Republican Congressman to Introduce Climate Change Bill

Repub windmillEventually the truth, like cream, rises to the top, though it sometimes takes a long time. Perhaps it’s because we live in a world with so much technological capability that allows us to merely think of something and it becomes true — which has led us to believe whatever we wish to be true is true. In other words, some of us appear to have lost the distinction between fact and fantasy.

Sadly, there are a number of things out there that, no matter how hard we might wish it otherwise, are facts. Death and taxes are two (though if you have enough money you might be able to avoid the second one). The fact that the massive amount of combustion products we’ve emitted over time has substantially altered our planetary climatic system is a third. It seems that the facts are on one side, while the money is on the other, which might explain the standoff we’ve been seeing in Washington.

There is a young man in Congress, a Republican named Chris Gibson, who has announced his intention to put forth a resolution that will help others “recognize the reality” of the situation. Gibson, who represents the 19th district in New York (Hudson Valley), is basing the move on what he has observed:

“My district has been hit with three 500-year floods in the last several years, so either you believe that we had a 1 in over 100 million probability that occurred, or you believe as I do that there’s a new normal; and we have changing weather patterns, and we have climate change. This is the science.”

Gibson, who was just re-elected in November, does not have a particularly strong environmental record. The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) gave him a rating of 43 percent this year, though it has improved steadily since his 17 percent rating in 2011, which suggests that his position is evolving. Last year he voted against fracking, though he also voted to prioritize oil drilling on public lands. This year he voted against undermining the EPA and the ability to use sound science, while at the same time, voting for the Keystone XL pipeline.

Gibson stands in marked relief from fellow Republicans like Sen. James Inhofe, who are outright deniers. Gibson understands which side the facts are on.

“I hope that my party — that we will come to be comfortable with this, because we have to operate in the realm of knowledge and science, and I still think we can bring forward conservative solutions to this, absolutely. But we have to recognize the reality.”

Gibson hopes the bill will, “harken us to our best sense, our ability to overcome hard challenges.”

Specifics of the bill are not yet clear. Gibson acknowledges signing the Koch brothers pledge, but denies that the pledge was to “do nothing” about the problem. Instead, as he points out on his website, he merely pledged to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.” 

That sounds like a matter of semantics, though it does leave open the idea of a carbon tax in which the funds collected are redistributed back to consumers, a popular option. As to why he felt the need to sign the Koch brothers pledge is another question, though it could have something to do with financial support. He claims it’s because he opposes raising energy prices.

Still, Gibson has voted in support of renewables and against subsidies for fossil fuels, making him a true rarity among Republicans. What remains to be seen is what kind of support he can garner among his Republican colleagues. Perhaps the time has come for a meaningful first step.

Image compilation by RP Siegel 

RP Siegel

RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. His work has appeared in Triple Pundit, GreenBiz, Justmeans, CSRWire, Sustainable Brands, PolicyInnovations, Social Earth, 3BL Media, ThomasNet, Huffington Post, Strategy+Business, Mechanical Engineering, and engineering.com among others . He is the co-author, with Roger Saillant, of Vapor Trails, an adventure novel that shows climate change from a human perspective. RP is a professional engineer - a prolific inventor with 52 patents and President of Rain Mountain LLC a an independent product development group. RP recently returned from Abu Dhabi where he traveled as the winner of the 2015 Sustainability Week blogging competition.Contact: bobolink52@gmail.com

17 responses

  1. AGW is a scam but Republicans can ‘sign on’ by going all innovation and invention without the socialism and communism. Conservatives can do this for 2 reasons. For energy independence and to take the political football away from the Libs. We can do a ‘Manhattan Project’ on fusion, thorium power and economical smokestack filtration to save coal jobs. This innovation first, NOT socialism, will resonate with the voters and sweep some more of these eco-communist out of office.

  2. Decades ago, our President Ronald Reagan called for further studies on human-induced global warming. He felt then that the science was incomplete, and we needed more study and better modeling. He was not a denialist.
    Now, the science is much further advanced than it was when Mr. Reagan occupied the Office. Modeling has improved as more data are collected and more comprehensive models are constructed. And the scientific consensus is far stronger that human activity is changing our climates as the planet warms.
    So, in the coming months and year, find more Republicans acknowledging that the best science available tells us that humans are the major contributors to the present warming and changes in climate. Conservatives are becoming more convinced of the need to reduce emissions, and are pushing the conservative party to dispense with the denialist rhetoric (and there’s essentially no science, really, behind any of that rhetoric) and to deal with the very clear reality of AGW.

