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Wild Green

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


Climate Change Isn’t a Threat: God Said So

 by Keith Goetzman


Tags: climate change, energy, Congress, election 2010, politics, religion, John Shimkus, Daily Mail, New York Times Green blog, Politico, environment, Keith Goetzman,

Under the Democratic-led Congress, action against climate change went essentially nowhere. Under the coming Republican-led Congress, it appears to be headed backward.

Republican Illinois Representative John Shimkus, who according to the New York Times Green blog stands a dark-horse chance of chairing the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has gone so far as to suggest that climate change won’t destroy the planet because God promised Noah it wouldn’t. His 2009 comments, recounted here by London’s Daily Mail, sent a shockwave of amazement through the progressive and environmental blogospheres:

Speaking before a House Energy Subcommittee on Energy and Environment hearing in March, 2009, Shimkus quoted Chapter 8, Verse 22 of the Book of Genesis.

He said: “As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.”

The Illinois Republican continued: “I believe that is the infallible word of God, and that’s the way it is going to be for his creation.

“The earth will end only when God declares its time to be over. Man will not destroy this earth. This earth will not be destroyed by a flood.”

Speaking to Politico after his comments went viral, Shimkus stood behind them, clarifying that while he believes climate change is occurring, he thinks it’s folly to spend taxpayer dollars trying to stop “changes that have been occurring forever.”

See Shimkus’ 2009 remarks on the Bible and climate change in this video:

UPDATE 11/19/2010: At least one brave Republican in Congress concedes that global warming is real and should be aggressively addressed. There’s a problem, though: He’s just been voted out of office.

Sources: New York Times Green, Daily Mail, Politico