Out Standing in His Field | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

Out Standing in His Field 

Vote Local, Pray Tell

Pin It
click to enlarge news_hitsmisses1-1.png

Out Standing in His Field
You've seen the movies where, as the world freezes or melts, the climate-change deniers have that come-to-Jesus moment. Everyone pulls together for the good of the Earth and, whew, they dodge a bullet. But that is fiction, and it's not the kind that motivates the conspiratorial right-wingers of the world. One would think that Utah's agri-governor, Spencer Cox, sees the light. Instead, he bemoans those who blame water-sucking agriculture. That's "very uninformed," Cox told The Salt Lake Tribune, "I might say ignorant." While agriculture isn't all to blame, it accounts for about 70% of the water use worldwide, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Cox farms alfalfa, not a crop that is largely consumed in the state but rather exported as feed. Meanwhile, the lakes are shrinking, reservoirs are depleted and people are still watering their lawns. That's not good, either, but it doesn't look like Cox has a plan other than prayer or shame. Stemming climate change requires long-term thinking, and that's not the Utah way.


Vote Local
As the country veers into the depths of voter suppression, a BYU report is encouraging citizens to get out there and make their voices heard—if only in local elections. Get off your high horse, suggests new research published in the American Political Science Review. In other words, recognize that the politics of presidential elections might be way fun, but not nearly as important or impactful as local races. If you sit out those off-cycle elections, you're basically leaving your future up to a small cabal of interest groups—especially those that oppose what the majority wants. Some 75% of the 25,000 U.S. municipalities hold elections off-cycle, and when you don't vote in those elections, you "relinquish significant power," the study says. Utah tends to have low voter turnout in any election, but if you care about development, water use or event pollution, you'd better vote in an off-year election. Voter apathy is more consequential than suppression.


Pray Tell
Once again, the nation focuses on fear rather than the root causes of hate. In fact, the Pray Safe Act seems to assume that religious discrimination is a greater threat than racial bias. You know why. Politicians don't really want to tackle race in America, unless it's to use the boogeyman of Critical Race Theory to set the public on fire. It is unsurprising that a Deseret News report sees the "bipartisan" act as protecting religious freedom. "Freedom of worship cannot be enjoyed without freedom from fear," said Nathan Diament of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center. While there have been horrific threats and attacks on houses of worship, the rationale is muddy if you point only to religion. Muslims and Jews particularly have been targeted, as have Black churches because of racial loathing. Religion is simply the cover.

Pin It

About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

More by Katharine Biele

  • Citizen Revolt: Week of July 22

    Provo Candidate Debate, How Black Athletes Overcame Hitler, Earth, Wind and Fire—Not the Band, Employment Ethics
    • Jul 21, 2021
  • Rocky's Third Act

    Rocky Anderson's revival of the Justice Party offers independents weary of partisan bickering a path forward.
    • Jul 14, 2021
  • Will Rant for Dollars

    Star-Spangled Brawling, Women At Work
    • Jul 14, 2021
  • More »

Latest in Hits & Misses

Readers also liked…

  • Uintah Sex?

    Utah lives up to its prude reputation, but by all means, put those scandalous phrases on a license plate. Plus, the aspirational thought of renewable energy 10 to 30 years from now.
    • Jan 22, 2020
  • More Bloody Trauma

    Get ready for another male-inspired abortion bill. Thinking about the cost of disruptive innovation. Plus, a tale of two takes in Utah's gun-loving community.
    • Feb 5, 2020

© 2021 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation