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Friday, July 30, 2010

Republicans Filibustering Our Future

Melting sea iceGlobal warming is a hoax. Before you buy that line, it pays to consider which side of the aisle is making that claim. If the fact that these people come from the same side as those who believe that Barack Obama is an illegal alien, that creationism makes more sense than evolution, and that George W. Bush was a perfectly competent president doesn't convince you that they're either crazy or dishonest, then consider that many of the "climate skeptics" are formerly out-of-work tobacco lobbyists. These are not the most level-headed or trustworthy people.

But these people were the winners last week, when the Senate killed cap-and-trade legislation. Opposing the legislation was the minority position in Washington, but in the Senate, the minority rules. "We've always known from Day One that to pass comprehensive energy reform you've got to have 60 votes," said Sen. John Kerry. "As we stand here today we don't have one Republican vote."

Which makes the timing of a report by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration pretty bad. A week too late to influence the debate, the new report calls global warming "undeniable."


Melting glaciers, more humid air and eight other key indicators show that global warming is undeniable, scientists said on Wednesday, citing a new comprehensive review of the last decade of climate data.

Without addressing why this is happening, the researchers said there was no doubt that every decade on Earth since the 1980s has been hotter than the previous one, and that the planet has been warming for the last half-century.

This confirms the findings of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which reported in 2007 with 90 percent certainty that climate change is occurring. The IPCC also said that human activities contribute to this phenomenon.

"The new report was released after US Senate Democrats delayed any possible legislation to curb climate change until September at the earliest," the article goes on. "Prospects for U.S. climate change legislation this year are considered slim."

Just great...

The report cites 10 key indicators that show that the planet is warming:

-- Higher temperatures over land

-- Higher temperatures over oceans

-- Higher ocean heat content

-- Higher near-surface air temperatures (temperatures in the troposphere, where Earth's weather occurs)

-- Higher humidity

-- Higher sea surface temperatures

-- Higher sea levels

-- Less sea ice

-- Less snow cover

-- Shrinking glaciers

This was all predicted by the "junk science" of climate researchers. "The seven indicators expected to rise in a warming world rose over the last decade, the report said," Reuters reported, "the three indicators expected to decline did so over that same period." If climate change is a bunch of hooey, how is it that climate scientists always seem to get it right in the end? Weird... It's almost like they're correct or something.

There's a move to reform the filibuster in the Senate right now. It's long passed time for a fix. There is no way that the founders of the nation intended for the Senate minority to be given a de facto veto. The prospects for reform are reportedly mixed, but I don't think there's any doubt that something needs to change. For those who'd make the "what comes around, goes around" argument, I'd point out that the filibuster is currently causing more problems than it solves.

This has got to stop.


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