The House Energy and Commerce Committee is considering legislation to block the EPA from reducing greenhouse gas pollution, and given the current state of affairs it’s no surprise that yesterday every member of the majority party on the committee – all 31 of them – voted down three amendments that would have at least acknowledged the scientific experts on climate change. The reality of climate change is also affirmed by the Department of Defense, but apparently what the DoD thinks is not important any more, either. So just who are these committee guys listening to?
Climate Change and See-Saws
Together, the three amendments would have asserted that global warming is a real phenomenon, that it is linked to an increase in certain pollutants, and that the increase is due to human activity. Yes, we all know that termites make their contribution, too, but the key factor is the human-related increase. It doesn’t have to be an impressive-looking increase, just enough to disrupt the balance. If you have two elephants equally balanced on a see-saw, you don’t need a whole other elephant to throw things out of whack. Any kid in a playground could tell you that, but I guess it’s been a long time since certain members of Congress have hung around in playgrounds – and besides, it’s pretty hard to find a see-saw in a playground any more.
What Ray Mabus Said
Fortunately, you don’t have to consult a kid about climate change, you can just listen to Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who has been shepherding the Navy toward alternative energy. Mabus has emerged as an eloquent Department of Defense spokesperson on energy, climate change, and the national security implications of a continued reliance on fossil fuels, whether foreign or domestic.
From Whose Mouth to Congress’s Ear?
If certain members of Congress are not inclined to consider the opinion of science and national defense experts, it’s fair to ask where they are getting the information that enables them to craft a reasoned, thoughtful opinion on serious legislative matters of long term national significance. That’s easy enough to find out. The House of Representatives has an easy online contact-your-congressperson tool, and you don’t even have to know who your representative is. Just plug in your zip code and it tells you, then look them up on the Energy and Commerce Committee website. Hey, there’s my guy…
Image: Monkey on by changehali on flickr.com.