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While Our Planet Melts, GOP Pleads Ignorance

Memo Pad Politics

While Our Planet Melts, GOP Pleads Ignorance

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It is irreversible now.

And there’s a word that should get everybody’s attention. Last month, two groups of scientists, publishing separately in the journals Science and Geophysical Research Letters, issued reports that came to alarmingly similar conclusions: The melting of the West Antarctic ice sheet has reached a point of no return. If greenhouse gases stopped spewing forth tomorrow, we’d still face the grim prospect of steadily rising seas from this unstoppable melt.

So it would be a good idea to save what ice we still can. Or else condemn our grandchildren to vie for beachfront property in St. Louis on a planet of shrinking land, diminishing resources, and growing population.

This week, thankfully, the Obama administration — once noteworthy chiefly for its disinterested torpor where climate change is concerned — proposed politically risky new Environmental Protection Agency standards requiring deep cuts in carbon pollution levels at U.S. power plants by 2030. And the opposition party? Their attitude is summed up by the headline of a recent story on Politico: “Republicans on climate science: Don’t ask us.”

Writer Darren Goode reports that the GOP has adopted a new global warming “talking point.” Which is that they are not equipped to talk about it. As in Speaker John Boehner telling reporters, “Listen, I’m not qualified to debate the science over climate change.” And Florida governor Rick Scott demurring that, “I am not a scientist.” And a spokeswoman for the billionaire Koch brothers, the deep pockets of the right wing, saying, “We are not experts on climate change.”

The gutlessness, disingenuousness and sheer cynicism of this new tack are difficult to overstate.

For the record, most of us are not experts on climate science. But most of us have the good sense to listen to those who are.

The right, however, prefers to pretend there is some sort of “debate” in the scientific community over whether human activity is raising the temperature of our one and only planet. There isn’t. Indeed, that finding is accepted by 97 percent of climate scientists. This, according to the American Association for the Advancement of Science that, with 121,000 members, is the world’s largest general science group.

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Leonard Pitts Jr.

Leonard Pitts Jr. is a nationally syndicated commentator, journalist, and novelist. Pitts' column for the Miami Herald deals with the intersection between race, politics, and culture, and has won him multiple awards including a Pulitzer Prize in 2004.

The highly regarded novel, Freeman (2009), is his most recent book.

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75 Comments

  1. sigrid28 June 4, 2014

    What America needs is a theme park to off-set the Holy Land Experience in Orlando. Let’s call it the Climate Change Experience, with displays for all of our coastal cities in the years they are currently expected to melt into the oceans along with the Antarctic ice shelfs. While standing knee-deep in flood waters (an admixture of sewage and fossil fuels) visitors could see how the Statue of Liberty looks with a life jacket or how what’s left of New Orleans compares to what we had left after Hurricane Katrina. A House of Horror rides could carry visitors by rail through a forrest fire while wearing smokejumpers’ gear, a ride that ends by getting doused with fire retardant from a fly-by helicopter. Another ride could simulate the mudslide experience, another the fun of guessing whether or not the bumper car you are riding in will fall into a sink hole. A game of hand-eye coordination would allow kids to pick good stuff out of charred fire debris and take it home with them. Another computer game would explore overpopulation while visitors sit crowded together at antiquated computers and the power source goes on and off again, just like in a power outage. Then step on the moving sidewalk taking you from LA now back to LA then, Phoenix now back to Phoenix then. Food and beverages would be very expensive at the Climate Change Experience offering miniscule portions, to give visitors a taste hunger and thirst in the late 21st century. Admission? Each visitor brings their parking ticket for validation, and they pay an amount equivalent to MPG for the car they drive today. They will come away with great souveniers, like their own carbon-based footprints and stuffed animals representing species that will be extinct by the next century. On the way out, visitors will participate in a survey, selecting names of Republican members of Congress to be given to future super storms and hurricanes. Ironically, we might end up with Boehner’s Blizzard and Hurricane Rubio, but they won’t know why.

    Reply
    1. TZToronto June 4, 2014

      Excellent post! The sad thing is that most Tea Partiers and their ilk don’t believe in science and assume that the 97% of scientists who agree on the direction and magnitude of climate change are being paid off by . . . someone. Wow. That’s a lot of money coming from an unknown source. Of course, the actual science that goes into the dire predictions of a very different world are beyond the level of understanding of these far rightists. As a result, they assume that the statistics, the study of ice cores, and the temperatures of the oceans are simply unreliable intellectual drivel. And intellectuals are all liberals who want to raise taxes and deficits and take money out of the pockets of the job creators. Makes you want to scream.

