It’s never the right time to talk about inconvenient truths

Scott Pruitt, Donald Trump’s choice to head the EPA, is a climate change skeptic of course. After all, his boss has called it a ‘hoax’. When asked whether the back-to-back huge hurricanes Harvey and Irma with Jose in the wings should result in having serious discussions about the impact of climate change and how to mitigate it, he replied:

“To have any kind of focus on the cause and effect of the storm; versus helping people, or actually facing the effect of the storm, is misplaced. “What we need to focus on is access to clean water, addressing these areas of superfund activities that may cause an attack on water, these issues of access to fuel. … Those are things so important to citizens of Florida right now, and to discuss the cause and effect of these storms, there’s the… place (and time) to do that, it’s not now.”

This is of course the stock way politicians have avoiding issues that call for actions they dislike. The aftermath of a natural disaster is never the time to talk about climate change. The wake of a massacre by some heavily armed enraged or deranged person is never the time to discuss sensible gun control should. A financial meltdown caused by the recklessness of big banks is never the time to talk about breaking them up or even installing new controls on them.

Of course, once the crises have passed and the events fade from the news, there is little pressure to talk about these issues then either. And that is the whole strategy of ‘now is not the time’ language.


  1. tecolata says

    And when someone has a heart attack, express sympathy, but don’t talk to them about quitting smoking.

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