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Climate Change In Congress-- For The Record

"Someday This Will All Be Yours" by Nancy Ohanian

In April of 2019 Business Insider ran an extensive report about the 130 then-current members of Congress-- so before the sociopathic crew of 2020 that includes notorious Climate Change deniers like Marjorie Traitor Greene (Q-GA), Mad Cawthorn (Nazi-NC), Lauren Boebert (Q-CO), Beth Van Duyne (R-TX), Byron Donalds (R-FL), Barry Moore (R-AL), August Pfluger (R-TX), Mary Miller (Q-IL), Michelle Fischback (R-MN), Scott Fitzgerald (R-WI), Bob Good (R-VA), Ronny Jackson (R-TX), Kat Cammack (R-FL), Troy Nehls (R-TX), Matt Rosendale (R-MT) and Andrew "Tourists" Clyde (R-GA) was elected-- who are basically all Climate Change deniers. 129 were Republicans and just one, Minnesota Blue Dog Collin Peterson, since defeated, was a Democrat. (Washington state freshman Marilyn Strickland, a conservative New Dem, might be considered a Climate Change denier, judging by her atrocious record as mayor of Tacoma, but it certainly isn't something she would ever say out loud today.) League of Conservation Voters, a conservative environmental DC organization that has affiliated itself with the DCCC and DSCC, put the list together and rated each of the culprits.

At the time, Ellen Cranley reported that "Over 97% of scientists agree that human activity is to blame for the steady warming, and without regulation to curb emissions, the Earth could face disastrous conditions. Standing in the way of securing such regulation are more than 100 current members of Congress, who have expressed skepticism about climate science, or concerns about the cost of more regulations. All but one are Republican." Conservatives in Congress are still holding back progress on dealing with the Climate Crisis. I assume one day, our descendants will be wondering who to blame. Here are some of the worst culprits Cranley wrote about who are still in Congress today, still holding back progress:

Mo Brooks (rated 9% by LCV) is a seditionist running for the open Alabama U.S. Senate seat with Trump's backing. At a 2018 hearing of the House Science Committee, he whined "'What about erosion?'... suggesting that rocks were causing rising sea levels rather than climate change. 'Every time you have that soil or rock, whatever it is, that is deposited into the seas, that forces the sea levels to rise because now you've got less space in those oceans because the bottom is moving up.'" Brooks is widely considered a crackpot and now we see, so are his congressional staffers. He is far from the only Alabama member of Congress opposing Climate amelioration. Kevin McCarthy appointed another one of them, Gary Palmer (1% LCV score) to the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, perhaps because he said "I am a firm believer in sound science. There have been new findings that clearly show the science is not settled on climate change."

Don Young (8%LCV score), possibly left behind by the Russians when they first colonized Alaska, is a living tragedy: "I think this is the biggest scam since the Teapot Dome… Just be careful of the scam; Al Gore's biggest money-making machine in the world."

All four of the Arizona Republican congressmembers are on the denier list. David Schweikert (4% LCV score), who represents a swing district with thousands of sane people, is also obsessed with Al Gore. Bababling nonsensibsly in an interview, he said "I don't see the data," Schweikert said in a 2014 interview. "When you think about the complexity of a worldwide system, and the amount of data you'd have to capture… how do you adjust for a sunspot? How do you adjust for a hurricane, and this and that? I think it's incredibly arrogant, you know, for the Al Gores of the world to stand up and say the world's coming to an end... It's all from the control freaks, the people who want to control my life, control my lifestyle... I drive a hybrid because of economic self interest, not because I wanted to save the planet." His neo-Nazi colleague, Paul Gosar (5% score) doesn't usually like talking about his family for some reason, but he did say in 2019 that "As the son of a geologist, our climate has always changed, and if you don't doubt me, dig up some fossils. It will tell you an awful lot about how our climate has changed." His usually partner in crime, Andy Biggs (9% score) said it right out: "I do not believe climate change is occurring. I do not think that humans have a significant impact on climate. The federal government should stop regulating and stomping on our economy and freedoms in the name of a discredited theory."

