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Environmentalists Deliver Climate Change Denier Award To Congressman Issa

Above: Warming temperatures are expected to cause sea levels to rise by as much as 3 feet over the next few decades.

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."

Carolyn Kaster

California Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, questions Attorney General Eric Holder on May 21, 2013.

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 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.

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Avatar for user 'progressivebuthey'

progressivebuthey | August 14, 2013 at 10:37 a.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

he should go back to his greek roots and fix Greece and stop trying to destroy America.

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Avatar for user 'DeLaRick'

DeLaRick | August 14, 2013 at 11:20 a.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

For the record, he's of Lebanese descent. Also for the record, it doesn't matter what his heritage is.

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Avatar for user 'Alex_Grebenshchikov'

Alex_Grebenshchikov | August 14, 2013 at 12:01 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

I hope it happens fast enough for me to be able to enjoy a tropical climate here in San Diego before I die. I would love to go skin diving around some beautiful San Diego coral reefs.

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Avatar for user 'MarineRoom'

MarineRoom | August 14, 2013 at 12:12 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

Alex, our reefs are already as beautiful as coral reefs.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 14, 2013 at 10:34 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

Darrell Issa is an example of what happens when a thug suddenly gets very rich and very powerful.

Read his bio, from his teen years through his reig of terror in Congress.

It's full of sketchy stuff, criminal activity, thuggery, bullying, and a non-wavering allegiance to Big Business and his own vast monetary interests.

Issa is a product of greed, someone who doesn't care what environmental problems he and his special corporate interests leave for his grandchildren, as long as he can amass as much money as possible.

He is one of the richest, crudest, most stubborn, self-centered, Washington-inside, good 'ol boy, pay for play, sexist, obstructionist, hateful members in the U.S. Congress.

He and his ilk are precisely why the popularity of Congress currently hovers around that of acne, child molesters, and backed-up toilets.

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 14, 2013 at 10:40 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

Alex, I hate to be Debbie Downer, but if San Diego were to become tropical, that would mean the tropics would most likely be shifting to barely-habitable hot zones with billions of people displaced, the world economy in shambles, global agriculture in crisis, and the premature suffering, famine and death of a large part of humanity causing the biggest crisis in human history.

I doubt skin diving around coral reefs would be on anyone's mind!

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Avatar for user 'Peking_Duck_SD'

Peking_Duck_SD | August 14, 2013 at 10:45 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago

Did they have to toss a coin to see who deserves this more - Issa or Hunter ?

Two peas in a corporate-beholdent, earth hating, pollution-profiteering, science-denying pod.

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Avatar for user 'CaliforniaDefender'

CaliforniaDefender | August 15, 2013 at 2:23 p.m. ― 3 years, 7 months ago


No kidding. Sometimes I wonder how it is possible that anti-science, anti-education, anti-environment corporate/military stooges are able to communicate beyond grunts and chest-thumping to actually get elected.

Then I remember their legions of zoo keepers, I mean handlers, who have sold their souls for six-figure salaries to shovel political fecal matter all day long.

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