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Politicizing Hurricane Relief: Stevie Wonder Thinks I’m Dumb So I’m Giving To JJ Watt’s Effort

It seems that Stevie Wonder thinks you’re stupid if you believe “there’s no such thing as global warming.”

On Tuesday night’s the Hand In Hand telethon, the star-studded fundraiser for relief after Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma, the music legend opened the show kicked off the hour-long telethon that aired on all the major networks with a sermon-like message to viewers….

“As we should begin to love and value our planet,” Wonder continued. “And anyone who believes that there’s no such thing as global warming must be blind or unintelligent. Lord, save us all.”

Now, I’m going to assume Stevie meant belief in the three pillars of global warming dogma that must be accepted lest one be labeled a “denier.” Those pillars are:

  1. The Earth is warming (at an alarming rate)
  2. The warming is caused by man-made activities (specifically the burning of fossil fuels and the release of carbon dioxide)
  3. The results of that warming will be catastrophic if not apocalyptic

I’m not a scientist. (Neither is Stevie Wonder, by the way.) I count myself as one of the many people who do not buy-in completely to all three of these claims. My purpose here is not to engage in that debate, we’re a media site after all. If you’re looking for a dissertation on behalf of or debunking climate change, there are plenty of corners of the Internet to click over to. (If you want to know what informs mine and many other conservative’s position on this issue, I suggest this excellent, short explanation from Richard Lindzen, an MIT atmospheric physicist and one of the world’s leading climatologists)

And let’s also set aside the fact that even if you do believe in the climate change theory I’ve laid out above, the direct links to the recent spate of hurricanes is hardly “settled science.” Even the New York Times this week conceded that point:

As to whether climate change has somehow made this year worse, the links between climate change and hurricane activity are complex and there are still many uncertainties.

Part of the problem, scientists say, is that there are just not that many storms: A dozen or so each year over the decades that good records have been kept do not form a huge data set to work with.

(I don’t remember the Times writing articles asking “The Planet Is Warming, Why No Hurricanes” over the past decade)

But, seriously, let’s set that debate aside for a moment. I’d much rather discuss the pretension, hubris and outright arrogance of millionaire celebrities (who made their millions from average Americans buying their songs or going to their movies) begging for donations to a relief fund while simultaneously insulting and outright attacking the politics and beliefs of half of the people they’re begging from.

I’m a conservative and I’m watching Wonder and Cher and Beyonce and Oprah on my television trying to guilt me into making a donation with a glitzy (and very expensive) telethon and they’re mocking me and my beliefs while asking for my money? How quickly can I say “Go f*** yourself”? Answer: About as quickly as I changed the channel.

At least Kanye directed his insults at President Bush and not the viewers he was appealing to.

The telethon, as of Wednesday morning, had raised $44 million, and that’s great. Although, after the production costs associated with the broadcast one wonders how much the relief fund actually netted, but let’s give it a few days before we ask for that accounting.

Meanwhile, Houston Texans football star J.J. Watt launched a grassroots, web-based relief fund for the victims of hurricane Harvey and that effort has already raised over $32 million as of this morning. Using social media, his personal profile and a couple of well-placed media appearances, Watt has raised a comparable amount of money without lighting, cameras, production costs or, expensive treats in the green rooms of multiple, high-cost venues in New York, Los Angeles and Nashville.

And, most importantly, Watt has raised that money without lecturing, mocking or insulting the very people he was appealing to for donations.

We should all, as Americans and members of the human family, do what we can to help our brothers and sisters who are in need at this time. Whether it is in the form of cash donations, clothing, blood, or even just prayer and support through raising awareness, we must all do what we can.

But, when it comes to cash donations, I donated my money to Watt’s effort. I have no idea what his politics are but I know he doesn’t care what mine are.  It’s too bad that the embarrassing display put on by the entertainment industry Tuesday evening, broadcast on 12 television networks and 3 radio networks (including the one I work for), couldn’t find a way to focus on those in need and leave politics, insults and egos in the dressing rooms.

 

This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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