Crazy closet queen and serial liar Tom Cotton (2% LCV score) graduated from Harvard, so he can't be the stupidest guy in Arkansas but he's obsessed with the Green New Deal and can't shut up about it, "accusing the media of being 'complicit in the Stalin-like or 1984 technique of disappearing' issues with an early draft of the bill and criticizing Democratic lawmakers for pushing what he called a 'radical vision for humanity. They believe that Americans driving around in trucks on farms, or commuting from the suburbs where they can have a decent home into the city to work are a fundamental threat to the world, and they have to have the power and the control of those Americans' lives to implement their radical vision for humanity,' Cotton said in February."

California nut-case Devin Nunes (3% score) represents a Central Valley district that hasn't been burned to a crisp by wildfires yet. He said a few years ago "I mean no offense to the global warming prophets of doom, but I welcome more offshore energy exploration and want to see it move ahead quickly." His colleague Doug LaMalfa has seen his district on fire again and again and again, but still said, publicly, that he thinks "there's a lot of bad science behind what people are calling global warming." The fires in his district-- today-- are so massive that their smoke has darkened skies and reduced air quality all the way on the East Coast. Climate chaos is a policy choice by conservative numbskulls like LaMalfa.

Floridians are feeling the brunt of Climate Change more than most. But Florida's congressional delegation try denying it. Marco Rubio (4% LCV score): "Sure the climate is changing, and one of the reasons is because the climate has always been changing. There has never been a time when the climate was not changing."

Ahhh... finally two loons with zero LCV scores and, of course, it's Georgia fringe extremists Barry Loudermilk and Jody Hice, currently Trump's candidate for Georgia Secretary of State, who defended a charlatan who takes corporate cash to pretend Global Warming is no biggie: "It is a shame that because a scientist has reached a different conclusion on climate science than the liberal elite that the integrity of her research would be called into question."

Ted Budd (R-NC-- LCV score: 1%) is Trump's handpicked candidate for the Senate from North Carolina. In 2016 he told the Greensboro News&Record that "he does not see 'clear evidence' that man contributes to climate change."


Sen. Jim Inhofe
Inhofe, who penned The Greatest Hoax about climate change famously brought a snowball onto the floor in February 2015 as a bid to disprove climate change.
He later doubled down on his views in October 2018, pointing to "scriptural evidence" about the changing climate.
"First of all, we've never argued, the climate has always been changing," he told the Stillwater News Press. "All evidence is there. We're talking about scriptural evidence, we're talking about scientific evidence … You can't argue with climate change because it's always been changing."
League of Conservation Voters score: 5%

Sen. Ted Cruz
In a 2014 interview with CNN, Cruz directly challenged the idea of global warming, saying, "The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn't happened."
"The climate has been changing from the dawn of time," Cruz said during an October 2018 debate. "The climate will change as long as we have a planet Earth."
League of Conservation Voters score: 4%
Sen. Ron Johnson
"The climate hasn't warmed in quite a few years," Johnson said on a radio show in 2016, despite record-setting temperatures that were documented in the two years prior. "That is proven scientifically."
League of Conservation Voters score: 3%

Gillian Battino is the Democratic Senate candidate making the progressive argument against Ron Johnson, on this and all other issues. This afternoon, she told me that "The biggest problem in moving on climate change solutions is time, because we are almost out of it. We have known for decades what is happening and how we can address it but here we are still taking small slow steps forward while our planet’s ecosystems suffocate at our peril. Greed is the GOP sickness we are fighting to save our planet. These deniers are so greedy that they are blind. They are greedy for power, so much so that they blunder into a ruined future."

Rep. Liz Cheney
"[The federal government's] assertions about climate change are based on junk science, Cheney said in 2016. "But even if you agree with what they are saying, the administration itself admits that the steps it's taking to kill our coal industry will have little or no impact overall on global temperatures."
League of Conservation Voters score: 0%

That was before Cheney became a hero to Democrats and a de facto conservative Democrat.

Actually, many conservatives who the media delights in calling "moderates" are Climate Change deniers from Mario Diaz-Balart (FL), Ann Wagner (MO), Rob Portman (OH), Rodney Davis (IL) and Bill Cassidy (LA) to Shelley Moore Capito (WV), Don Bacon (NE), and Fred Upton (MI).

