Colorado's GOP Senate Candidates: Denial, Denial, Denial

It’s been known for a long time that Republicans are less likely to believe global warming is real and mostly our fault compared with Democrats. And Tea Partiers are even less likely to believe it than more mainstream members of the GOP. But take heart: a Gallup poll just last year showed those numbers are improving. In fact, more than half of Republicans believe global warming is real, and almost 40 percent believe it’s manmade.

So if that’s the case, shouldn’t the percentage of Republicans running for office somehow reflect those percentages? If, say, seven Republicans were running for a senate seat in, say Colorado, wouldn’t you maybe expect that statistically about three of them would match the perspective shared by the party members they’re hoping will vote for them?

Well think again. Out of the seven Republicans running in Colorado, guess how many acknowledge that anthropogenic global warming is real (a fact accepted by more than 97 percent of climate scientists):  ZERO!

Earlier this week, six of the candidates were at a debate and flat out denied this basic concept. (The seventh, Rep. Cory Gardner another climate change denier who is also expected to run wasn’t at the debate.)

Watch the clip and see just how quickly they can deny the facts:

How many people in Colorado think global warming is real? According to a report from the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication, a whopping 70 percent. Only 19 percent of Coloradans agree with these Republican candidates.

Partisan loyalty often wins out, but if I was a Republican, I would have a hard time voting for a candidate who disagrees with me, 70 percent of my state, and a significant percentage of my fellow GOP members.

But I guess if I was one of these seven candidates, I would care less about my voters and more about the fossil fuel companies and lobbyists helping to fund my campaign.

Renewable Energy Continues to Grow

“Progress lies not in enhancing what is, but in advancing toward what will be.”
Khalil Gibran

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) released an interesting report last week. It turns out that more than 99 percent of all new electricity capacity added in the U.S. last month came from renewable energy.

A total of 325 megawatts of new capacity was installed in January with solar making up the bulk of it at 287 megawatts, then geothermal with 30 megawatts, wind with four megawatts, and biomass with three megawatts. (One megawatt was listed as “other.”)

When 99 percent of the increase is made up of renewable energy this is good news, but renewables still make up only a small percentage of all electricity generated in the U.S., a little more than 16 percent of the total. The bulk still comes from fossil fuels: coal, oil, and natural gas. Continue reading

CNN Discusses Climate Change: Intelligently, Factually, Correctly

Earlier this month, I posted a blog about how NBC’s “Meet the Press” held a debate about climate change. Turns out, I’m not the only one who thought such a debate was only going to help perpetuate the myth that the subject of global warming and climate change isn’t resolved. CNN posted this video where Dr. Michio Kaku—scientist and science communicator—and Jack Mirkinson—senior editor for the Huffington Post—discuss why the media continue to present human impact on climate change as questionable.

Dr. Kaku makes a particularly good point that helps offer some perspective: in the scientific community, this issue is settled. Where it’s not settled is in the court of public opinion.

We need to start listening to the scientists rather than the general public on this one.

Debate Isn't Debate When the Issue is Already Resolved

“In the scientific community this is not really a debate about whether climate change is real. The consensus is that it is.”
David Gregory, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” before proceeding to host a “debate” on the topic

“Meet the Press” held a “debate” this past weekend on its Sunday program. Perhaps you saw it. It was a “debate” about climate science and had Bill Nye, the Science Guy on the side of scientific consensus, and Marsha Blackburn, a Republican congresswoman from Tennessee on the side of denial.

Sorry, but I can’t hold back my contempt on this one. I keep putting the word “debate” in quotation marks because it wasn’t one. In my mind, a debate is a discussion with opposing views on a subject that has opposing views. But climate change isn’t somethings with opposing views. There’s the truth, and there’s head-in-the-sand denial. If we’re going to have “debates” about climate science, we might as well hold debates about gravity. Or Einstein’s theory of relativity. Or evolution. (I know some religious folks have a problem with that concept, but even Pope John Paull II was able to acknowledge the Church isn’t always right when he apologized about the persecution of Galileo for stating the sun was the centre of our solar system, stating “faith can never contradict reason.”)

Although Gregory referred to “the majority” of scientists (greater than 97 percent for those of you at home keeping score) attributing climate change to human activities, he then went on to fuel the “debate” by pointing out that “there are certainly some in the scientific community who don’t believe that is the case.” But as science has proven many times in the past, just because some people believe in something—even if it’s a lot of people—doesn’t make it real. Science and evidence help to establish what’s real, and that’s helped us to understand that global warming si real, and mostly our fault. Scientists are as certain of this as they are that smoking cigarettes cause cancer. Continue reading

Climate Change: Our Most Fearsome Weapon of Mass Destruction

“The science of climate change is leaping out at us like a scene from a 3D movie. It’s warning us; it’s compelling us to act.”
Secretary of State John Kerry

John Kerry was in Indonesia this past weekend and had some strong words to say about climate change. He referred to it as the “world’s most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction (WMD).

Sound a bit harsh? Oil Change International has completed an analysis which shows that “all of the scenarios used by the State Department” in their assessment of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline “result in emissions that put us on a path to 6 degrees C (11°F) of global warming according to the International Energy Agency (IEA).” Sounds like mass destruction to me.

Secretary of State Kerry put it this way: Continue reading