Saturday, May 26, 2007

Senator Fantasy

I have made my low opinion of Senator James Inhofe (R - OK) known. He is a prisoner to dogma and quick to believe the fantastic over the scientific. I will not rehash old arguments here, but only pause to quote from his opening statement yesterday for the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, where he is inexplicably ranking member:

"The recreation industry’s true threats come not from climate change – which has always changed and will always change – but from the so-called global warming ‘solutions’ being proposed by government policymakers. Misguided efforts to ‘solve’ global warming threaten to damage the travel and recreation industry. In short, it is a direct threat America’s way of life."

There are impractical outlier proposals on the correct side of almost any debate, which does not make the overall position false. That obviousness aside, can we stop with "direct threat [to] America's way of life" rhetoric? If cars and speedboats were banned, then I'm with you. But any reasonable environmental legislation that ends up passing will hardly do so.

Moreover, a large majority of Americans already support much stricter environmental regulation, and most believe climate change requires immediate government action (a strong majority considers it a serious problem). If Americans want something, does it make sense to call it a threat to their way of life?

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