The aspiring congressman who used to run most of this country's natural resources doesn't seem to understand natural resources.
Former Trump Interior Secretary and current congressional candidate Ryan Zinke is a man of many talents: He’s an adept grifter, a committed gamer, and a competent horseback rider. But what I respect most about Zinke is that he possesses a curious mind — a rarity in politics these days, particular among both former and aspiring Republican members of Congress (which he is both). Now, granted, it’s the sort of curious mind that would be better suited in the skull of a third-grader, but still!
Here, for instance, is a tweet from Zinke’s official congressional campaign account, posing what is, I suppose, an official question from the man who once ran the bulk of this country’s land and natural resources:
That was Ryan’s question. Here are just a few of mine:
- Ryan, my man, my guy. Do you, uh, do you think there’s a finite amount of wind in existence that can will just “run out” at some point in the future? Do you know what “wind” actually is? You know it’s not a thing, right? Just the byproduct of pressure systems shifting. Do you understand any of these words?
- Ry-guy. Let’s say, for the sake of argument, that the wind can actually run out; don’t you think we’d have much bigger problems in that case than whether or not you can flick the lights on and off? Like, say, the fact that the planet’s entire meteorological dynamic has, apparently, collapsed to the point of global apocalypse?
- Ryan, Mr. Secretary, Mr. Congressman. Are you aware that the coal and compressed residue of dinosaurs currently powering the bulk of global industry is, itself, an extremely limited resource?
- Ryan, sir! Have you ever heard of batteries? Do they have those in Montana? They’re pretty neat, and useful!
- RYAN!!!!! What the FUCK are you talking about????
See? I have an inquisitive mind, too!
Now, in fairness to Ryan, the idea that we need a mix of solar, wind, and fossil fuel energy for the time being is mostly in line with the broader political consensus among feckless centrist Democrats who have rejected the increasingly urgent Green New Deal that hopes to stave off — or, at this point, simply mitigate — our impending climate catastrophe. But Zinke’s absolutist, scientifically incoherent fear-mongering is a sign that perhaps Ryan should spend a little less time online, and a little more time logged off, and outside.