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Given the ideologically polarized state of US politics, it should come as no surprise that in the wake of the party's major victory in the midterm elections, the GOP is closing down the committee designed to address climate change. It's not surprising, no -- remember, 50% of the new Congress doesn't believe climate change is real. But it's still distressing. The symbolic implications of the move are hard to ignore: Our federal government is no longer going to concern itself with climate change.Politico can hardly contain its excitement: "The House Democrats' prized global warming committee died quietly on Wednesday. It was four years old." It goes on to sensationalize the downfall of an office that sought to address a preeminent global threat: "Created in 2007 by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to draw attention to the causes and effects of climate change, the committee didn't have much of a chance to survive the upcoming Republican takeover. Wednesday, the axe fell."
And then, Politico has the equally depressing quote from the Republican National Convention Chairman:
"We have pledged to save taxpayers' money by reducing waste and duplication in Congress," said Michael Steel [sic], spokesman for incoming Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio). "The Select Committee on Global Warming - which was created to provide a political forum to promote Washington Democrats' job-killing national energy tax - was a clear example, and it will not continue in the 112th Congress."Hooray! No more waste, duplication, or job-killing energy taxes! No more taking advice from stupid scientists! No more even acknowledging that the vast majority of those dumb scientists still say man is causing the climate to change by continuing to emit greenhouse gases into the environment at an ever-accelerating rate! Never mind that this was the hottest year yet observed in the global temperature records! It's just sunspots, anyway, and you can't "legislate the weather" even if you tried! Carbon dioxide is good for plants, didn't you know -- we should be emitting more greenhouse gases!
Sigh. Excuse the sarcasm and all the exclamation points, but these are precisely the kind of arguments made by many of the politicians that have just won power in the House. It's truly not a far cry from the ideology will soon be governing the House of Representatives on the matter. And if you're among those who feels that climate change is a giant liberal hoax, you're probably glad to have it that way. For the rest of us, prepare for a couple intensely aggravating years of inaction on the biggest problem currently facing mankind.
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