand).

Did we say “life or death”? Yes, the National Weather Service informs the mayor that heat is the number one weather-related killer. So we’ve got to take action. Everybody says so. The mayor has polling showing that 68 percent of city residents believe “climate change” is real.

Genevieve Cicchiello tells a local television station that it not only is real but will be a generational struggle: “It’s definitely one of the most important topics. I think young people are seeing the detrimental effects when we’re still forming ideas about everything.”

And who is Genevieve Cicchiello? Well, she’s a senior in high school. Who are the “scientists”? They are unnamed but trusted authorities known to the Environmental Resilience Institute (ERI) at Indiana University. See if you can find the “science” in the institute’s self-description:

“At ERI we envision a future deeply and broadly transformed through co-produced knowledge and action that spurs systemic change. By moving away from the rigid and unsustainable strategies of the past, we can create a resilient and sustainable tomorrow—together.”

The chutzpah of all this is worth a quarter million dollars by itself. But call it by its name — a scam. If someone came to your front door selling this you would laugh in their face. Such used to be the realm of “tin men,” quick-talkers peddling overpriced aluminum siding.

Today, siding salesmen are legit, it’s the democratically elected representatives sworn to protect our interests that we have to worry about. — tcl


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