Meanwhile in the “greatest deliberative body in the world,” the Environment and Public Works Committee met recently, allowing senators to take a break from doing nothing about gun safety by instead doing nothing about climate change.
Given the chasm between their opposing views on climate change, I thought this exchange between independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Republican James Inhofe of Oklahoma was remarkably civil. The senators succeeded in clarifying the terms of their disagreement:
“What Sen. Inhofe has written and talked about is his belief that global warming is one of the major hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people, that it’s a hoax pushed by people like Al Gore, the United Nations and the Hollywood elite,” Sanders told the committee.“I think that is a fair quote from Sen. Inhofe. Is that roughly right, Sen. Inhofe?” Sanders asked the Oklahoma Republican.
“Yes,” Inhofe agreed. “I’d add to that list MoveOn.org, George Soros, Michael Moore and a few others.”
“That’s exactly the issue,” Sanders said, turning back to the committee. “Do we agree with Sen. Inhofe that global warming is a hoax and that we do not want the federal government, the EPA, the Department of Energy to address that issue? Because it is a — quote — unquote — hoax, according to Sen. Inhofe and others? Or do we believe and agree with the overwhelming majority of scientists who tell us that global warming is the most serious planetary crisis that we face, and that we must act boldly and aggressively to protect the future of this planet? That is what the issue is.”
See? We can all get along. We can all agree that one side of this issue involves a realistic assessment of the evidence and the other side involves a delusional fantasy based on some perverse need to assert the absolute worst about others.
Maybe we can’t agree on which side is which, but we can at least follow the example of the gentlemen from Vermont and Oklahoma and agree that those are, in fact, the options before us.