(Tom Toles)
Editorial cartoonist

Sometimes (always) it is easier to see our own faults in others. And so, in an unending struggle to get Americans to see their own self-inflicted climate calamity, let’s look at a nation that is doing the same thing, only even MORE obviously. Australia is drying up, its majestic coral reef is dying, and the evidence of climate catastrophe is everywhere, but the nation cannot bring itself to face or deal with the scorchingly obvious.

Are they just stupid? Can they not differentiate their short-term interests from their long-term survival? I don’t know; maybe we should ask the guy who cut the last tree down on Easter Island for his thoughts on that.

Human psychology has a glaring weakness in its occasional capacity to eat its own seed corn. To destroy its commons. To put too much debt on the credit card. Yet oh, how we love to watch the children squirm in the marshmallow experiment. Eat this one marshmallow now, or wait a little while and get TWO marshmallows. How delightfully they fidget. How cute in their struggles at self-control.

Same with those shortsighted Australians! Can’t they see what’s happening to their country? Are some coal profits now really worth the destruction of their whole continent?

And as with Australia, so too with us. And the whole Earth. We know what we are supposed to do. But gee, the marshmallow we have is so soft and sweet right now. If we don’t eat it, somebody else might. We earned this marshmallow. Maybe the guy offering two later is lying. Something, anything.

The Republicans in Congress won’t act on climate because they have calculated that you, like them, want your marshmallow now.

In November, TWO marshmallows are on the ballot. You decide.