I don’t know about you, but I am left in astonishment each day by the disturbing revelations about corruption and deceit in the current administration. The unprecedented and steady stream of this news is overwhelming. I fear that over time that it dulls our moral clarity. Over time a feeling of resignation grows like a cancer.
Every so often I read a piece that helps restore clarity and states eloquently what is at stake during these times. I share with you a piece I read in The New York Times by Justin Gillis entitled, “Scott Pruitt’s Civilization Threatening Lie.”
Gillis states precisely the stakes of Pruitt’s Climate Change denial.
“This is not just any old white lie that Mr. Pruitt has been telling. This is a civilization-threatening lie, a lie that will kill people and destroy small nations, if not some large ones. Future generations will see him as a man guilty of a major historical crime, along with his enablers in Congress and their puppet masters in the fossil-fuel industry.
How bizarre, then, that Mr. Pruitt is now in trouble not for this epic lie, but for petty ethical violations.”
Commentary: The insight of the piece is helping us to understand why the Pruitt’s long trail of ethical violations that are coming to light are a part of the same cloth as his climate denial. The extraordinary venality, however, can mask the potentially massive and destructive consequences of his immorality on all of us.
I became convinced from my reading in my 20s of the serious civilizational threat of climate change and have devoted time to environmental activism and teaching as part of my rabbinate. I watch with horror the smoke screens of greed and willful ignorance toward scientific inquiry and facts have derailed action in the face of the greatest threat to our children and grandchildren. But, Gillis piece, helps us to come back with the need to “resist” and do all in our power to bring an end to what will be a costly, but temporary detour from what we need to collectively work for.