Journalist Tom Brokaw famously dubbed the generation that came of age during the Depression and World War II "The Greatest Generation." This was a group of people with the wisdom to face these two global evils, the courage to confront them, and the selflessness to accept the sacrifices meeting them entailed.
By those standards, I guess you'd have to call the present generation of so-called grown-ups in this country "The Greediest Generation."
I was reminded of this when I read that all but one of the Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to deny the reality of global warming, regardless of cause. Yep, they actually voted--nary a climatologist in the bunch--to deny that global warming exists.
The hubris of such a vote is nearly unfathomable. It's as if they'd voted to deny that the earth revolves around the sun.
Beyond this, such a vote is strikingly stupid.
To put it in perspective, let's imagine these clowns had been in the House during our grandparents' time. They decide to take a vote on the reality of the Depression. Sure, lots of folks are out of work, the banks are bankrupt, the breadlines are growing, the breadbasket is blowing away in a cloud of dust, but is the Depression really real?
Nope, we don't think so.
And what about those politically-motivated rumors of war over in distant Europe? They say some guy named Hitler invaded Poland; that he's currently bombing England and France; that his tanks are in North Africa; that he's moving on Stalingrad? Let's take a vote on it.
No, there's no war.
We can deny all we want. We can even legitimize our denial through the political process.
But we can't change the nature of reality. It'll always be there, silent and irresistible, to show us when we're wrong.