  3. AGW is a scam, a fraud and a lie.
    AGW scientific theory stands or falls on the premise that man-made CO2 levels, as they rise, force corresponding global temperature increases which trigger assorted climatic catastrophes.
    This is false and has been discredited years ago. After two-plus decades of alleged drastic CO2 level rise, global temperatures have NOT increased. Actual NASA satellite data proves this. Even the chair of the IPCC and the UK Met Office have been forced to concede this.
    Without objectively verifiable global temperature increases, AGW cultists are reduced to INFERRING such a rise by pointing to various climate ‘events’ and ad hoc pseudoscientific ‘theories’ like sea ice formation, both unusually high AND unusually low, ‘ocean heat content’ and ‘conveyor belt breakage’, often contradictory and even nonexistent as evidence of AGW. At least one alleged ‘study’ attacks the very competence and credibility of NASA satellites, scientists and data management.
    This is ridiculous, unscientific and deceptive.
    The one thing AGW cultists have in common is a visceral distaste for capitalism, industrialism and Americanism. Even in defeat they express their desire to stifle all three. It’s obvious that AGW is not going to be their vehicle for this and their venom is chilling to see.

      1. Utterly false. According to Think Progress’ own charts the difference in global temperature between 2000 and 2014 is less than 0.2 degree. Ridiculous, negligible and irrelevant.

        1. Here is a quote right from NOAA

          “Global Highlights

          The combined average temperature over global land and ocean surfaces for October 2014 was the highest on record for October, at 0.74°C (1.33°F) above the 20th century average of 14.0°C (57.1°F).

          The global land surface temperature was 1.05°C (1.89°F) above the 20th century average of 9.3°C (48.7°F)—the fifth highest for October on record.

          For the ocean, the October global sea surface temperature was 0.62°C (1.12°F) above the 20th century average of 15.9°C (60.6°F) and the highest for October on record.

          The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the January–October period (year-to-date) was 0.68°C (1.22°F) above the 20th century average of 14.1°C (57.4°F). The first ten months of 2014 were the warmest such period on record.”

        2. NOAA relies on suspect data from national agencies like the Australian Bureau of Meteorology which has been thoroughly exposed as manipulating data and falsifying temperature trends and records.
          NOAA admits in this page that certain countries manipulate temperature data. NOAA admits they accept this suspect data as legitimate and presents this report as legitimate.
          Therefore NOAA’s analysis is flawed and unreliable. Its findings are scientifically worthless.
          Next.

        3. I’m sure it’s a great comfort to the Philippines that the Category 5 Typhoons tracking through are only theoretical. When the “Perfect Storm” occurred it was deemed worthy of a book and a movie. This year we have had two of them.

        4. So what? Irrelevant. Your entire post is irrelevant to the AGW fraud except as a way to perpetrate it.
          These typhoons have no relation to ‘global warming’ and there’s no way you will ever make a case for this.
          A ‘book and a movie’ is not remotely relevant to this discussion. At least it has nothing to do with AGW’s social justice agenda of carbon reparations to corrupt third world countries and slashing the standard of living for modernized nations out of pure resentment.
          What happened to all that death and destruction and flooding AGW wackos promised us in the Gulf of Mexico? After nine years of NO named hurricanes making landfall in the Gulf I’d be hiding in the Philippines too.

        1. ‘Settled’? You’re right…but not in the way you think you are.
          AGW theory states rising CO2 levels drive global temperatures high enough to cause climate catastrophes. This has not happened. Global temperatures have not increased in over two decades. It is not GOING to happen. AGW is DOA.
          ‘Settled’ is right. AGW is a failed theory with zero scientific value. This is where the ‘politics’ come in. YOUR ‘politics’. YOU are the true ‘deniers’.
          This would be amusing if it weren’t so corrupt.

  4. As a former Republican who now regards most current Republicans as Neanderthals, I can’t say how gratifying it is to hear of at least one Republican who doesn’t have his head buried firmly in the sand about anthropogenic climate change (There are some others, but they have been intimidated from saying so for the most part). We won’t be able to effectively deal with this problem until it becomes de-politicized, and Rep. Gibson provides a one giant step in that direction.

Leave a Reply