Jay Inslee was sworn in today as Washington State's new Governor at the State Capitol in Olympia.
Inslee's inaugural address brought up such topics as Sandy Hook, health care, and the current economic environment in the state and country.
It's not so much what Inslee said, but what he decided not to say that is causing a stir. In the transcript of Inslee's speech, he claimed that ignoring climate change is the equivalent to allowing slavery to continue. He even repeated a section of Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural address and replaced the words "American slavery" with "climate change" on page 13.
"In prior eras, our country's leaders have dealt with moral offenses like slavery, and believe woe comes as the result, and believe woe comes as the result of human kind's own offenses. So I will paraphrase Abraham's second inaugural address. He asked: If we shall suppose that climate change is one of those offenses which, in the providence of God, must needs come, but which, having continued through His appointed time, He now wills to remove, and that He gives to both North and South this terrible war as the woe due to those by whom the offense came, shall we discern therein any departure from those divine attributes which the believers in a living God always ascribe to Him?" Inslee wrote paraphrasing Licoln.
Why Inslee decided in the end to not read this is unknown, but his belief seems to be quite clear. No one argues that more could be done to keep our environment clean, but despite many claiming the verdict is in, the science on climate change is not clear cut. Outrage was sparked after emails of scientists who support the theory of climate change/global warming were hacked, revealing what many believe to be concealing of data.
Regardless of where one stands on the issue, the real question is whether it is appropriate to claim that ignoring possible environmental problems is the same morally as allowing human slavery.
Link to transcript: