Se­nate Repub­li­cans Ig­nore Sci­ence on Global Warm­ing

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM -

Se­nateRepub­li­cans last Thurs­day re­fused to ac­knowl­edge the sci­en­tific con­sen­sus that global warm­ing is a real, man-made threat to the planet and that time is run­ning out to stop burn­ing the fos­sil fu­els sci­en­tists blame for world­wide cli­mate change.

“The Amer­i­can peo­ple need to know whether Congress is lis­ten­ing to the over­whelm­ing majority of sci­en­tists when it comes to cli­mate change,” Sen. Bernie San­ders (I-Vt.) said of his amend­ment. But in­stead of let­ting the Se­nate vote on San­ders’ sense-of-the Se­nate res­o­lu­tion, Repub­li­can se­na­tors blocked its con­sid­er­a­tion. The mostly party-line vote of 56-42 tabled San­ders’ amend­ment.

The Se­nate de­bated the res­o­lu­tion on the same day the Bulletin of Atomic Sci­en­tists moved its “Dooms­day Clock” ahead two min­utes. Be­cause of global warm­ing, the bulletin said, Earth is now closer to hu­man-caused dooms­day than it has been in more than 30 years. Only last week, sci­en­tists at two United States gov­ern­ment agen­cies – NASA and the Na­tional Oceano­graphic and At­mo­spheric Ad­min­is­tra­tion – sep­a­rately re­ported that 2014 was the hottest year on record. “On this is­sue, the sci­en­tists have been vir­tu­ally unan­i­mous in say­ing that cli­mate change is real, it is caused by hu­man ac­tiv­ity, that it is al­ready caus­ing dev­as­tat­ing prob­lems in the United States and around the world and that it is im­per­a­tive that we trans­form our en­ergy sys­tem away from fos­sil fuel,” San­ders said in a floor speech. “Do mem­bers of Congress be­lieve the sci­en­tists or not?” the se­na­tor asked.

The mea­sure was of­fered as an amend­ment to a bill that would force ap­proval of the Key­stone XL pipe­line. San­ders has ar­gued against con­struc­tion of the pipe­line be­cause it would pro­mote greater ex­ploita­tion of some of the dirt­i­est oil on the planet and in­crease green­house gas emis­sions that cause global warm­ing. The project would ex­ac­er­bate global warm­ing by mak­ing it eas­ier for a Cana­dian company to ship oil from Al­berta’s tar sands re­gion to re­finer­ies in Texas along the Gulf of Mex­ico.

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