Climate Change

Published on April 27th, 2011 | by Zachary Shahan

Obama Calls Out Climate Deniers (GOP); Kerry Fed Up with "The Flat Earth Caucus"; Schwarzenegger Says GOP Making Him Cry; Texas Governor Gets State to Pray for Rain

climate change deniers have head up ass

Yeah, that’s a long title. A number of recent political statements seem to indicate that us green bloggers aren’t the only ones frustrated by the GOP’s (and a handful of fossil-fuel-funded Democrats’) scientific ignorance and their attack on science.

Even Republican former California governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and other Republicans who understand the importance of the environment are completely fed up with the leading science-denying members of the Republican party. I guess some remember that it is the source of our oxygen, water, food, etc., and also important for its own sake.


Here’s more on Schwarzenegger’s recent comments, which were published in an op-ed Wall Street Journal article, via The Hill (more on this story available there).

Arnold Schwarzenegger said Thursday that congressional attacks on Environmental Protection Agency air-pollution rules are enough to make him cry.

The movie star and former GOP governor of California used a Wall Street Journal op-ed to attack bills circulating on Capitol Hill that would thwart climate-change rules and various other regulations.

He noted that when he came to California in the late 1960s, poor air quality would cause his eyes to water, while the air quality is much better now thanks to the Clean Air Act.

“Today, I have tears in my eyes again, but for a very different reason. Some in Washington are threatening to pull the plug on this success,” Schwarzenegger writes.

“Since January, there have been more than a dozen proposals in Congress to limit enforcement of our clean-air rules, create special-interest loopholes, and attempt to reverse scientific findings. These attacks go by different names and target different aspects of the law, but they all amount to the same thing: dirtier air,” the column reads, warning of increased illnesses and deaths linked to mercury, dioxins and other pollutants.

The House voted 255-172 earlier this month to nullify EPA’s power to regulate greenhouse gases, with 19 Democrats joining Republicans in backing the measure.

House Republicans are also taking aim at a number of other EPA rules — including air toxics standards for boilers and utilities — that they call a regulatory overreach that will cost jobs.

But Schwarzenegger claims that “hobbling the Clean Air Act will … hurt the economy.”

“More air pollution causes more sick days, and thus hurts productivity. And, as I know from California’s experience, clean-air rules have led to innovation and new technologies that have created hundreds of thousands of new jobs and billions in clean-energy investment,” he writes.

John Kerry

Schwarzenegger isn’t the only one who’s fed up. John Kerry recently tore into the GOP as well. He also directs his attack at the U.S. as a whole. Here’s more via Reuters:

You remember John Kerry, right? Tall, silver-haired, urbane enough to be accused of being French. But there’s a feisty side to the senior senator from Massachusetts, and it was on display at a forum on energy and economic growth, where Kerry teed off on congressional Republicans and others who doubt the seriousness of the challenge of climate change.

“After a while you get exasperated and jaded and frustrated about it all,” Kerry told The New Republic forum at the National Press Club. “I’ve had it just about up to here with America’s indifference to the realities of this crisis … the United States is like an ostrich putting its head in the sand.”

How do you feel about the U.S. political establishment, Senator Kerry? “I don’t know what’s happened to us in the body politic of this country where facts and science seem to be so easily shunted aside and disposed of in favor of simple sloganeering, pure ideology and little bromides of politics that are offered up, that offer no solution to anything but might get you through an election.”

Your Republican colleagues in Congress? “In the Republican party … about half the class that came in (to Congress) this year doubts that humans have anything to do with climate change or that climate change is happening … The Flat Earth Caucus is growing.”

How about the billionaire Koch brothers? “The Koch brothers are funding a lot of efforts to prevent us from doing anything (about climate change). They funded this climate doubters Berkeley study in the hopes that one study out of thousands would … show that all the rest of this stuff is fabricated ideological bunk from the left.” (As it turned out, and as Kerry noted, the Berkeley Earth Science Project agreed with most other studies that climate change is occurring and human activities fuel it.)

Kerry said he was troubled that China is now “winning the clean energy race,” with Germany second and the United States slipping to third.

“I think America’s greatness, America’s capacity to lead, is really on the line,” he said. “And I see it and feel it as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee in the many conversations I have with leaders in various parts of the world … I just see them and feel them doubting our resolve, doubting our capacity, doubting whether we’ll really be there in almost anything … whether our political system will let it happen.”


Obama has finally spoken up and called out “the climate deniers in Congress” as well. Well, not by name or party, but generally.

Here’s more via Climate Denial Crock of the Week & Talking Points Memo:

At a fundraiser in San Francisco Wednesday evening, President Obama took direct, and unusually blunt, aim at a faction in the U.S. Congress that played a major role in upending his plan to pass sweeping clean energy and climate change legislation.

“There are climate change deniers in Congress and when the economy gets tough, sometimes environmental issues drop from people’s radar screens,” Obama told about 200 guests at the Pacific Heights residence of internet billionaire Marc Benioff, according to an official transcript. “But I don’t think there’s any doubt that unless we are able to move forward in a serious way on clean energy that we’re putting our children and our grandchildren at risk. So that’s not yet done.”

Left unsaid here is that those climate change deniers are all Republicans.

What used to be the Party of Lincoln has left the reality rails, and become the party of functionally illiterate boobs, as approximately the same percentage who deny climate change, also deny that Obama was born in America.

It would be an interesting survey to find out how many of those also believe that Saddam attacked us, that the WMD are still out there, and that George Bush is an unappreciated genius.

Texas GOP Governor Rick Perry

And in the midst of these statements, Texas has been suffering from a tremendous drought. Well, rather than mention climate change and our need to support and promote clean energy, GOP governor Rick Perry (who has been stubbornly opposed to Obama, the EPA, and efforts to address climate change) officially proclaimed Friday (Earth Day) through Sunday (Easter) as three days of prayer for rain. Here’s more on that from a post I wrote over on ecopolitology:

The Republican Governor of Texas, Rick Perry, doesn’t seem ready to cross his Republican superiors and admit to the fact that climate change is here and it’s hurting us today. Instead, he’s officially proclaimed 3 “days of prayer for rain” in the state:

“NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas. I urge Texans of all faiths and traditions to offer prayers on that day for the healing of our land, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of our normal and robust way of life.”

Well, if you can’t admit to the science, aren’t willing to promote solutions to it (i.e. cutting coal and oil out of our tremendous energy diet), and fight tooth and nail to keep others from doing so, what have you got left?

Image via wstera2

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About the Author

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009.

Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he’s the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity.

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