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Every so often, you stumble upon something that you just can't seem to find anything nice to say about. In this case, it happened when it became clear that there was a single man who could potentially decide the fate of the Waxman-Markey bill; what could be the best hope the US has for fighting climate change. And that man doesn't even understand what climate change is.Mathew Yglesias explains the puzzling conundrum in his blog:
Those of us who are interested in climate change but not congressional procedure junkies have been surprised to learn that comprehensive energy legislation apparently needs to make its way through the House Agriculture Committee. And those of us who aren’t House Ag junkies have been surprised to learn that the Chairman of the Committee, Collin Peterson of Minnesota, is apparently quite conservative on environmental issues. Consequently, he’s emerged as a major impediment to action. And also as the kind of guy who doesn’t seem to even understand what climate change is.
You see, when recently asked about climate change, the Minnesota politician offered up this choice nugget of wisdom on the matter.
We’ve just had the biggest floods and coldest winters we’ve ever had. They’re saying to us [that climate change is] going to be a big problem because it’s going to be warmer than it usually is; my farmers are going to say that’s a good thing since they’ll be able to grow more corn.
Woops. I mean, that statement is absurd even if you're a full blown climate change denier. As Yglesias points out, "Sadly, he’s not joking about this . . . farmers in any given place have worked over the years to achieve a setup that’s well-suited to the climate they face. If you drastically change the climate, that’s a big problem." It means new equipment, new irrigation considerations, new schedules, etc. It means trouble. Never mind that climate change will bring more severe storms and worse flooding--not exactly farmers' faves.
In fact, the more I think about it, Peterson's reasoning may land him in a strata all his own--beyond climate skeptic, past climate change denier, and into . . . climate change enthusiast? Watch out for this sly new brand of climate action opponent to take the world by storm soon.
Check the Wonk Room for an entire step by step rebuttal to Peterson's ridiculous statement.