Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Friday, October 28, 2016

It’s time to admit that as a society we’ve failed. Politicians have no fear of breaking with 97 percent of climate scientists who agree climate change is real and the result of human activities.

“I am a global warming denier. I don’t deny that,” Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) said in a speech on Monday.

Coburn, who is a medical doctor, went on to say that Earth is headed for a “mini-ice age.”

This represents a complete failure of American society in general to make the fear of sounding stupid about climate change greater than the urge to pander to the Republican base. Because it’s not like shame hasn’t been used as an effective tactic to confront other science deniers.

But when it comes to vaccinations, science and pharmaceutical companies are on the same side. The truth is there are billions of dollars that feed denial like Coburn’s. The urge to continue the amazing profits of industries that benefit from carbon pollution rewards deniers with both financial and moral support.

Bill McKibben — the eminent climate change activist and founder of — explained the financial motivation for perpetuating denial and paralysis in confronting the climate crisis in a stirring sermon at New York City’s Riverside Church in late April.

“The fossil fuel industry is the 1 percent of the 1 percent, the richest enterprise in human history,” he said. “Exxon made more money last year than any company in the history of money. There are far more eminent theologians than me in this room, but it is my belief anyway that these companies have more money than God.”

An offshoot of McKibben’s group 350 Action has decided that they’ll never compete when it comes to money. So they’ve decided to step up the campaign of shame by proposing that extreme storms be named after deniers like Coburn, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN). And they’re petitioning the World Meteorological Organization to adopt this change.

Climate Name Change Screenshot

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • John Pigg

    Despite what you think, people in conservative circles are warming up to the idea of climate change. What they will never agree with you on is, what it costs, what its going to take to fix, or even how to deal with it.

    Even if you manage to name hurricanes after Senators who pander to their electorate, it will not resolve that you will never be able to agree on a climate change policy. The last one was cap and trade, and regrettably it is failing in green Europe.

    • Annemb

      Great post!

      It’s about time they woke up … before our home is totally destroyed.

      However, I still feel that naming hurricanes after the climate deniers is a great idea. Perhaps THIS would awaken folks.


    • Bob Williams

      Climate change can be reversed! We just need to quit burning all petroleum products, fossil fuels, etc. And of course we need to get China, Russia, India, Europe and the rest of the folks to do the same. That may work. Nobody knows for sure, however.

      Oh, sure – we will be living in the stone age, but it’s worth it – don’t you think?

  • TZToronto

    Let’s see . . . Coburn is a denier because why? He thinks the earth is headed for a mini-ice age why? Is it because 3% of climate scientists say that man-made climate change is not happening? And this guy is a doctor? I guess he denies everything they taught him in medical school, too. I think I’ll ask for a second opinion.

    • Russell Byrd

      I bet I can guess the result when a woman asks him for the “morning after” pill.

  • FT66

    This is totally ignorance. How can they deny climate change at the same time when they are told something is wrong in their bodies, they agree right away. It is all about study. People take time and knowledge to study on something and come up with their findings which no one who is thinking right should deny it.

    • RobertCHastings

      They can deny climate change just like the tobacco industry denied there was anything wrong with their product and just like the gun industry continues to deny their is anything wrong in the way they market their product. The pockets that are funding these deniers are DEEEEEP, and the lawyers who are litigating on their behalf are getting very wealthy while the rest of us will be getting very sick. Looking deeper into the NRA and its backers, I found how closely their movement paralleled the tobacco suits twenty(?) years ago, involving many of the same players. Through all of these deniers there is one common thread – follow the money. Tobacco denied their product was unhealthy, even in the face of undeniable evidence, and they are STILL allowed to market their product. The gun industry has been clearly shown to be marketing its products in such a way as to make the violence in our big cities inevitable. Climate deniers are spurred on by the fossil fuel industry that would lose enormous amounts of money if they stopped their mining/drilling/pumping/refining. These are no easy topics for quick analysis, and all too many people have become creatures of the sound bite. People want to see a pretty woman telling them how many jobs oil and natural gas are creating and how many billions of dollars are being pumped into the public coffers by their industry. That is much more pleasant to look at than the annual loss of millions of acres of coastal land due to rising sea levels. People would much rather root for the underdog gun manufacturers than to look at the unrecognizable third graders from Sandy Hook Elementary. And people are so offended by the image of a once-attractive blond speaking through an artificial voice box that they will turn that off to watch some teen angst program with kids smoking. There is a great dichotomy in this country, between what we WANT to see and hear and what we SHOULD see and hear.

  • Lovefacts

    I agree with naming the storms after global warming deniers. However, I’d go further. I’d also name them after the companies that pay for the deniers and their bogus science. IMO, Exxon and BP would be good names for this year’s first two storms. And while these deniers can convince the gullible public, insurance companies are believers and are preparing for the worst.

    As for Coburn claiming we’re heading for an ice-age, sadly he may be right–but not in my lifetime. The ice age would be the result of sufficient ice melting from Greenland, Iceland, the Arctic, and Antarctic plus glaciers that would lower the temperature of the Gulf Stream. Thus, when the clockwise traveling Gulf Stream’s temperature matches the counter-clockwise deep water stream–they’re only a couple feet apart—both will stop moving. And guess what? An ice will hit. Of course, this will be long after massive storms and flooding. I sure wouldn’t want to own property or be living along any coast or on an island anywhere in the world. Sure hope that ice age isn’t a snowball effect one. When the entire Earth is one, giant snowball, it takes eons for the ice to disappear. Wonder what Coburn would say about spending money then?

    • RobertCHastings

      There are more than just the usual suspects, for the global warming crisis is merely an outshoot of prior crises. Many of us are familiar with ALEC, the conservative group that writes legislation for receptive legislators, who has been a huge mover in many conservative issues, such as anti-gun control legislation. Twenty years ago, very few places allowed such ready access to weapons as do so today. Thanks to ALEC and receptive legislatures (and Congressmen), guns are available to anyone who can scrape up the money and present himself to a vendor. So it is with climate change – if you say often enough that it is just a scam, enough people will begin to agree with you that change becomes extremely difficult. It doesn’t hurt to find a few dozen law makers who are willing to be coaxed to your point of view.

  • SibyllasStuff

    What a hoot to hear those names of real people whose names are out there anyway, but mentioned in such a different “in your face” way.

  • Allan Richardson

    If conservatives agree that climate change is happening, why are they arguing about whether to do something about it? If a train is coming your way, do you debate about whether to get off the track? Or whether to jump right or left? No, you GET OFF THE TRACK! Even if the economy tanks (which it will not, if we proceed intelligently and quickly), and even if some kind of sort of “socialism” is needed to feed, clothe and house people for a while, could that be WORSE than having the natural environment become too extreme for human life? Oh, right, I forgot, “better dead than Red.”

    Seriously, if your house is burning and you have to save your life, you do it DESPITE having your life savings in cash stored inside your mattress. Cash can eventually be replaced, but not your life. An economy can be rebuilt if the resources, knowledge and talent are available, much more easily than a planet. And even the rich live on the SAME planet as the rest of us. Or do they? Are the wealthiest and most powerful “humans” actually aliens who want to make our world habitable for THEIR ecosystem? If not, then they have as much of a stake in this world as we do..