A billion animals and hundreds of humans die in drought-driven fires in Australia. The polar ice cap melts into a cold lake. Subsistence farmers from Guatemala to Africa watch their crops wither as dry seasons lengthen and rain grows scarce. The oceans warm and grow more acidic. The American West suffers through months of wildfires. The East Coast is hit by bigger hurricanes. And, in Washington state, the snow pack on which the entire region depends grows thinner, year by year.

The effects of climate change are everywhere to be seen and, yet, too many Republican politicians, from the state Legislature to Congress, continue to avoid reality. Perhaps they sincerely believe the scientific evidence of global warming is incomplete. More likely, though, they are swayed by the aggressive lobbying and generous campaign donations they receive from the oil, gas and coal industries that are more concerned with profits than protecting the planet.

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