According to research by Think Progress, 50% of the incoming GOP senators and representatives deny the existence of manmade climate change. Perhaps that’s not surprising when you realize that less than two years ago, Republican House leader John Boehner claimed, “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical,” in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
Why are conservatives so adamant in denying the science of climate change? Is it the same people that deny evolution? Is it all religious based delusion? Or, is it so important for them to deny that our society must change the way we do things if we are to survive in the long run? Is it something much simpler;economic self-interest generated by the immense sums of money raised by corporate interests who want to continue business as usual?
Over the next two years, it is crucial for progressive Americans to become fully engaged in the public dialogue. Tuesday’s election is overwhelming proof that the right-wing has been incredibly successful in shaping the dialogue. According to ClimateWire, even before the election, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Ca.), the ranking member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said a probe of the ‘Climategate’ scandal will top his environmental agenda if the Republicans take over the House next year and he is chairman.
Already, Pres. Obama indicated he was giving up on comprehensive climate and energy legislation at this time:
“I think there are a lot of Republicans that ran against the energy bill that passed in the House last year and so it’s doubtful that you could get the votes to pass that through the House this year or next year or the year after,” Obama told reporters at the White House press conference on Wednesday.
And so, once again, a critically important issue will be put on the back burner. There should be no compromise, the science is overwhelming.