Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Over at The New Republic, Rebecca Leber is gleeful:
Democrats Are Trolling Republicans So Hard on Climate Change

Democrats see weakness in the GOP's stance climate change, and they’re doing everything to exploit it. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has promised an open amendment process on the bill to approve the Keystone pipeline, and on Wednesday the Senate will take up six of those amendments -- two of which are Democratic efforts that will put Republicans on the spot: Are you a climate change denier or not?

Senator Brian Schatz's amendment declares that climate change is real and caused by human activity, while Sheldon Whitehouse's asserts climate change is not a hoax. Independent Senator Bernie Sanders's has a third amendment, stating the U.S. has a responsibility to act on pollution, which could be taken up at a later point.
But Republicans have wriggled out of this trap. They've taken advantage of the noncommittal wording of the Sheldon Whitehouse amendment and voted for it en masse:
The U.S. Senate has voted overwhelmingly, 98 to 1, to approve an amendment affirming that climate change is real, and "not a hoax."

... One lawmaker, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has even called climate change "a hoax."

The amendment, from Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D–RI), takes a veiled jab at Inhofe, asking simply whether it is “the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax."

In a surprise this afternoon, Inhofe rose before the vote to ask to become a cosponsor of the Whitehouse amendment. Scattered applause greeted his remarks. "The climate is always changing," he said, and always has. The hoax that he has talked about, he suggested, is that there are people who think they are so "arrogant" and "powerful" that "they can change climate."

... Inhofe was one of the last Sentors to vote, in favor. The lone no vote came from Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS).
Yes, Inhofe has used the word "hoax" in reference to climate change -- but what he said was this:
"With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people? It sure sounds like it."
All he had to do today in order to support the Whitehouse amendment was agree that, um, the climate changes. He still doesn't believe those changes are caused by humans, or that they amount to global warming. So he agreed to an amendment that reads, in its entirety, "It is the sense of the Senate that climate change is real and not a hoax," and all but one of the other Republicans followed suit.

Trolling averted. And now there's no reason for Republicans to vote for any of the other amendments that specifically ascribe climate change to humans, because they're on record as not being deniers, even though they still are deniers.

Senator Dan Coats expressed the sense of the GOP caucus with this tweet:

Yeah, that's confusing climate and weather. But Heartland America won't mind that.

I predicted last week that if a stronger amendment from Senator Bernie Sanders is put up for a vote, nearly all Republicans will vote no, with no hesitation. I stand by that prediction.


UPDATE: The Brian Schatz amendment stating that "human activity significantly contributes to climate change" just got only 50 votes in the Senate, 10 fewer than it needed to overcome a filibuster. If it's voted on, the Sanders amendment won't even get that many.


UPDATE, THURSDAY: Regarding the Schatz amendment:


Ken_L said...

"Climate change is real and humans contributed to it" was also defeated, according to Vox.

At least there is some consolation in the fact that no Democrats voted against the amendments. Was Manchin in the chamber?

Philo Vaihinger said...

No statistically significant climate change in going on two decades. Hmm. Question who or what caused it seems kind of moot.

Victor said...

Outside of the bubble of idiocy you live in, there's tons of evidence all over the place that the planet is warming rapidly, and that CO2 levels are rising, and that we humans are the cause of it.

The only thing that's moot, is the opinion of fact-denying people like you and that imbecile Senator from OK
Fine company you're in with, Philo!

Ten Bears said...

Like yesterday, it'll be in the upper fifties on the Oregon High Desert today with mostly clear skies. At four thousand feet in elevation just thirty miles from what were just twenty years ago prolific Cascade Mountain glaciers close enough to the forty-fifth parallel to call it halfway to the North Pole. Climate change is happening, fool, I have watched it happen.

You are a clear and present danger to my grandchildren's survival.

Ten Bears said...

In context, upper fifties is twenty-five to thirty degrees above the historic average, though only fifteen to twenty on the twenty year running average. So too the snowpack, an unfortunately vital economic resource. Most sky resorts here are closed, with no snow, and those open are reporting not quite fifty inches as twenty-five percent of "normal", of the twenty year running average. That falls closer to twelve to fifteen percent of the three and four hundred inch historical average of the hundred years and more my family has been here.

Climate change is happening. I've watched it happen.