Via a post on DailyKos, I learned that Organizing for America (OFA) is encouraging those of us who are concerned by the growing evidence of potentially disastrous man-made climate change to confront climate change deniers in our congressional delegation:
Climate change is real, it’s caused largely by human activities, and it poses significant risks for our health. Some members of Congress disagree with this simple, scientifically proven fact. We need to work to curb climate change, and a big step is to raise our voices to change the conversation in Washington. Call these deniers out. Hold them accountable. Ask them if they will admit climate change is a problem.
To this end OFA is putting together a Web page, “Call Out the Climate Change Deniers,” that details and sources statements made by congressional deniers.
The Missouri denialist contingent as enumerated by OFA includes the following:
–Sen. Roy Blunt:
“There isn’t any real science to say we are altering the climate path of the earth.”[source]
–Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-4):
“Enjoying another beautiful global warming day in Missouri! Rep. Skelton and the UN Summit need to quit their dist. of wealth for a hoax.”[source]
–Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-3) (who began his Washington career with a dim-witted but all-out attack on climate science):
Luetkemeyer’s legislation would prohibit U.S. contributions to the IPCC, which is nothing more than a group of U.N. bureaucrats that supports man-made claims on global warming that many scientists disagree with…. Meanwhile, our very own Environmental Protection Agency recently reported that we are undergoing a period of worldwide cooling. [source]
The OFA page, a work in progress, is, however, incomplete when it comes to Missouri climate change offenders. As you can deduce from the information presented on the Web site, On the Issues, Sam Graves (R-6), Billy Long (R-7) and Ann Wagner (R-2) aren’t any better when it comes to climate issues – just quieter. They have consistently voted against regulating CO2 emissions while wholeheartedly supporting the fossil fuel industry, subsidies and all. Both Long and Wagner, for instance, signed the Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity’s “No Climate Tax Pledge,” which states ” “I pledge to the taxpayers of my state, and to the American people, that I will oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” Wagner has also gone on the record with the belief that cap-and-trade would have no impact on global temperatures.
According to the National Journal’s Coral Davenport, the willingness of so many legislators to do the bidding of big-bucks corporate donors in the fossil-fuel industries is beginning to grate on those conservatives who realize that the evidence for denialism is bogus:
Emanuel predicts that many more voters like him, people who think of themselves as conservative or independent but are turned off by what they see as a willful denial of science and facts, will also abandon the GOP, unless the party comes to an honest reckoning about global warming.
And a quiet, but growing, number of other Republicans fear the same thing. Already, deep fissures are emerging between, on one side, a base of ideological voters and lawmakers with strong ties to powerful tea-party groups and super PACs funded by the fossil-fuel industry who see climate change as a false threat concocted by liberals to justify greater government control; and on the other side, a quiet group of moderates, younger voters, and leading conservative intellectuals who fear that if Republicans continue to dismiss or deny climate change, the party will become irrelevant.
The goal of grassroots efforts is to persuade Republicans that they’ll be rewarded if they take a stand in support of climate action-and that they could doom their party to minority status if they don’t.
Consequently, it might very well be a good time for a strategy of confrontation such as that envisioned by the OFA. So your assignment, if you choose to accept it, is to get your representatives unequivocally on the record – phone any of them, write them and ask them if they believe that climate change is happening and that it is caused by human activity that we must change in order to stave off disaster. Be sure to let our cadre of climate change deniers know that we’ll do what can to insure that their days in Washington will be numbered if they persist. It also wouldn’t hurt if you could write letters to the editor of your local paper about your representative’s denialist beliefs. No matter what you do, we need to make it clear that addressing man-made climate change is an urgent priority and that the GOP cannot sweep it under a fossil-fuel industry funded rug any longer.
*Edited slightly for style and to add inadvertent omissions.