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Wild Green

Former Utne Reader senior editor Keith Goetzman on environmental issues from climate change to composting.

A Republican Realist on Climate Change

 by Keith Goetzman

Tags: climate change, politics, climate change denial, science, environment, Bob Inglis, Sherwood Boehlert, Raw Story, Think Progress, Keith Goetzman,

At least one brave Republican in Congress concedes that global warming is real and should be aggressively addressed, unlike many of his colleagues. There’s a problem, though: He’s just been voted out of office, replaced by a Tea Party-backed challenger.

Raw Story reports that District of Columbia Rep. Rep. Bob Inglis, a ranking member of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee, gave climate change deniers a bit of a tongue-lashing during a committee hearing.

Noting pointedly that the CSPAN-broadcast hearing was “on the record” for future generations, Inglis made a primarily economic argument: The Chinese by and large accept the consensus of climate scientists,

“And they plan on eating our lunch in this next century. They plan on innovating around these problems, and selling to us, and the rest of the world, the technology that’ll lead the 21st century. So we may just press the pause button here for several years, but China is pressing the fast-forward button.”

Think Progress recently reported that 50 percent of incoming House Republicans deny the existence of human-caused climate change, and 86 percent oppose climate change legislation. So Inglis’ call for science-based rationalism, even in its capitalist-friendly presentation, faces an uphill battle at best.

See the video here:

UPDATE 11/22/10: Former New York congressman Sherwood Boehlert also spoke out forcefully on Republican climate-change denial in a Washington Post commentary, calling on Republicans “to open their minds to rethinking what has largely become our party's line: denying that climate change and global warming are occurring and that they are largely due to human activities.

Source: Raw Story, Think Progress, Washington Post