As delegates from around the world convene in Paris to determine how we as a planet can minimize, or reverse, the negative impact we have had on the health of the earth, American Republicans double down on their “denial” and claims that it’s a hoax, with some going as far as officially banning the use of the words “climate change.” Florida was the most recent to be exposed for this dangerous nincompoopery. But they’re not alone.
Staff at Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources were ordered to remove any mention of “climate change” or any indication that they might be agreeing that there is a “scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.”
Adrian Stouffer, former Marketing Manager for the Department’s Office of Education said, “A lot of it was re-worded to not use the words ‘climate change’, and other parts were deleted.”
According to The Allegheny Front Environmental Radio website:
In the “Why Conserve?” section of the site, a page labeled “Climate Change” no longer appears. The page appeared on an archived version of the site in 2011. It read: “The overwhelming scientific consensus is that the earth’s climate is warming rapidly due to the atmospheric buildup of heat-trapping emissions, primarily carbon dioxide pollution from power plants and automobiles.” The page does not appear in a subsequent archive of the site from August, 2012.
Image Source: AlleghenyFront.org
North Carolina and Louisiana, two more coastal states that–like Florida–are most susceptible to rising sea levels and are losing coastline as a result, have also passed legislation banning policies that are based on “the latest scientific predictions of how much the sea level will rise.” This was in response to a prediction by the Coastal Commission that the sea level could rise by 39 inches within the next century.
Comedian Stephen Colbert who hails from North Carolina joked at the time, “If your science gives you a result you don’t like, pass a law saying the result is illegal. Problem solved.”
Tennessee joined Louisiana in passing laws that require state and local education authorities to “assist teachers to find effective ways to present the science curriculum as it addresses scientific controversies” and permit teachers to “help students understand, analyze, critique, and review in an objective manner the scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses of existing scientific theories covered in the course being taught.”
In other words, they are allowed to discredit scientific findings if they disagree with them and teach creationism.
The thing that makes Florida a bit different than the rest is that the problems are here now, not just a prediction. The New York Times reports:
The national climate report found that although rapidly melting Arctic ice is threatening the entire American coastline, Miami is exceptionally vulnerable because of its unique geology. The city is built on top of porous limestone, which is already allowing the rising seas to soak into the city’s foundation, bubble up through pipes and drains, encroach on fresh water supplies and saturate infrastructure. County governments estimate that the damages could rise to billions or even trillions of dollars.
Miami’s Mayor, Philip Levine states, “Sea level rise is our reality in Miami Beach. We are past the point of debating the existence of climate change and are now focusing on adapting to current and future threats.”
Democratic Florida Senator, Bill Nelson, agrees, saying:
“With sea level rise, you’ve got to get to core of the problem. You have to lessen the amount of CO2. It’s politically treacherous and costly. But at the end of the day, something like that is going to have to get passed. Otherwise the planet is going to continue to heat up.”
But then they have to contend with the State Republicans: Senator Marco Rubio, former Gov. Jeb Bush and the current governor, Rick Scott who either will not discuss the subject or act in the best interests of their corporate overlords rather than the citizens and taxpayers in their state.
They better come to grips with the facts sooner rather than later. Later will certainly be too late.
Image Source: EPA.gov
Featured image from Daily Caller.