Environmentalists Deliver Climate Change Denier Award To Congressman Issa
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Aired 8/14/13 on KPBS News.
A group of environmentalists on Tuesday delivered a climate change denier award to Congressman Darrel Issa’s Vista office. A San Diego climate researcher says people in denial about climate change are "downright dangerous."
A group of San Diego environmentalists on Tuesday delivered a climate change denier award to Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA 49th) as part of a national day of action to hold climate change deniers accountable.
The coalition criticized Issa for denying the existence of man-made climate change, despite overwhelming evidence and scientific research.
Jenesse Miller, communications director for the California League of Conservation Voters said the Republican lawmaker’s voting record leaves much to be desired.
“That includes everything from ocean protection to climate change to species protection to wilderness protection — you name the environmental issue, and Darrel Issa is usually on the wrong side of it,“ said Miller.
Miller added that 97 percent of scientists accept the science of climate change but 55 percent of Congressional Republicans, including Issa, reject that climate change is a legitimate threat.
The group’s effort is part of a larger push led by Organizing for Action (OFA) to call on Congressional representatives to back President Obama’s climate action plan.
A message on President Obama's Twitter account this week read: "Gravity exists. The Earth is round. Climate change is happening. #ScienceSaysSo."
Issa’s spokesman, Frederick Hill released this statement in response:
“This political gathering isn’t being done to support science, it is being staged by barackobama.com and is intended to promote President Obama’s radical campaign to raise energy costs that will kill Americans jobs. President Obama has already told Americans that under his plan, ‘electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket’ and his first Energy Secretary declared that, ‘we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.’ Rep. Issa has long recognized that our climate is changing – it’s his support for expanding domestic energy production and his steadfast opposition to the President’s radical plans to raise energy costs that are the real issue. Congressman Issa supports a balanced approach that provides the clean domestic energy America needs without raising our energy rates or putting Americans out of work.”
A 240-page report released last week by the California Environmental Protection Agency detailed how climate change is taking a toll on California, including warming lakes, rising sea levels, increasing wildfires and changing ecosystems.
"People who are in denial about climate change are downright dangerous," said Jeff Severinghaus, professor of geosciences at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
"The science is very, very clear," Severinghaus said. "There’s no ambiguity now at all. I mean, the world is changing and we understand why, and it’s going to change a lot more.
"We’re looking at a radically altered planet 100 years from now," he warned.
Severinghaus' current research centers on using trapped bubbles of gases contained in ice cores in Antarctica to track changes in climate. He said his team of graduate students has discovered evidence of rapid warming in the last 50 years.
"The conventional wisdom had been that the Antarctica would warm slowly," Severinghaus said. "They found that in fact it has warmed 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit in the last 50 years — so more than the global average."
The denier award is in the shape of a unicorn to symbolize a mythical creature that does not exist.