For those who want to believe the GOP has a Neanderthal view of climate change, some votes on the Senate on Wednesday should clarify how reasoned the GOP is compared to their leftist colleagues.
Asked to vote on a resolution from environmentalist Democrat Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island–who once blamed the Moore, Oklahoma tornado on global warming–that stated, “climate change is real and is not a hoax,” every GOP senator except one, Sen. Roger Wicker of Mississippi, agreed that climate change is genuine. The Senate vote was 98-1.
But before climate change fanatics could start chortling, two other votes showed that although the GOP agreed climate change was real and even acknowledged that human activity had an effect on climate, the GOP believes that the effects of humans on the climate are minimal.
One vote arose from a proposed amendment approving the Keystone pipeline that asserted, “Climate change is real; and human activity contributes to climate change.” The amendment also allowed that a State Department study was correct to “suggest that significant impacts to most resources are not expected along the proposed Project route.” Only 15 GOP senators agreed, as the proposal was rejected, 59-40.
A second, harsher proposal, which failed 50-49, attempted to expand the notion of human effect on climate change and also excluded the language stating that the pipeline would not affect most resources. It stated, “climate change is real (and) human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” The effect of using the word “significantly” as well as the elision of the language regarding the pipeline’s effects caused only five GOP senators to vote for the proposal.
Thus the GOP essentially said that although climate change can be affected by humans, only minimal effects can be catalyzed. The White House’s ploy may have been directed at GOP Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, a critic of climate change supporters. But Inhofe pointed out the true hoax, saying, “Climate is changing, and climate has always changed, and always will, there’s archeological evidence of that, there’s biblical evidence of that, there’s historic evidence of that, it will always change. The hoax is that there are some people that are so arrogant to think that they are so powerful that they can change climate. Man can’t change climate.”
Inhofe had already taken issue with Barack Obama’s State of the Union Speech verbiage regarding global warming, arguing, “Why the pain for no gain? As The Wall Street Journal put it when reporting on just one of the president’s many climate regulations, this is a wealth redistribution scheme being imposed by the president through the EPA… This is the real climate agenda the president chose not to address tonight. It is no wonder because it would impose the largest tax increase in the history of America.”