Wait a second. Didn’t Romney say last December that he would roll back existing fuel economy standards? And don’t I also remember him falsely claiming that new light bulb efficiency standards meant the government had “banned” incandescent lights?
Since last summer, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney has been saying that “we don’t know” if humans are causing climate change — flipping in the opposite direction from his earlier position as Governor, when he called for a “no regrets policy” on addressing climate change.
Remember Romney’s joke at the Republican Party Convention: “President Obama promised to begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet. [Pause. Laughter.] My promise … is to help you and your family.”
Mr. Romney, Climate change is no joke.
Sea level rise is a genuine problem. The oceans are actually rising as the planet warms up, in part because the volume of water is expanding due to the extra heat, and in part due to the ongoing melting of polar ice. Evidence suggests that for most of the past 3,000 years, sea levels were stable, but that they began rising in the 1950s. Since then, they crept up at an annual rate of 1.7 millimeters per year. Lately, though, sea level rise has apparently been accelerating: This 2010 paper published by Science magazine, notes that over the past 20 years, global sea level has risen an average of 3.3 millimeters a year.
This is becoming a severe social and political problem because so many people around the world, and millions of them in the United States (including Romney’s Boston headquarters) are located along coastlines. Approximately 10% of the world’s population lives at elevations of 10 meters or less above sea level, the Science paper notes, and many of these places suffer from subsidence, erosion, and other problems that hasten their exposure and possible demise. The biggest risk here is from storms, which can suddenly pump up sea levels by many meters, with little warning.
The 50 Million or so people affected by Hurricane Sandy and the rest of America need to seriously think about this. Hurricane Sandy is the absolute worst storm to have hit the east coast. This storm had the lowest barometric pressure ever – that doesn’t just happen. Global warming is the cause. No ifs, buts or maybes about it.
We’re looking at over $22 Billion dollars in insurance claims. We are looking at more economic impact than the 9/11 attacks on the financial markets, on American GDP… And the Republicans want to do nothing about it.
Oh, if it they could blame immigrants or Muslims they would invade Mexico or Saudi Arabia or Iran and spend another $2 Trillion – but it’s the climate! Yes it means dealing with their financial backers: Exxon-Mobil, Koch Brothers…and it’s not another opportunity to funnel money to their favorite government contractors like Halliburton, or Bechtel or Raytheon, or Lockheed. So the best they can do is to joke about it. If that doesn’t work, then joke about it. But the real joke is some house republicans are using biblical scripts to deny climate change. (These are the American-Taliban or the American-Mullahs who use religion for their own power and political convenience).
Here’s a neat idea from the Huffington Post, suggesting that we name each of these increasing number of Hurricanes to the people denying climate change … maybe they’ll get it if they do. But I love the idea so here is an inset from the Huffington Post:
“The season should start off with Hurricane AEI, named for the American Enterprise Institute, in honor of that free-market think tank’s offer to scientists of $10,000, plus travel and other expenses, to highlight the shortcomings in a report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a group widely considered to be the authority on climate change science.
Next up, we would be drowned in the tears of Hurricane Boehner. Hurricane ConocoPhillips would follow, although the Competitive Enterprise Institute really deserves the recognition here as well.
For “D” I’d go with Hurricane DTE Energy, in honor of the Michigan Company’s campaign against renewable energy targets. Alternatively, there are plenty of climate-change denying members of Congress to choose from.
Next up, inevitably, is ExxonMobil, followed by either FreedomWorks or perhaps FACES of Coal (Federation for American Coal, Energy and Security).
For “G,” Hurricane Gingrich has a telling ring to it. And for “H” we have both the Heartland Institute and the Heritage Foundation.
The strongest claim to “naming rights” for the letter I undoubtedly belongs to Congress’s most renowned climate change denier, Oklahoma Senator James Inhofe. He explained during a radio interview that his climate change denying comes from the Bible:
Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.
For his devout work, the ninth tropical storm every year should bear Inhofe’s name. This is perhaps unfair to the Institute for Energy Research (aka the American Energy Alliance), but so be it.
For the tenth tropical storm, I suggest the name Johnson, in honor of The Three Johnsons, members of the House of Representatives who voted in 2011 in favor of H.R. 910, which would have prohibited the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse-gas emissions from stationary sources as a way to help address climate change: Sam Johnson of Texas, Timothy Johnson of Illinois, and Bill Johnson of Ohio.
Hurricane Koch would be next, in honor of Koch Industries, the Koch Family Foundations and other Koch-related entities for their support of coal and coal-friendly politicians.
Two House members make strong claims to “L”: Rep. Dan Lungren (California) and Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (Missouri).
But the most competition will generally be found when we get around to the thirteenth tropical storm each year. Fox News columnist Steve Milloy and Sen. Mitch McConnell have stellar credentials. But so do the Mercatus Center, the Manhattan Institute and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Sen. John McCain, Gov. Bob McDonnell, and Gov. Susana Martinez also have strong claims for their contributions to climate change. Prof. Pat Michaels of the Cato Institute and Lord Christopher Monckton from across the Pond are also extraordinarily deserving.
And so it goes. Here in the U.S., at least, the explosion of climate-change deniers has given us a wealth of names to choose from. No more Dorians and Humbertos! Bring on Hurricane Lungren and Tropical Storm Milloy.
Alternatively, we can name to the storms after the untold numbers who have died and will die because of the more extreme weather conditions. But where’s the fun in that?”
If the people at the U.S. meteorological service really had some cojones, they would have named this Hurricane – Hurricane Romney. Hopefully it will shock Americans into voting for a leader that takes climate change seriously. It may be the critical issue of our time.