Year 4, Month 4, Day 23: It’s Not THAT Kind Of Party

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Jay Bookman has a nice piece detailing Jim Inhofe’s idiotic “cross-examination” of a senior admiral:

Earlier this week, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, the senator and the admiral shared a little colloquy on the question of climate change. It went something like this:

INHOFE: “Admiral, I’d like to get clarification on one statement that was I think misrepresented. It was in the Boston Globe it reported that you indicated, and I’m quoting noew from the Boston the Globe now, the biggest long-term security challenge in the Pacific region is climate change. I’d like to have you clarify what you meant by that. … ”

Locklear did not back down, saying that the Pacific Rim is an area of high population growth, and that much of that growth is occurring in coastal or litoral areas, where people would be vulnerable to storms, flooding, rising sea level and other problems. He went on:

“From 2008 to 2012, about 280,000 people died (in natural disasters in the Pacific region). It was not not all climate change or weather-related, but a lot of them were due to that. About 800,000 people were displaced and there was about $500 billion of lost productivity. So when I look and I think about our planning and I think about what I have to do with allies and partners, and I look long-term, it’s important that countries in this region build capabilities into their infrastructures to be able to deal with the types of things … ”

At which point Inhofe broke in:

“OK, I — sir, I’m going to interrupt you here,” Inhofe said, “because now you’ve used up half my time, and we didn’t get right around to — is it safe to say that in the event that this — that the climate is changing — which so many of the scientists disagree with — in fact, when the Boston Globe, coming out of Massachusetts, made a statement, perhaps arguably one of the top scientists in the country, Richard Lindzen, also from Massachusetts, MIT, said that was laughable.”

He then changed the subject to China.

What a turd. April 11:

If James Inhofe didn’t want Samuel Locklear to tell the truth about climate change’s impact on geopolitical security, he shouldn’t ask the Admiral a direct question in a Senate committee hearing. While the Oklahoma Senator is well-known as the GOP’s uber-denialist, his readiness to disregard a senior military leader’s sworn testimony makes a mockery of his party’s ostensible respect for our nation’s armed forces.

The fact is that even if the accelerating greenhouse effect is not causally linked to human CO2 emissions, the world is still getting hotter. Those spiking temperatures are real, and their effects are devastating, as farmers in Inhofe’s drought-plagued home state know only too well. Admiral Locklear gave a direct answer to a direct question, but Senator Inhofe’s refusal to hear an answer that didn’t fit his ideology is further confirmation that the Republicans are now, in Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s phrase, the “party of stupid.”

Warren Senders

Year 2, Month 3, Day 21: Rep. Upton? It’s David Koch For You, On Line Seven.

The Boston Globe runs an AP piece on a recent study that defines the task of the Navy in coping with a post-global-warming planet:

WASHINGTON—The Navy and Coast Guard need to prepare for more missions in the Arctic, and plan for potential damage to bases from rising sea levels, as global warming increases, the National Research Council said Thursday.

“Naval forces need to monitor more closely and start preparing now for projected challenges climate change will present in the future,” Frank L. Bowman, a retired Navy admiral who was co-chairman of the committee that wrote the report, said in a statement.

The new analysis noted that ocean sea lanes could be regularly open across the Arctic by 2030 as rising temperatures continue to melt the sea ice. It said the Navy needs to increase its cold-weather training and operations programs so it will be able to protect U.S. interests in the region.

Sent to the Boston Globe (my hometown paper!) on March 12:

As evidenced by their recent travesty of a hearing on the future of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives is immune to scientific evidence on the critical issue of climate change. Apparently they are also unaffected by the opinions of experts from the CIA experts, which last year began including global warming and its epiphenomena in its analyses of potential political trouble-spots. It doesn’t take a crystal ball to predict that the GOP will also discount the National Research Council’s advice to the Navy on preparation for a drastically hotter world. In fact, there’s only one source of authority that could transform their reflexive hostility to science. If international oil corporations changed their positions to favor reality-based climate policies, a Republican turnaround would follow as the night the day. Until that day comes, sadly, we can expect more of the same: denial and delusion.

Warren Senders