This week is a climate change party in Cancun, with 193 nations participating at the UN conference in Mexico. And in Kentucky, the finance and structure plans for the Noah’s Ark Theme Park are being solidified with the support of the Governor and a massive tax break from the state.
Kentucky, home of Mitch McConnell, will soon transform into the promised land for the more biblically minded theme-park goers. For starters, there’s going to be a replica of the Ark filled with animals, a replica of the tower of Babel, all sorts of petting zoos for the children, and much more, all with support of large tax incentives from the state of Kentucky.
According to Mike Zovath, a senior vice president of Answers in Genesis, the organization that will run the daily operations of the park, “It’s our opportunity to present accurate, factual biblical information to people about a subject that they’re really interested in.”
“Factual biblical information” was what Illinois Rep. John Shimkus, the man that will be taking over the House Energy Commission, was talking about when last year stated: “…I do believe in the Bible as the final word of God …and I do believe that God said the Earth would not be destroyed by a flood.” Shimkus believes that global warming is a hoax because it presumes that human carbon emissions can alter the global water levels, something that the almighty assured Noah he would never again perform.
It’s murky water, in terms for First Amendment rights. The state of Kentucky is, after all, giving tax benefits to a religiously themed amusement park. But surely it’s representative of larger movements of the religious right on a national and a global scale. Rep. John Shimkus’ view of climate change as fictitious and downright blasphemous is embarrassing as is the state endorsement of the park by the Kentucky governor. But as the UN summit in Cancun progresses this week, it’s also proving to be counter productive.
There’s more going on in Mexico than just the UN summit. In Tabi, Mexico, an ancient Mayan village that’s been devastated by climate change in the recent years is beginning to adapt. They’ve begun to augment their traditional agricultural practices of slash-and-burn farming. Not because they want to, but simply because the world climate is changing, and their survival calls for a sense of immediate and dramatic adaptation.
When their food source began to dwindle as a consequence of climate change, that produced a sense of survival urgency. While pockets of life like this Mayan village are adapting just to survive, a theme park in Kentucky and a U.S. representative—as symbols for about 40% of Americans that endorse creationism—are not only neglecting, but blatantly aggravating the climate talks.
Maybe the hopes of Noah’s Ark Theme Park and Shimkus involves thumping their bibles just loud enough to drown out all the background noise of sensibility?