The United States just experienced its largest rainfall event in memory. For the first time in recorded weather history, two category 4 hurricanes, Harvey and Irma, hit in a single season (not yet over). And San Francisco, famed for its chilliness, experienced an unheard of 106 degree day as September began, while a record West Coast heat wave, essentially an unending Irma or Harvey of wildfires, left parts of the region, from Los Angeles to British Columbia, enwreathed in a pall of smoke and ash (without even an El Niño year to blame for it). And did I mention that both states hit by those recent hurricanes have climate-change denying governors? Or that the man now in charge in Washington also denies the reality of climate change (a Chinese hoax!) and has stocked his administration with a remarkable cast of fervent deniers (the latest such appointment being the head of NASA), who have essentially wiped all references to the phenomenon off every imaginable federal website, fired climate-change scientists, and — as a crew regularly backed in their careers by big energy — seem intent on recreating the fossil-fueled America of The Donald’s 1950s childhood.
Fortunately, as TomDispatch regular Michael Klare tells us today, the cavalry is riding to the rescue — more or less literally. In a government shutting down anything faintly connected to global warming, only one institution isn’t now run by deniers and that’s the U.S. military. As Klare points out, its high command is still planning for a radically climate-changed planet. Unfortunately, we’re talking about the same institution whose generals have been in a “generational struggle” to win even one of the endless wars they’ve launched or wandered into since 9/11. They belong to an institution, the Pentagon, that has gobbled up almost unimaginable sums of taxpayer dollars, without in those same years even being capable of successfully auditing itself. In other words, our potential saviors, at a moment when the very environment that has for millennia welcomed humanity is up for grabs, might be thought of as the Keystone Cops of the twenty-first century.