Saturday, November 20, 2010

Convenient Ignorance From Climate Zombies

This is simply mind-boggling.  The National Academy of Sciences urges the United States to "act now to to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and develop a national strategy to adapt to the inevitable impacts of climate change.”  But this won't happen because a significant number of Republicans don't believe in man-made global warming.  ThinkProgress reports on a survey which reveals that more than half of the incoming Republican caucus are "climate zombies" who deny climate change based on a host of disproved myths.  76% of the Republicans in the Senate and 52% of incoming Republicans in the House publicly question the science of global warming.  The report concludes that "there are no freshmen Republicans, in the House or Senate, who publicly accept the scientific consensus that greenhouse pollution is an immediate threat."

Are the Republicans really that ignorant or are they being driven by their ideological aversion to regulation and their financial ties to pollution-making industries?  The answer doesn't really matter, I suppose.  Either way, climate change legislation seems doomed despite the urgency.  Instead, incredibly, Darrell Issa, the incoming chairman of House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, reportedly intends to investigate Climategate, the phony scandal of purported data manipulation by climate scientists, whose allegations have already been deemed unfounded after several inquires.

But again, we can't just blame the Republicans.  Before the mid-term elections, the Democrats put forward a bill that would have at least imposed a nationwide cap on emissons.  But, as The New Yorker's Elizabeth Kolbert states, "After months of posturing and further concession-making, Senate Democrats failed to come up with a bill that they were willing to bring to the floor. While the Senate dithered, President Obama was silent. He did nothing to rally public opinion on the issue, and what he did do—open up new areas to offshore oil drilling, for example—only undermined the negotiations."  So, here we are.


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