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Climate Change Denial: GOP Members Speak Out


Recently, we reported on how recent elections potentially signify a further shift away from climate change legislation, in favor of profit-maximizing practices that jeopardize health and safety. However, Dot Earth’s Andrew Revkin brings our attention to the "Rational Discussion of Climate Change" hosted by the U.S. House Committee on Science and Technology on November 17, 2010. Revkin expresses some hope that this "(relatively) civil hearing on basic questions related to climate science and policy options" by the lame-duck congressional members is indicative of future work by incoming members. It’s possible at least two Republicans may help push their party in a different direction.

Ranking Member of the Environment Subcommittee, Bob Inglis (R-SC), had some harsh words for his fellow GOPers who are stridently disputing the truth and scientific proof of global warming: "They slept at a Holiday Inn Express last night, and they’re experts on climate change. They substitute their judgment for people who have Ph.D.s and work tirelessly [on climate change]." He points out the cogent science being presented, as well as the economic benefits of acting now.

Inglis isn’t the only Republican calling out the GOP. In the November 19, 2010, edition of the Washington Post, Sherwood Boehlert, a former Republication representative of New York’s 24th District in Congress (1983-2007), calls on "fellow Republicans to open their minds to rethinking what has largely become [their] party’s line: denying that climate change and global warming are occurring and that they are largely due to human activities." He points out that he understands "there is a natural aversion to more government regulation. But that should be included in the debate about how to respond to climate change, not as an excuse to deny the problem’s existence." As he makes clear, the science presented from experts around the globe is sound. The science should not be questioned; the questions lie in how to respond to climate change legislatively.

Will these voices be heard over the din of climate change denial? Can partisan politics take a backseat to human and national security, as well as economic competition, in order to address climate change?

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Author: The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security (CIOCS)

The Collaborative Institute for Oceans, Climate and Security is distinguished by its focus on the intersections of oceans, climate and security, and emerging associated policy and management implications. Founded at UMass Boston in January 2010, the Collaborative Institute exists to develop and communicate high-value intellectual, policy, and technical expertise to help stabilize the health of our atmosphere, coastal communities and marine ecosystems, and human/national security for all. It seeks on a global scale to create new strategic opportunities to bring innovation to science, policy and communications. Visionary, as well as opportunistic and flexible, the Collaborative Institute uses multi-sector engagement as a cornerstone of its work and uses public/private revenue to sustain its mission.

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