Steven Holden is running for the Central New York seat held by fake moderate John Katko This afternoon, Holden told met that "Katko is all talk and no action. Onondaga Lake, which is revered by locals and held sacred by Native Americans, is a toxic mess. John Katko has done nothing to help the clean up, he bows to corporate special interests and only talks a good game. He has consistently worked against environmental interests here in Central New York, and only issues press releases when it is convenient to him."

Bruno Amato, a courageous progressive taking on Kevin McCarthy, an oil industry shill and an architect of the House Republicans' policy of blocking anything that even hints of battling Climate Change. This afternoon he told me that he "stayed indoors today because there was an 'air quality alert' that went out advising residents to do just that. Drought and heatwaves that are tied to climate change making wildfires more frequent which is adding to the already bad air quality caused by burning oil and other fossil fuels which release carbon dioxide into the air.cIts tough to have someone like Kevin McCarthy tackling climate change when he takes millions from the fossil fuel industry. We need someone who will stand up to the fossil fuel industry. I won't take a dime from them because saving our planet means more to me than it does to Kevin McCarthy, who wouldn't mind seeing our world destroyed as long as it advances

his career. Oil and fossil fuels aren't the future. Transitioning to clean energy and green jobs is. Better jobs with better wages and saving the planet before its too late. Each year the droughts and fires will devastate California more and more. Getting rid of McCarthy and voting out the rest of his radical right climate denying party is a great first step."

Please consider contributing to Bruno Amato, Steven Holden and Jason Call by clicking on the Blue America 2022 congressional thermometer above-- and then giving what you can. Thee 3 guys are working very hard for real change; they can't do it on their own.

Jason Call is campaigning for a northwest Washington congressional seat held by status quo New Dem Rick Larsen. Climate is one of his top issues. "It's clear this summer again that the climate emergency is now a full blown crisis, and has moved into the arena of causing direct and measurable chaos," Call told me this afternoon. "It is also clear in so many ways that the business as usual status quo of the US Congress and White House is failing miserably at even making motions to the scope of change needed to effectively address the crisis. It's also now revealed how much the fossil fuel industry is pushing back on the European Union plans to address climate change. Every day it seems that we are getting more information from scientists that our planet is on the verge of complete collapse in terms of sustaining life as we know it. The only way we are going to address climate with the totality of effort and resources need to stave off irreversible disaster is to have governments that are not owned by the industries (yes, this is 70% industry-- not people) that are impacting climate, and right now we don't have that. From his very first term in office, WA-02 corporate Democrat Rick Larsen has been an ally to the fossil fuel industry, voting to ensure subsidies for Exxon, Shell, and Chevron."

"What we see in a Representative like Larsen is a fox guarding the henhouse scenario," continued Call. "He's the 4th ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, and is chair of the Aviation Subcommittee of House Transportation, and he's bankrolled by the very industries those committees are charged with regulating. He and his colleagues are proposing substandard efforts that ensure industry profits, investments that will-- for instance-- replace about 1% of the nation's 65,000 buses with zero-emission buses. While they admit that the transportation industry is a leading cause of pollution, the impetus for systemic change while being funded by the industry is virtually nonexistent. They are calling this proposal "transformational," but it falls far short of what we need from this Committee. So the question before us all is, can we afford to continue along this path? The short term profits of industry vs the very real possibility that there will be no habitable planet for humans (and billions of other life forms) a hundred years from now. I am committed to demanding systemic change, which will require action beyond the scope of anything proposed by all but a handful of current members of Congress. It will take a substantial reduction in military. It will take scaling back of air travel. It will take massive investments in rail transportation. It will take the elimination of the fossil fuel industry. None of this will happen with Rick Larsen's support. That's not what he's in office for, and his abysmal record on climate change voting is proof positive of that. For more information on his voting history in regards to fossil fuels, please go to my website.

1 Comment

Aug 09, 2021

I'll leave the folly of electing new members to the worthless feckless corrupt neoliberal fascist pussy party alone for now. They may not deny warming, but they are certainly never going to do jack shit about it as long as big oil, etc, pay them billions to ignore it. as they have for decades now. still.

Instead of dissecting the hundreds of morons elected to congress that deny science in some form or another (or all forms)... maybe you need to dissect the 10s of millions of voters that sent them all there.

maybe dissect the 10s of millions of voters who send all those worthless feckless corrupt neoliberal fascist pussies to do nothing about anything while you're at it.

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