      Reply
      1. dalyrymple June 4, 2014

        Why don’t you try screaming at the sun, comrade….or God….or whatever…..there’s nothing you can do about it……relax….You’ll feel better about yourself…….Those “far rightists” are going to give you an ulcer along with your sun burn…..

        Reply
        1. TZToronto June 4, 2014

          I have screamed at the sun and God, but nothing happened. I have no ulcers and no sunburn.

          Reply
      2. Allan Richardson June 4, 2014

        This is a classic case of projection: conservatives accuse LIBERALS of believing in climate change because they are (allegedly) being paid off to believe it, because that is how THEY roll, believing or disbelieving according to their source of funding. They refused to believe smoking was bad for the health (heck, one of their idols even MADE cigarette ads as an actor before becoming President) because Big Tobacco was paying them not to believe it. And they refuse to believe that there are health hazards, corruption hazards, pollution hazards in totally unregulated business, because they are paid not to believe that (what’s wrong with mercury, isn’t that what the alchemists were working with to achieve eternal life?). And their “religious right” wing refuses to believe man is causing problems for future generations because they are “paid off” emotionally with the comforting thought that Jesus is going to beam THEM up to Heaven before DELIBERATELY messing up the Earth far more than man can do alone, so that there will not BE any future generations to worry about.

        Personally, the Bible I have read seems to say to me that (1) we do not know when that will happen, and (2) when it does, whoever is alive will be judged by how much they did to KEEP the Earth in repair, and how much they did to relieve the suffering of their fellow human beings. Although I do not take that as literal fact, I do see the spiritual emphasis: work to help bring Heaven on Earth for all, as if Earth is going to be here for a very long time. Then if God does come sooner than you expect, you will be praised for keeping busy, rather than condemned for giving up on the whole mission.

        Reply
        1. TZToronto June 4, 2014

          We of the Progressive stripe tend to think logically, not so much emotionally and definitely not with envy of the Right. (There’s not much there to be envious about.) Part of the problem of the Right comes from a resentment of the intellectualism of the Left. One reason so many college professors lean hard to the left is that they are thinkers, not simply believers. They also don’t work with their hands, getting much more done with their minds. They also engage in efforts that the Right sees as waste–such as the study of ancient history or English Literature. Why should anyone get paid for studying and teaching Shakespeare? And who can understand all the Old English anyway (even though it’s actually modern English). You are correct, though, that this looks like a case of projection–We on the Right would say anything for money, so those 97% or scientists must be getting paid (by whom?) to push climate change. They fail to see that it would be a lot easier to pay off a small number of willing scientists to skew their findings than to pay off the 97% who see so much evidence of climate change. As Deep Throat said, follow the money. Who has the most to gain from denying climate change?

          Reply
          1. Allan Richardson June 4, 2014

            Since the US was founded as a frontier nation, settlers west of the established cities (originally, that meant west of the Appalachians) were so busy making a living under harsh conditions, where the knowledge of academia was of no immediate help, that a frontier psychology of anti-intellectualism developed, which was noticed by a literate visitor, Alexis de Toqueville, as far back as the 1830s during his tour of America (not including Canada). Combined with the spirit of rebellion from England (something Canadians were spared to a degree), this became a rebellion from “book learning” as well. This only began to change in the late 19th century, when technology flourished, but even then only to the extent of honoring PRACTICAL book learning. For example, Edison has become an American legend, although his brute force tinkering approach to inventing was less efficient than a knowledge of the latest science would have been (he might have only had to test a few hundred, rather than several thousand, materials for the filament of his light bulb, with a more up to date knowledge of chemistry), while his AC promoting ex-protege Nikola Tesla (whom he fired!), and fellow European Charles Steinmetz, helped their new boss Westinghouse to perfect AC technology despite Edison’s efforts to discredit AC. I think he was unwilling to study the math to calculate phasors, personally. Yet Americans still idolize Edison, while very few of us, until recently, even heard of Tesla and Steinmetz (Tesla only because of the car company named after him).

