|The House Republican leadership. All but |
one Republican voted that climate change
is not a threat. (SF Examiner)
Rep. Henry Waxman was one of the Democrats who, during the 111th Congress, led the charge to move the U.S. to finally address climate change-causing emissions in a systematic way, however flawed and watered down the bill ultimately was.
Yesterday, as an amendment to a House bill that seeks to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate such emissions at all, Waxman offered the opportunity for Congress to reaffirm EPA's "endangerment finding" that greenhouse gas emissions are caused by humans and endanger public health by contributing to climate change.
This is not news. This is not being questioned on a serious level in the scientific community. But the House defeated the measure, 240-184, offering yet another "f*$% you" to science, in favor of politics. Only one Republican voted in favor of the amendment.
Paul Krugman's column in the Times on Sunday shares a laughable (yet depressing) account of Republican hearings on climate change, in which a scientist who was called to testify in order to refute the science of climate change was immediately shunned by Republicans when he presented findings that, in fact, empirical data points to the reality of human-caused changes to our climate.
And so, the House will overwhelmingly pass legislation by the end of the week repealing EPA's endangerment finding that greenhouse gases are bad for us. Luckily, there were only 50 Senators who were willing to do the same, which is not enough for a 3/5 majority needed for cloture. But the fight will continue over the next two years (including throughout the current budget "negotiations") to strip the U.S. of its last-resort mechanism to help address one of the most serious problems we are facing as a nation and as a planet.