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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 

pe_5
3/10/2011 3:39:57 PM

It seems the paid hacks that infest Comments areas have not yet found this. But one member of the Party of NO is patient enough to counsel lesser minds about population being the issue, NOT high-energy climate change. The point would be sharper if it were explained how the NO-sayers propose to solve the population problem. Maybe the Invisible Hand will control population of Western nations, who have been and are sources of climate change out of proportion to their population. It did so well with Great Depression II, erasing unemployment-- didn't it?-- resuming an unending growth spiral that somehow is not a cancer. But I forgot, being a dummy, that guvvamint is the problem, and causes all evils attributed to capitalism.


jfr10504
11/25/2010 9:13:27 PM

Hopefully, framing the issue around Chinese competition will get the Republicans' and public's attention. The science has been pretty compelling all along. I hope they get James Hansen to testify. And now, those ubiquitous plastic water bottles really need to go - I think I counted about 5 prominently placed in this video clip.


occum
11/25/2010 11:32:06 AM

Casslakedog, You are right on. I have said many times (to people that look at me sideways) the currency of modern times is energy (translation oil.) Imagine a world with no electricity or gasoline. No lights, no cars, no plastics, no modern world. Everyone can point to different causes, some man made some natural but the change is indisputable and claiming it is not happening is flat out wrong.....unless you want people to keep focused on the validity of that arguement so you can maintain the status quo. Once again the old misdirection ploy. Americans are so easy. Anyone for a game of Thimblerig?


casslakedog
11/25/2010 9:21:20 AM

Climate Change is here and it's pretty scary. But the thing I don't get is why republicans are so set on saying it's not important - or even that it's a hoax. Then I remember: even though climate change represents the biggest economic opportunity in the 21st century, with amazing profits and fabulous wealth to be made for those can see it, it doesn't portent well for oil companies, and all the industries that make their enormous profits the old fashioned way. And who is it that owns the politicians and makes them wealthy? Certainly not the folks that would like to change the balance of wealth.


keith
11/23/2010 1:30:06 PM

If he was not already voted out, the Republican leadership would be doing everything possible to force him back in line, including getting him off of the House Energy and Environment Subcommittee.


rodeen
11/22/2010 9:19:25 AM

Climate change does not matter true or not true it does not matter. It s the population you dummy!