            Many classic Western movies have a scene in which the new “schoolmarm” tries to get kids to come to class, and their ignorant (and proud of it) dads, who want them to help on the ranch, proclaim “I never learned to read, and I turned out OK.” And even today, Americans consider the “practical” courses (engineering, not pure science; math needed for engineering, not pure math; law; business; accounting; and various kinds of medicine) superior to the “impractical” ones (art history; philosophy; English literature; drama; pure math and science, etc.) which are said to be only good for “do you want fries with that” jobs.

            So, to the Tea Party and their religious right kin, real thinking is “un-American” and suspect, near to Communism in fact. As the bumper says, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.”

            While I for one say that God made (or set up to evolve) the human brain for a purpose: to begin to understand the universe, and as a side benefit to make our lives (ALL of our lives) easier and more comfortable, as well as more interesting.

            Reply
          2. latebloomingrandma June 4, 2014

            Yes! I’ve been saying for some time, God gave us human beings a frontal lobe for a reason.

            Reply
        2. rkief June 5, 2014

          It’s interesting to note that some of the same scientists who studied and declared that tobacco is not harmful _ as well as the organizations to which they belonged – are the leading scientists and organizations who deny the involvement of fossil fuel use in Global Warming and Climate Change.

          Reply
          1. Allan Richardson June 6, 2014

            Mystery solved,
            One factor to blame.
            Nickels and dimes versus
            Ego tripping billionaires.
            You know what I mean!

            Reply
      3. rkief June 5, 2014

        Great logic TZ, but your statement should read that “Tea Partiers don’t WANT (or find it profitable) to believe in science etc.” This attitude extends, unfortunately, to Americans in general because we can’t handle the truth. Believing the truth requires sacrifice, self-control and self-denial, qualities that too many Americans – thanks to the “public servants” that they put, and keep, in office – no longer value or adhere to.

        If 97 percent of scientists would agree that driving bigger gas guzzlers, heating bigger homes, trashing environmental restrictions and generally putting more carbon into the atmosphere would reverse GW/CC and stabilize the climate, Conservatives (even though they know better) would greet their conclusion with wild acceptance.

        Reply
    2. dalyrymple June 4, 2014

      You ARE daft…..

      Reply
    3. babby660 June 4, 2014

      I have 2 words for this scenario: “Soylent Green”

      Reply
    4. Dominick Vila June 4, 2014

      I loved your post!

      Reply
  2. AlfredSonny June 4, 2014

    Are the Republicans try to disagree with the Church by proving that there is no goodness in a bad person? Since day one, I have yet to see them agree or praise the POTUS elected by America.

    Reply
    1. dalyrymple June 4, 2014

      They must be racists, right comrade? It’s the only answer that you all can come up with….. morons, all of you……

      Reply
      1. ManWhoThinks June 4, 2014

        Well, speaking as the biggest moron around, you should be able to recognize your ilk, but alas, this time you are wrong. Climate change is real and it is caused by human activity. We may not be able to erase all of the effects, but we must do the responsible thing and change our selfish wealth-inspired practices.

        Reply
      2. babby660 June 4, 2014

        that’s sure what it looks like to me. they’re taking their sweet time coming around to the obvious conclusion

        Reply
      3. Allan Richardson June 4, 2014

        Not ONLY because they are racists, but that certainly has made the hatred more intense and more irrational. They even oppose things Republicans originally PROPOSED (like cap-and-trade carbon credits, earned income tax credit, and Romneycare) because Obama says the same thing. Rev. Al Sharpton calls this OFIS, for “Obama’s for it syndrome.”

        Apparently, for many of us, it’s easier to condemn an idea as “socialist” for no good reason when the idea is associated with a black (or worse, “mongrel”) President than with a white one.

        Reply
      4. highpckts June 4, 2014

        Yes Comrad, you are a racist but that has nothing to do with global warming moron! We ALL are contributing to it and we ALL have to be cognizant of that fact! You are too busy calling names!!

        Reply
      5. jmprint June 4, 2014

        Not racist, just ignorant.

        Reply
    2. babby660 June 4, 2014

      that’s because they’ve declared all-out war on him.

      Reply
    3. John Lincoln June 4, 2014

      praise him for what ////
      he can kiss my ass

      Reply
  3. AlfredSonny June 4, 2014

    Isn’t it much easier and less productive for one to sit on a fanny, criticize and brainwash gullible voters than to provide CONSTRUCTIVE criticism AND work to solve issues for America?

