Sunday, July 17, 2005

RINOs On The Rampage Watch

I'm starting what I hope will be a frequent catalog of moderate Republicans who stand up to the far right. The first post is about a feud between two Republicans over global warming. House Science Committee Chair Sherwood Boehlert, a moderate and stauch evironmentalist has demanded that House Engery and Commerce Chair Joe Barton call of an investigation on three scientists who have tracked the planet's sudden rise in temperatures. Because two Canadian researchers have disputed the findings, Barton is calling on the three Americans to justify their findings. Barton notes this is necessary because:

"this review because this dispute surrounding your studies bears directly on important questions about the federally funded work upon which climate studies rely."

Boelhert's response was that his committee is the one that has jurisdiction over climate change, and that Barton is bullying the researchers because he don't like what they are saying. Boehlert notes in a letter released yesterday:

"My primary concern about your investigation is that its purpose seems to be to intimidate scientists rather than to learn from them, and to substitute congressional political review for scientific review. This would be pernicious."

I don't think there is any doubt in my mind that Barton is trying to scare the scientific community and also please the oil and gas industry, of which he has jurisdiction under. Barton already has his mind made up and he is going to make sure that the scientific community fall in line.

Kudos must go to Representative Boelhert for standing up for scientific inquiry. I can't tell you for certain that climate change is happening. But I do know that I've seen enough studies to show that something is happening and it's better to implement policies that can stem the tide the damage instead of doing nothing. Plan for the worst and hope for the best should be a conservative motto.

I worry a lot about what would happen if we don't do anything and climate change does begin to dramatically change the planet. I was reading an article by local meterologist, Paul Douglas that presents a chilling scenario of what life would be like in Minnesota 30 years from now in a world ravaged by climate change. (It's not available online at this time, but if I find it, I will share with you all.) It's a world where it's not unusual to have 100-plus days and where there are more tornadoes which are more violent. The land of 10,000 lakes is losing lakes. It wasn't a pretty sight.

Yes this is just one person's view and it could be said to be a bit over the top. We have no idea what the climate will be like in 30 years. However, do we want to take the chance. The GOP says it cares about children and values, but then why is my party so willing it seems to gamble the future of their children? What if we do see dramatic climate change. Does the GOP want to be remebered as the party that did nothing when it had a chance?

I'm thankful for Republicans like Sherwood Boehlert and hope there are more who are willing to stand up for the future and for the earth.


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