(This week, I’m posting excerpts from 2011 Okie Funk blogs. All these posts also ran on Blue Oklahoma. Click on the headline to read the entire post. Thanks for reading Okie Funk and Blue Oklahoma. -Kurt Hochenauer)
So Far Inhofe Quiet On New Arctic Ice Melting Report, May 8, 2011
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe-and by extension the fossil fuel industry in Oklahoma-has been remarkably quiet about a new scientific report showing the acceleration of arctic ice melting.
Inhofe is infamous throughout the world for denying the link between global warming, which leads to melting ice, and manmade produced carbon emissions. He once called the threat of global warming the “greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people,” and he has obsessively attacked but failed to refute the scientific evidence about climate change. But so far he’s remained mum on the most recent information. Maybe he’s had an epiphany. (Just kidding.)
Some might ask why a senator without a major scientific background and from a relatively small state that has its own specific problems relating to poverty, health and infrastructure would make global warming such an overriding issue. The answer to that is Inhofe has received copious amounts of campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. According to OpenSecrets.org, from 2005 to 2010 Inhofe received $459,750 from oil and gas interests, and he has taken $1.2 million from oil and gas interests since 1989.
August 1958, June 12, 2011
Thirty-five Negro children sat quietly for more than six hours Friday in the John A. Brown Co. luncheonette, in the fourth day of their campaign to win food and drink service from downtown firms.-The Daily Oklahoman, Aug. 23, 1958
What can never be understated is the courageousness of civil rights icon Clara Luper and those children-at the time-who broke down segregation barriers in the 1950s by sit-ins at Oklahoma City lunch diners, diners which refused to serve them simply because they were black.
Luper, who was 88, died last week, and her death was noted locally and nationally. The issue of her courage and the courage of the children is what prevails after all these years and will continue to prevail. It’s difficult to find that type of courage today in political action.
Here’s some of the bleak reporting in The Daily Oklahoman about the sit-in at the John A. Brown Co. luncheonette in August, 1958:
Police ordered one white woman woman to leave after she sat down in the lap of a Negro girl who was sitting alone at a table.
One white man was ejected from the luncheonette after he loudly criticized Negroes.
Four white boys were also ejected and taken to the store manager’s office for a conference with police and store officials after they entered the luncheonette, displaying a “rebel flag.” Police confiscated the flag. A number of white customers left angrily when Negro youths sat beside them. Most, however, paid no attention.-The Daily Oklahoman, Aug. 24, 1958
Does Health Philosophy Determine Planning, July 12, 2011
A recent editorial in The Oklahoman shows just how intractable and narrow minded some city leaders are when it comes to significantly improving the quality of life here.
The headline says it all: “More bad news on obesity, but government isn’t the solution.”
Published July 12, the editorial cites a national report that shows Oklahoma is ranked at seventh in the nation with an obesity rate of 31.4 percent. The editorial goes through the report, says “no thanks” to a recommendation that everyone get screened for obesity and diabetes as part of a preventative medical effort and then ends with this typical caveat:
Getting out of it will take another generation, or more. But it will result from individuals making better choices about diet and exercise, not from government fiat.
Individual responsibility over community. Survival of the fittest-literally-over advocating common sense planning choices.
The Oklahoman doesn’t speak for all leaders here, but I think it’s fair to argue this particular, hands-off philosophy when it comes to health issues has contributed to some dubious distinctions for the state. Just recently, for example, the Oklahoma City area was named the most unfit metropolitan area among the nation’s largest 50 cities.
Hot Summer Deserves More Scientific Inquiry, Discussion, Aug. 23, 2011
Here are two certain facts about the heat: Oklahoma is experiencing one of its hottest summers on record and the local media has failed to discuss it at any length in terms of climate change or the bellwether of an extended drought and hot period.
Just yesterday, Oklahoma City broke the record for its number of summer days with a temperature of 100 degrees or more. The city has now had 51 days at 100 degrees or more, and that number will likely go up. The city of Grandfield in southwestern Oklahoma has endured 87 days of 100 degrees or more, which is a state record.
Oklahoma recorded the hottest average monthly temperature in U.S. history in July.
Is the Oklahoma record heat tied to global warming? This question should be worthy of consideration. Another subject worthy of consideration is whether this summer’s weather pattern will become part of an extended period of drought and excessive heat in Oklahoma.