    Reply
  4. winds7seas June 4, 2014

    This seems to be the latest Republican position – claiming they’re unqualified to decide – which is a move from their previous position of flat-out denial. This suggests to me that of course they believe, but it would be political suicide for these politicians to admit it to their extremist right-wing base. They’ll try to ride with this position for a few years and milk all they can from it in the form of campaign contributions and votes, then they”ll finally have to accept the conclusions of the scientific community who, unlike them, ARE qualified to make those decisions. I just hope the earth can survive their procrastination.

    Reply
    1. TZToronto June 4, 2014

      It’s interesting that when Republicans say they are not qualified to comment on climate change, they are, by default, saying that climate scientists are qualified and that these experts know what they’re talking about. Unfortunately, they’re also saying that the great unwashed of the Tea Party, et al., should make up their own minds, and we know where their minds are vis-a-vis climate change.

      Reply
  5. dalyrymple June 4, 2014

    The planet is not melting. Are you daft? 97%? Prove it. Baloney, B.S., comrades……

    Reply
    1. Michael MacPherson June 4, 2014

      You republicans do not do fact checking because you are afraid of what you will find. That is why you listen to the lies, propaganda and disinformation fear factories of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh etc. The only scientist that are global warming deniers are paid for by right wing organization. You republican shills never come up with any proof of any of your talking points, but because you cannot handle the truth, all you know how to do is call names and put down those who speak the truth. The next time you listen to Fox News, when they spew their talking points, propaganda and disinformation, they will never quote where they got their information, because it is all opinion from Roger Ailes, in contrast listen to a left wing station, they not only say where they get there information, but also show video proof as well. Go ahead do a search on Roger Ailes on the Internet and see what you get, you will not like it. So stop being brain washed, act like an adult, fact check and if you are going to ask me or anyone else to show our proof show your proof as well.

      Reply
  6. Dominick Vila June 4, 2014

    The main reasons the United States stands alone among large Western countries on the need to address the root causes of climate change are the influence of special interests, in this case energy conglomerates, on U.S. policy making, and the fact that debate on this issue invariably focuses on whether or not the problem is man-made.
    It really doesn’t matter if the main contributor to global warming is a natural phenomena or carbon emissions. The fact is that the melting of the polar caps and glaciers is happening at an unprecedented rate, and that it influences weather patterns with obvious long term consequences.
    Our ambivalence on this issue, which is not limited to the GOP and includes our population at large, is likely to cause serious problems in decades to come. What could be mitigated today, at a relatively low cost and before major damage is done, is likely to cost trillions of dollars, which our descendents will have to pay for. We are passing the buck so that our corporations can continue to profit and we have enough money in our pockets to buy the latest electronic gadget Made in China.

    Reply
  7. i2grok June 4, 2014

    The two parties should work together as if they were composed of adults
    Perhaps you have qualified this statement with the modifier “sane”.

    Reply
  8. disqus_il6KG9d3VM June 4, 2014

    The GOP are deniers of anything that angers their big money donors. Even though 97% of all scientists, and the visible evidence we are living through today they just say NO! Problem is, we all have to suffer the consequences of their ignorance. We all have to live with their obedience to the NRA. We are the gun death capital of the civilized world. They deny that it is the gun that kills…then why do they want one? We will see many more gun deaths, and we will have to live with the consequences. Tea party of the deniers.

    Reply
  9. Daniel Jones June 4, 2014

    Math is a liberal lie to these jerks.
    So is justice.
    So is reason.
    So are you, whoever you are.

    They aren’t just *pleading* ignorance, they *are willfully ignorant* and it’s time to just face it.

    Reply
  10. Ed Portela June 4, 2014

    Ha, ha, haa! It is sooo funny how The National Memo and its naive Lefty readers do not mention what our Muslim Prez has done on the Berghdal case, an atrocity.
    The National Memo’s silence on this barbaric treason to our national security is simply DEAFENING.
    P.S. – The strategy of trying to deflect attention to the liberal crazies’ “cash cow”, global warming (or climate change, take your pick) is soooo transparent and obvious …

    Reply
    1. Peter Brown June 4, 2014

      Ed you want cash cow, check out BP, Exxon, Shell, Chevron. Bergdahl is an American soldier brought home from an illegal war, something your ilk are experts in creating. Check out Bush, Cheney and our own little homefront war sponsored by demons like you and funded by your party. Do not forget to renew your NRA card, the may be running out of victims withour your assistance.

      Reply
      1. Ed Portela June 4, 2014

        Peter: you are just another brain-dead Liberal (any other kind??) who agrees with ANYTHING Obama does, no matter how atrocious and, in this case, treasonous and stupid to the nth degree. It will have nefarious (look it up, Pete!) consequences.

        Reply
    2. highpckts June 4, 2014

      And you and dalyrymple are extremely dangerous!! Not to mention brainless!!

      Reply
      1. Ed Portela June 4, 2014

        highpckts: I repeat: It is sooo funny how The National Memo and its naive Lefty readers do
        not mention what our Muslim Prez has done on the Bergdahl case, an
        atrocity.
        The National Memo’s silence on this barbaric treason to our national security is simply DEAFENING.
        And, highpckts, I remember you: a reader described you once as “dumb as a box of nails”. He was spot-on.

        Reply
        1. highpckts June 4, 2014

          Barbaric treason??? ROFL!!! Because the President is black does NOT make him a Muslim!! Back at ya on the box of rocks big guy!!

          Reply
        2. jmprint June 4, 2014

          Ed Portela be specific about what bothers you about our President Obama.

          Reply
        3. ManWhoThinks June 5, 2014

          Okay Ed, you win! You are the stupidist morion on the internet, congrats!

          Reply
          1. Ed Portela June 5, 2014

            ManWho… whattt??!!
            You do not think at all because you need a (working) brain for that.

            Reply
          2. ManWhoThinks June 5, 2014

            You are just too stupid to argue with.

            Reply
          3. Ed Portela June 5, 2014

            Man, you are funny….
            Stupid as a box of nails, …. but FUNNY nonetheless.
            Man: Go back to your Mom’s basement and don’t argue with people who DO have a brain.

            Reply
        4. rkief June 5, 2014

          As do most Conservatives, Ed, you see things in black and white (no racial pun intended) with no nuances, because it requires only blind obedience to the corporate powers that be.

          Reply
          1. Ed Portela June 5, 2014

            rkief: My argument is so easy to understand that even a complete Leftie moron can understand it; you, however, seem to be having a bit of a problem ?
            DUH !!

            Reply
          2. rkief June 5, 2014

            What argument?

            Reply
    3. atc333 June 4, 2014

      Typical Right Wing ploy, when losing an discussion, change the issue. I for one would rather go down in history making a mistake about bringing home a potential deserter, than going down in history as being a member of a political party blocking all attempts to slow and even stop climate change though cutting carbon emissions and developing clean energy, wind, solar, water power than be a part of the large numbers of Right Wing deniers who will have to explain to their grandchildren why they chose to be so dumb, and distort climate change reality to the American people,. To continue to do so will be at the cost of trillions of dollars in future long term climate change losses in life,property and the average American’s quality of life.

      Reply
      1. Ed Portela June 5, 2014

        atc: In typical, moronic Leftie Liberal fashion, you missed (but of course !) my point which is NOT whether this Muslim-lover traitor Bergdahl deserved to be brought home or not.
        My point, and the reason why this maneuver by Obama is a travesty of his oath of Office, is that he surrendered FIVE (5) motherfucker PIGS and terrorist cowards to inject themselves (yet again!) into their “to-the-death” terrorist struggle against America and Americans. This, whether The National Memo/Obama’s brain-dead minions accept it or not, is CRIMINAL !!

        Reply
        1. jmprint June 5, 2014

          What is criminal is to keep someone locked up without charging them. The only one brain-dead on this thread is YOU. There is nothing new with trading prisoners.

          Reply
          1. Ed Portela June 5, 2014

            jm: Can you get thru that thick skull with no brain inside the FACT that Obama exchanged ONE crazy deserter for FIVE crazy PIGS that hate our guts?
            Do you have ANY doubts as to what these 5 sons of bitches will be doing 4 months from now?
            Need a hint, jmprint? DUHHH !!!

            Reply
          2. jmprint June 5, 2014

            Portela, all the prisoners at Gitmo are going to be released, sooner or later, a grand opportunity comes up and the smart man takes advantage of the situation, I’m sure their are others making decision along with the president, surely you don’t think your smarter than all of them. It will be one year before they are released fro Quatar, our ally.

