Why Won’t This Cat Answer My Questions About Climate Change?

Mayor Stubbs relaxes outside of West Rib Pub & Grille in Talkeetna, AK.<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/12247055@N00/186866983/">the queen of subtle</a>/Flickr


When I visited Alaska last week, much of the state was still reeling from June’s stunning heat wave, featuring numerous record temperatures. That includes 96 degrees in Talkeetna, a bustling tourist town near the base of 20,320-foot-high Mount McKinley (or Denali), featuring gift shops overflowing with moose and bear paraphernalia, restaurants overflowing with salmon and King crabs…and one feline elected official, longtime incumbent @MayorStubbs, who has gotten more than his share of media attention.

Despite the fact that their state is suffering from extreme climate change—Alaska has warmed twice as fast as the lower 48, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency—Alaska politicians haven’t always led on this matter. Sarah Palin, for instance, is a notorious climate change denier. But I hoped Mayor Stubbs might be different. After all, he’s extremely outspoken on Twitter, e.g.:

So naturally, as my fiancée and I drove south through scenic Alaska on our way to Anchorage, and neared Talkeetna, I figured I’d try the Mayor out on the subject of climate change. After all, 96 degrees in his hometown might be considered rather worrisome. First, I tried flattery:

At the West Rib Pub & Grille, my fiancée learns about Mayor Stubbs.

Alas, this Tweet didn’t garner a quick reply.

What’s more, when we stopped at the restaurant that serves as one of the Mayor’s haunts—West Rib Pub & Grille—the feline official was nowhere to be found, though documentation of his existence was plentiful (see image). Our friendly waitress explained that Mayor Stubbs was the owner’s cat, but the owner wasn’t in at the moment.

Thus instead of an interview, all I got was a cut finger from being far too careless with some King crab legs. (“Deadliest Catch” indeed.)

Later that night, however, came a coy Tweet from the Mayor:

This was not exactly a “yes” to my request. Next, I appealed to the Mayor’s sense of civic duty:

This didn’t work either:

This left me scratching my head, and wondering whether hot, sunny days might actually be good for Talkeetna, which is chilly much of the year:

One can only conclude, then, that perhaps the Mayor has bigger fish to fry. Or eat.

Or eat before they’re fried by climate change.

UPDATE: Mayor Stubbs responds!

And again:

More Mother Jones reporting on Climate Desk

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We've never been very good at being conservative.

And usually, that serves us well in doing the ambitious, hard-hitting journalism that you turn to Mother Jones for. But it also means we can't afford to come up short when it comes to scratching together the funds it takes to keep our team firing on all cylinders, and the truth is, we finished our budgeting cycle on June 30 about $100,000 short of our online goal.

This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate