Boehner and the conservative fight against climate change

Another quick post today, basically sending you over to DeSmogBlog, where they have more details in addtion to the video below. The video clip is of House Minority Leader John Boehner basically poo-pooing climate change, specifically carbon dioxide emissions as something that need to be regulated. 

Dealing with climate change deniers is something that gets a lot of play in the blogosphere, and there are blogs/sites that are basically devoted to explaining why the "skeptical" standpoint on climate change is unreasoned and unjustified. Here, we don't deal a lot with debunking these ridiculous claims, both because those other sites do it well and also because it more widely disseminates that illogical viewpoint. When it comes to public figures, especially government officials, I take a slightly different stand. These people represent a direct interface between the science, the public, and the policy, and when congress-people or other government officials ignore the entire science part of the issue, pandering to some fringe subset of the public and undercutting effective policymaking, it hurts our society. Representative Boehner is not an isolated incidence of climate change denialism in Congress, and in fact as the DeSmogBlog post reminds us, the GOP leadership seems to hold fictitious ideas about climate change. This viewpoint is predominantly held by far-right to mid-right conservatives, for no really apparent reason except that climate change has some association with environmentalism, and conservatives have in the past 2-3 decades been (and again apparently without a good reason) anti-environmentalism.

Adopting appropriate measures to combat climate change would be hard enough for a purely centrist congress that accepts scientific findings, but throwing these irrational arguments into to the pot will only make the job more difficult. My fear is that whatever climate policy can escape from congress will be impotent, and the practices that have lead to global warming will continue unabated for another decade before effective measures can be instated, and by then it could be too late to stop a good deal of life-altering climate change.

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