            If not those pigs there will be more, even home grown, get a grip and let the President do his job, and the military take care of their job.

            Reply
        2. atc333 June 6, 2014

          And obviously you missed the point that these 5 are considered to be “enemy combatants”, or prisoners of war, and would have to be released within the next year following the cession of hostilities by the U.S. under International law. Here at least we received a US soldier in return..

          Things are never as black and white as you would like to believe…

          Reply
    4. jmprint June 4, 2014

      The discussing already happened on another page, you are just a little slow or a little lazy.

      Reply
    5. quickmatch June 5, 2014

      Ed, what has this to do with climate change? Do you have nothing to add to the discussion on climate change, so you shift to your next ultra-right narrative on why we should start leaving our captured soldiers behind when the war is finished? You realize that you are way, way in the minority on this, doncha, Ed?

      Reply
  11. Peter Brown June 4, 2014

    I sell biodiesel facilities, have campaigned long and hard for significant changes to our energy mix and the what always astounds me is that we know what is going to happen! We know who is doing it and why (money and power), We know what has to be done to reverse global warming. We know how to create income and jobs from the reversal process (but not for those who are damaging us now). We know how long it will take and who can actually get it done. It is frightening to watch this rapid descent into oblivion orchestrated by people with money and power. We know that the misinformation campaigns against us is being funded by well-defined groups and we cannot stop them (we own no media or governments).

    We despair when we see fracking praised as a money making operation for new businesses to make millions not from the gas or from ripping off our natural resources, these groups have written about how to make millions cleaning up the fracking pollution efforts. It is the same reason BP is no into renewables anymore unless it is profiting from the Gulf of Mexico watershed for ethanol production. We see University of Berkeley accepting $50 million after they produce one of the most mendacious paper ever written about renewable fuels, the Platzek report.

    Reply
    1. jmprint June 4, 2014

      By the time presidential elections comes around we (in Texas) are going to start seeig the real effects of the fracking. Houses are being destroyed by cracking, and becoming unstable, because of earth quakes, we get to fire up our water, already we have a shortage, but the fracking industry is consuming and destroying what belongs to us, we don’t benefit not one bit. The price of gas won’t go down and even if it does the damage to our health is not worth the gazillions the oil companies and thier supporters make.

      Reply
      1. rkief June 5, 2014

        Look up “Rex Tillerson,” CEO of the largest natural gas company in the US, who, along with wealthy influential neighbors, is suing a company fracking in their area because it causes a lot of noise and traffic problems and lowers their property values.

        Reply
        1. jmprint June 5, 2014

          I’ve seen it on the MSNBC, the list of bad things keeps growing, just the fact that they were able to convince congress to pass laws, where the public doesn’t have to know what chemicals they are using is soooo scary.

          Reply
  12. Michael MacPherson June 4, 2014

    We have a rigged country, the republicans are the political arm of Wall Street, every decision they make has to do with protecting and furthering the causes, growth and profits of corporations. Nothing the GOP does has to do with helping the American people, jobs or the economy. The GOP is against climate change because doing anything to stop global warming will severely harm the fuel industry. The fuel industry is responsible for about 90% of the pollution in the air and if 97% of scientists are right, global warming, Coal fired power plants, fracking, oil spills, and all forms of transportation that use fossil fuels are culprits of air, water tables, ocean and land pollution. The fossil fuel industry is the biggest power house on Wall Street, so that is why Wall Street is using their political arm, the GOP to do everything they can to stop every attempt at halting global warming. No matter what your beliefs are, there are only too ways you can go (1. If you believe global warming is a natural occurring phenomenon and the GOP and Wall Street are right, that global warming is not caused by the fuel industry, then do nothing and we will lose a third of our land mass on a polluted unfit for life planet, the end result is if wrong we will lose about a third of our land mass and our planet will be a polluted crippled world, and we will have lost the time table for the opportunity to save the planet.)(2. If we stop polluting our planet and start phasing out fossil fuels and go to renewable energy and all our forms of transportation use green fuels and if 97% of our scientist are right, then we will have stopped global warming and save the planet. If wrong and fossil fuels are not causing global warming, the end result is a clean planet with fresh breathable air, on a planet with a third of its land mass gone.)). So do we keep going the way we are and lose the opportunity to save the planet if fossil fuels are what is causing global warming? Or go with clean renewable energy and green fuels and if fossil fuels are causing global warming we will have saved the opportunity to save the planet and have fresh clean air.

