Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Republicans warming up to idea of climate change but not to the idea that humans cause it

The Obama administration this week announced a series of climate change actions that include: identifying solutions; expanding access to data; preparing the next generation of medical and health professionals; releasing a draft climate and health assessment report; and bringing together medical and health professionals, academics and others for discussions and information sharing.

While Republicans have in the past refused to acknowledge climate change, especially effects humans have on it, many party members are beginning to warm up to the idea of climate change, Jake Whitney reports for The Daily Beast.

Every Republican presidential candidate in 2012 questioned or denied human-caused climate change, and last year several Republicans in Congress continued to hold firm to that claim, Whitney writes. But in January of this year every Republican senator except one voted for a resolution that stated global warming was real, and 15 Republicans, including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who today announced his candidacy for president, voted for a separate resolution—which didn't pass—that said humans contributed to it. (Daily Mail graphic)
No longer are Republicans using the phrase, "I'm not a scientist" when asked about climate change, Whitney writes. "Of course, with the 2016 Republican primaries on the horizon—and the pandering to the hard right that goes with them—any progress is precarious. Indeed, to some conservative politicians the mere existence of a cold winter still apparently trumps warming trends that can be observed over 250 years."

But not everyone is ready to jump on the bandwagon. "In February, Sen. James Inhofe, the new head of the Senate Environment and Public Works committee, stood on the Senate floor and tossed a snowball to the presiding officer," Whitney writes. “'You know what that is?'” he asked, in an attempt to mock the reality of global warming. 'It’s a snowball. . . . It’s very, very cold outside.'” (Read more)

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