Monday, July 15, 2013

"The Enablers" part two: Republican members of our House of Representatives

Recently I wrote an essay "What about the "Enablers" of the Denial Machine?"
Now it's time to look at the politicians who are expecting to be served misleading information in order to justify their continued willfully ignoring our self-created global warming situation.  

The tragedy is that by now, 2013, the evidence and underlying knowledge is so overwhelming that I can't believe these supposedly intelligent people don't know better... at least deep down, but their ruthless commitment to power-politics-games won't allow them to admit it - since that would create a moral responsibility to act.

It's disheartening and it's getting tougher and tougher to resist giving into hopelessness.  But, resist we must!  So here's my two cents to the effort, sharing a couple articles that highlight the disingenuous game Republicans are playing with our children's future.  Please link to the complete articles for all the details.

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GOP ‘Climate Disconnect’ Would Sacrifice Climate Research for Weather Forecasting

Amid a growing “climate disconnect” among House GOP members, as cited in a new report released yesterday by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the Environment Subcommittee of the House of Representatives Committee of Science, Space, and Technology proved true to form earlier this week. On Tuesday, in yet another example of partisan split on climate issues, the body passed the Weather Forecasting Improvement Act of 2013.
The innocuous-sounding legislation would improve weather forecasting research, but do so by cutting NOAA’s spending on climate change research. The bill eventually passed out of the subcommittee by a voice vote along partisan lines.
This logic failed to resonate with Republicans, as Vice Chairman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK) explained his opinion that NOAA is spending too much money on “ineffective research on climate,” and suggested weather forecasting should be a higher priority than climate change research.
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), took his cue from the Vice Chairman in representing the views of the anti-science, climate denier caucus:
We have seen grant after grant being given to anyone who can come up with something that will excite the public about global climate change in a way that would suggest that mankind is responsible in order to justify restrictions on human activity.
Such grants are, of course, perfectly rational in light of NASA’s recent finding that fully 97 percent of scientists believe climate change is “very likely due to human activities.”
In 2011-2012, the United States experienced 25 floods, storms, droughts, heat waves and wildfires that caused at least $1 billion in damages each. An analysis by the Center for American Progress found that the federal government, or taxpayers, spent $136 billion from 2011 to 2013 in disaster relief – equivalent to almost $400 per household per year.
For the full article see:
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The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus: 113th Congress Edition

Despite the overwhelming scientific consensus and high costs to taxpayers, there are still elected officials in Congress who refuse to accept that climate change is happening.
Almost 55 percent — 127 members — of the current Republican caucus in the House of Representatives deny the basic tenets of climate science. 65 percent (30 members) of the Senate Republican caucus also deny climate change. What this means is that they have made public statements indicating that they question or reject that climate change is real, is happening, and is caused by human consumption of fossil fuels.
This refusal to accept overwhelming scientific evidence is not just a symptom of the rank-and-file backbenchers. Members of GOP leadership and the committees that make critical decisions on national energy policy and air pollution have even higher concentrations:
  • 90 percent of the Republican leadership in both House and Senate deny climate change
  • 17 out of 22 Republican members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, or 77 percent, are climate deniers
  • 22 out of 30 Republican members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, or 73 percent deny the reality of climate change
  • 100 percent of Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Republicans have said climate change is not happening or that humans do not cause it
The campaigns of those who reject the reality of climate science are fueled by the fossil fuel industry that advocate for and drive the emissions that cause global warming.
  • The 30 climate deniers in the Senate have taken $20,957,534 in dirty energy contributions while the 70 Senators who haven’t denied the science have only taken $11,944,009 in career contributions. On average, Senate deniers took $698,584 from dirty energy while other Senators took $170,629.
  • The 127 climate deniers in the House have taken $30,787,064 in dirty energy contributions while the 308 members who haven’t denied the science have only taken $21,209,951 in career contributions. On average, House deniers took $242,417 from dirty energy while other members took $68,863.
  • In total, climate deniers, or 157 members, have taken $51,744,598 in dirty energy contributions while other members, or 378, have taken $33,153,960 in career contributions. On average, deniers took $329,583 from dirty energy while other members and Senators took $87,708.
Some states are sorely suffering the effects of climate change in the form of climate-fueled natural disasters even as their elected representatives take in millions from fossil fuel contributions and reject the reality of climate science:
  • 18 members of the Texas congressional delegation deny the reality of climate change. Over their careers, these members have raked in over $10.8 million from oil, gas, and coal interests. Texas has suffered 58 climate-fueled disaster declarations since 2011.
  • More than half of the Oklahoma delegation denies climate change, and together they have received nearly $2.5 million in fossil fuel money. Since 2011, Oklahomans have borne dozens of disasters worsened by climate change.
  • 7 members of the Virginia congressional delegation — more than half — deny climate change and together they pulled in more than $1.25 million from fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal interests. And Virginians have 8 disaster declarations to show for it.
CAP Action War Room conducted a fresh analysis of public statements from current Representatives and Senators from the 113th Congress on climate change. Here is a comprehensive list of those statements, which will be updated regularly.
This post has been updated to reflect new additions to the anti-science climate denier caucus as well as changes in percentages and fossil fuel contributions.
For the full article see:

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