    Reply
    1. TZToronto June 4, 2014

      Exactly. If we work to remove the pollutants that are driving climate change, we can’t lose. However, Big Oil won’t surrender without a fight. When they do, who do you think will be in control of the alternatives to filthy hydrocarbons?

      Reply
      1. Michael MacPherson June 4, 2014

        Wall Street and the fuel industry will never give up. We have to vote all politicians who take bribes from Wall Street and its corporations out of office. Wall Streets
        political arm the GOP controlled Congress have to go, the five chief justices on the US Supreme Court bench who are bought and paid for by Wall Street (Scalia, Alito, Thomas, Kennedy and Roberts) have to be impeached, We have to get the news out of the hand of the corporations, so we can have a free press once again and stop the republican propaganda and disinformation fear factories.

        Reply
    2. Allan Richardson June 4, 2014

      Ironically, if the “masters” of Wall Street were actually RATIONAL, they would see that helping EVERYONE become, or stay, prosperous will be better for THEM in the long run.

      If hostile intelligent ETs were TRYING to destroy life on Earth and make it hot enough and empty enough for THEIR species to move in and colonize, they would do EXACTLY what these climate change deniers are doing. Come to think of it, are we really sure THEY are human?

      Reply
  13. midway54 June 4, 2014

    Among the posters on this thread is one who contributes under the name dalrymple. The content of his or her posts is insubstantive, vacuous, and repetitious of the pure rot that the poster apparently spends time absorbing from some rightwing crackpot media source. Over the past couple or so years a poster on HuffPost and a few other threads would spread the same kind of blather and then abruptly disappear likely at the protests made to HuffPost and the other sites. Then, a little later on, would appear in the threads a series of posts under another name with the same or almost identical language lacking substance but including the sarcasm and name-calling. These posts however regularly included a feature that clearly showed the poster to be the same person using different names: It was the irresistible, perhaps manic need contemptuously to address those with whom he disagreed as “comrade.”
    Now comes dalrymple on exhibit to all of us.

    Reply
  14. Mark June 4, 2014

    The only debate in the scientific community is whether the GOP qualifies as an intelligent form of life. In my humble opinion (and I’m no expert), no, no, and Hell No!

    Reply
  15. Ford Truck June 4, 2014

    I have come to believe the problem with the GOP is religion. Remember they all claim to be ‘devout,’ ‘washed in the blood,’ ‘born again,’ christians.

    For them, their beliefs tell them:

    1 – Humans are too puny and impotent to effect God’s ‘creation’ so humans can’t be responsible for climate change.

    2 – Genisis 1:28 says that God said: “…fill the earth, and subdue it…” so they see climate change as part of Gods instructions.

    3 – God will step in and save our ass against climate change if things get too bad.

    Like GW Bus, in spite of all the evidence, they are too stupid to believe in evolution, why would anyone think they would have the brains to understand the evidence of human-caused climate change?

    Reply
  16. howa4x June 4, 2014

    The GOP has become the Greedy oil party and is beholden to oil and coal interests over the interests of our children and grand children this party has become. Now they only appeal to a set of older more angry and mean spirited Cliven Bundy types. Greedy people who only see the world through their own interests and care little for future generations. These people don’t care because they won’t see the worst of this in their lifetimes, but their grandchildren will. Any religious person or Evangelical who supports this greed really has no clue about what Jesus said since they care nothing about the children of this planet.

    Reply
  17. JDavidS June 4, 2014

    Of course they’ll plead ignorance…It’s their fall-back position and a natural defense for them. God knows, they can’t pretend to be intelligent. They’ve proven otherwise far too many times.

    Reply
    1. brucelanc July 21, 2014

      You global warming cultists are nuts. Why haven’t you committed suicide yet? That’s your only ethical response if you really believe your carbon footprint is destroying the planet. Get it done.

      Reply
  18. Annemb June 4, 2014

    I don’t believe the GOP is “ignorant about climate change. They just won’t give up the $$ gifts from lobbyists of companies that pollute this planet.

