Congress GOP Threatens to Shut Down Government Over Global Warming

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June 23 2014 7:30 AM

Deniers Gonna Deny


Fire image courtesy of peasap's Flickr photostream. Earth image from NASA. Composite by Phil Plait.

Speaking of global warming, as usual ad nauseum, people who are invested in not believing in it are really digging in.

I recently wrote about President Obama announcing new EPA regulations that would cut back on the carbon dioxide produced by coal-fired power plants. Writing about the positive aspects of this, I stated:

But that won’t stop what will be an effort largely backed by the GOP to stop the enforcement of the new EPA rules at any cost. I can say this confidently based on vast amounts of evidence of past behavior (and … the current gathering of the troops by the right about these new regulations).

And hey, whaddya know? I was right. It looks like House Republicans are looking to find any way they can to prevent those regulations from being enacted, including threatening to withhold EPA funding to do it. That could in turn spark another government shutdown.

That is, simply put, insane. But then we saw this sort of ridiculous brinkmanship last year, so this outrageous behavior isn’t unexpected. I also suspect, like last time, if it happens the blame will land on the GOP. I strongly suspect this sort of thing would be beyond a bad idea in an election year.

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

Of course, the usual suspects continue to make their usual ridiculous claims elsewhere, too. On Fox News, an anchor complained that global warming deniers are getting censored in the Arizona Daily Sun, which is a pretty silly thing to say even by Fox's standards. For one thing, Fox News still exists (to our collective detriment), and they are more than willing to let deniers pollute the air. But also, it’s not censorship to not give air to ideas we know are wrong. That’s pretty simple.

Unless Fox News is willing to have a flat-earther on every time they show a map. That would be entertaining. And kudos to the Daily Sun for joining the growing list of media who will brook no denier babbling.

The breadth and depth to which the deniers will go is really astonishing. I’m actually glad I can still be astonished by it; their relentless attacks on reality haven’t jaded me yet. I hope they haven’t jaded you either. We need to remember antics like these come election time.

What they won’t admit, what they can’t admit, is that global warming is happening, it’s real, measured, and occurring right now. There is no reasonable scientific doubt that the planet is getting hotter, and the climate changing because of it. The Arctic is melting, the Antarctic is melting, and we’re seeing a host of other effects as well.

I hope that we can leave these folks behind soon enough, and get people who take our future seriously into office. We can’t keep letting obstruction and propaganda stand in the way of tackling this problem. We created it; it’s past time we started fixing it.



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