Via Think Progress we learn that Missouri is among the ten states that got the most disaster aid in 2011 and 2012. Lots of that aid was in response to events that reflect the increasing toll that human activity is taking on the climate:
There is new evidence that climate change played a role in the extreme weather events of 2012. A recently released analysis from the American Meteorological Society, for example, determined that:
Approximately half the analyses found some evidence that anthropogenically caused climate change was a contributing factor to the extreme event examined, though the effects of natural fluctuations of weather and climate on the evolution of many of the extreme events played key roles as well.
Think Progress notes the interesting fact that these states are responsible for many of the climate-science deniers in congress:
Interestingly, many of the states that received the most federal recovery aid to cope with climate-linked extreme weather have federal legislators who are climate-science deniers. The ten states that received the most federal recovery aid in FY 2011 and 2012 elected 47 climate-science deniers to the Senate and the House. Nearly two-thirds of the senators from these top 10 recipient states voted against granting federal emergency aid to New Jersey and New York after Superstorm Sandy.
As I have pointed out previously, you can count the Missouri GOP delegation among those 47 climate-science deniers in Congress. Think Progress also does well to note the hypocrisy involved – GOP Senator Roy Blunt, who voted against Superstorm Sandy aid, has been first in line demanding relief from the numerous climate disasters that have struck Missouri’s farmers over the past several years. Blunt was not alone – all the GOP members of the Missouri House delegation voted against Superstorm Sandy relief, while grubbing for every cent they can get for Missouri’s misfortunes. Part of the GOP resistance to Superstorm Sandy aid was based on the fact that it called for funds to rebuild in ways that could mitigate future damage from frequent repeats of the superstorm, implicitly endorsing the findings of climate scientists that predict increasingly violent weather events.
What can motivate individuals who join a political party that has for decades boasted of its fiscal conservatism to blindly persist in a spurious climate-science denialism that is proving increasingly costly to both their constituents, the welfare of their state, and to the nation as a whole? After all, it’s clear that playing mean when the disaster strikes New Jersey, New York or other states and throwing cash around liberally when it hits home won’t balance the books in the long run.
I’m sure that the answer to that question is complex, but there are some simple aspects involved and they have to do with Big Oil money and the struggle for partisan advantage that animates today’s GOP. Just consider that:
HSBC Securities’ analysis shows that oil companies will lose up to 60 percent of their value if a policy aiming for the internationally-recognised two-degree climate policy objective is implemented.