Did this week feel especially long to anyone else? Luckily we have the words and actions of the ecoright to keep us motivated and moving along toward the weekend.
This week’s must watch: Bob Inglis takes on fear mongering.
This week’s must listen: Did you miss Bob Inglis on PRI’s The Takeaway? Check out Climate change wasn’t always a partisan issue
Caucus swells: The bipartisan House Climate Solutions Caucus, co-founded by Floridians Rep. Carlos Curbleo and Rep. Ted Deutch, expanded ranks again, growing to 56 members with the addition of Republican congressmen, Rep. Chris Collins (NY-27) and Rep. Pat Tiberi (OH-12) and their democratic counterparts. The Caucus held a meeting this week to discuss climate impacts on tourism and natural disasters. Republican Rep. Mia Love from Utah noted events like Irma don’t just have local impacts. “It affects everyone.” She added her intent to “try to get as many people on this caucus as possible because [climate change] affects Utah, our ski industry and our outdoor industry.”
Pancakes and climate change: Chief White House economic advisor Gary Cohn is convening a breakfast meeting next Monday of senior climate and energy ministers from about a dozen nations in advance of the United Nations General Assembly meeting. The gathering is billed as an “opportunity for key ministers with responsibility for these issues to engage in an informal exchange of views and discuss how we can move forward most productively.”
Curbelo speaks: Returning to Washington, DC, Curbelo, whose district includes the battered Florida Keys, said climate change should be part of the post-Hurricane Irma discussion. “It shouldn’t be the first thing people talk about; the first concern has to be all the people in the Florida Keys and throughout the state of Florida who are struggling,” he said, adding it’s “not irresponsible to highlight how this storm was probably fueled. In part, by conditions that were caused by human-induced climate change.” He lashed out at deniers and alarmists alike because “they don’t contribute much to solving this problem…the deniers deny it so you can’t address a problem you don’t recognize and the alarmists scare everyone and take credibility away from the issue, and people who are convincible then shy away. People need to talk about this in a sober way, in a rational way.”
Holy cow!: Pope Francis said the recent spate of hurricanes should prompt people to understand that humanity will “go down” if it does not address climate change, and history will judge those who refuse to act. “If we don’t turn back, we will go down,” he told reporters. “You can see the effects of climate change with your own eyes and scientists tell us clearly the way forward…All of us have a responsibility. All of us. Some small, some big. A moral responsibility, to accept opinions, or make decisions. I think it is not something to joke about.” The Pontiff quoted a phrase from the Old Testament: “Man is stupid, a stubborn, blind man.”
Climate jester: President Donald Trump is this week’s jester for his dismissal of climate change impacts on the two record-breaking storms. “We’ve had bigger storms than this” he responded when asked by reporters about climate change. “If you go back into the teens, you’ll see storms that were as big or bigger. So we did have two horrific storms, epic storms, but if you go back into the ’30s and ’40s, and you go back into the teens, you’ll see storms that were very similar and even bigger, OK?” His comments contradict the position he took during both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma when he tweeted about the size of the storms. At the time of Irma, Trump said the people of Florida experienced something “the likes of which we can say really say nobody’s ever seen before… They’ve never seen a category like this come in because it came in really at a five.” Likewise, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said after his second visit to see damage to the hard-hit Florida Keys: “Clearly our environment changes all the time, and whether that’s cycles we’re going through or whether that’s man-made, I wouldn’t be able to tell you which one it is.”
Here’s what a real climate scientist has to say about warming and natural cycles.
And that’s our weekly wrap up. See you next week.