    Reply
  19. Morgan Sheridan June 5, 2014

    The implications of human activity on the environment were already being discussed by the late 1960s. Projections for what we’re facing now had already started to be made then and they were definitely erring on the side of optimism. The oil industry subverted the conversation by the time I was an adolescent, much the same way the tobacco industry did after the Surgeon General’s reports about smoking came out.

    Reply
  20. Wemble June 5, 2014

    Republicans worship the $ and fawn over and toady to the rich and wealthy, but they are proud of their ignorance and embrace it like it is a noble and righteous cause.

    Reply
  21. Paul Dorsey June 7, 2014

    I’d love to see a Tea Party Republican who just found out he has cancer go to 100 specialists and decides to dismiss all but 3 of them and go with the one doctor that tells him to put his faith in the Almighty!!! We are in a crisis situation that will only get worse with global warming. It is so depressing that we have the GOP firmly denying the science at the expense of our planet and our future generations! I feel so sad that our grandchildren will inherit a world far different than what we have today. It is absolutely critical for the sake of the planet to get rid of the Republicans in Nov and beyond!

    Reply
  22. kingartie1 June 8, 2014

    By claiming they are not “scientists”, they are disavowing their earlier–but not at all old– claims that were de facto scientific analyses that climate change WAS NOT caused by human activity. Was not anthropogenic. (That word probably terrifies and intimidates some of them, as they struggle to parse its meaning and its application to data and theories.) Ten years or less ago, the Republican’t mouthpieces and their Tealiban bosses were collectively CERTAIN that climate change was not in process; then, they asserted arrogantly that climate change was not precipitated by humans; and now, no longer ready, willing or able to deny climate change without coming off like a flat-earth troglodyte or a Luddite, they proclaim — lying like sociopaths — that they’re not scientists.
    They should have could have said that at the beginning–we knew it anyway –and not wasted AN ENTIRE DECADE during which a great deal of mitigation could have been done. Carbon taxes, much more effective EPA regulation, the passage of legislation mandating far greater national energy efficiency. Etc. But virtually to a man (and most of them WERE men) these “visionaries” chose the cheap, sleazy I-wanna-be-elected path instead of true social service. I hope that at least some of them–the cabals from Florida, Louisiana, North Carolina, et al–have enough self-respect to look back on their years in Congress and regret their ignorant intransigence and pay-for-play inaction. Chances are high it will prove to have been a tragically missed opportunity.
    I hope for at least three things: one, they read mails like these and get a twinge of remorse, two, their houses or the houses they bequeath to their descendants that have been purchased on betrayers’ blood money are washed into the ocean, and three, their James Bond villain gangster minds eventually make the connection between their failures as public servants and the killer storms/floods/wildfires/beach erosion that will soon draw an irrefutable link between fossil fuel greenhouse gas and the political and ethical corruption that precluded action on climate change at the exact time when it was most needed. Not scientists? Not humanitarian, either. Inhofe and his ilk should ask themselves why they are serving, then get the hell out of D.C. and stop pretending they are competent or have any sense to make.

    Reply
  23. cgosling June 9, 2014

    The “I’m not a scientist” comment by Republicans is so dumb and yet they don’t understand why it is. How about “I’m not and engineer,” so I can’t drive a car, or “I’m not a doctor,” so I won’t have cancer treatments, or “I’m not politician,” so I can’t vote.

    Reply
  24. Angel Perea June 9, 2014

    THE INCONVENIENT TRUTH: Time for a reality check. There they go again with political cold war of words! Does anyone find curious that our best American scientists with NASA expertise in have concluded that the over whelming evidence of climate change and its potential damage is a critical issue? “A new study partly-sponsored by NASAs Goddard Space Flight Center has highlighted the prospect that global industrial civilization could collapse in coming decades due to unsustainable resource exploitation and increasingly unequal wealth distribution.” http://www.theguardian.com/environment/earth-insight/2014/mar/14/nasa-civilisation-irreversible-collapse-study-scientists.

    Yet these right wing ignoramuses continue to play political games with our children’s future living conditions! Such stupidity of these mentally low intelligence high school drops is remarkable! But this is America, they do have the freedom to express the ignorant opinions, but no own made up facts!
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/05/06/5-scariest-charts-national-climate-assessment_n_5272374.html

    https://www.nationalmemo.com/climate-change-assessment-paints-stark-picture-potential-damage/

    Reply

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