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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Taking On A Climate Change Denier

Yesterday, the US Senate took up a resolution by Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar that would have simply said that climate change is real and that humans are responsible. Resolutions like that (a "sense of the Senate," which carries no force of law) require unanimous consent, but this one didn't get it because of one guy, which is all it takes.

That would be Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the most notorious climate change denier in Congress. In objecting, Inhofe not only repeated long-debunked claims about our planet not really warming, but also said the Obama administration has federal agencies "colluding" to promote a "global warming agenda."

After Inhofe sat down, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island stood to contradict and correct the lies just told, which he described as from "an alternate reality." Then he rebutted every one of Inhofe's claims, particularly about the collusion:

Let me tell you some of the government agencies who are so-called colluding together. How about NASA? We trust them to send our astronauts into space. We trust them to deliver a rover the size of an SUV to the surface of Mars safely and drive it around, sending data and pictures back from Mars to us. You think these people know what they’re talking about?

We trust NOAA with our weather predicting, and that's what they tell us. Nobody's saying they're incompetent at weather predicting, don't listen when people are warning you about storms. Suddenly when they talk about climate change, that's colluding?

How about the United States Navy? The commander in chief of our Pacific Command, Admiral Locklear, has said that the number one threat that we face in the Pacific theater comes from climate change. Is he colluding when he says that? This is a career Navy man, who the people of America have trusted with the security of our Pacific theater. And it's exactly consistent with what the Department of Defense quadrennial defense review says.

If you want to ignore the federal government, if you live in a world in which you think the federal government colludes with itself to make up things that aren’t true, okay. But look at the property casualty insurance and reinsurance industry. They’re the people with the biggest bet on this. They have billions of dollars riding on getting it right, and they say climate change is real, carbon pollution is causing it, we’ve got to do something about it.

So does the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, because they care about the poor and the effect this will have on the people who have the least. So does every major U.S. scientific society. Every single one.
Here's Whitehouse in action...