3-17-14 – If A Senator Speaks, Does The Planet Listen?

by Chris Campion

Damn you, Keystone!  Damn you all to hell!

Damn you, Keystone! Damn you all to hell!

Recently, Democrats in the US Senate spoke in all-night floor discussion in the US Senate regarding the subject of climate change, which itself was recently changed from global warming, because, well, the settled science turned out to be completely unsettled and if you call it “change”, well, everything changes, so you’re covered.

Vermont’s own pair of climate scientists, both with PhD’s in climatology, and with the requisite background in rigorous academic research, both took the Senate floor to argue that something must be done, now, to combat the changing of the climate.  Oh, wait a minute, that’s right – they’re not scientists, they’re politicians!

Which makes them both uniquely unqualified to preach to the citizenry about what constitutes “science”, and also fulfills their role of condescending patriarchs quite nicely, so it’s like a two-for-one for both of them.  So what did our intrepid scienticians have to say, exactly?


The scientific community has been extremely clear — no debate —climate change is real, climate change is man-made, and climate change is already causing severe damage in terms of drought, floods, forest fires, rising sea levels, and extreme weather disturbances.

Sanders, a Senator with no private-sector experience and no scientific background whatsoever, declares that there is “no debate” on climate change. None. Simply by dint of him saying so, probably the least-qualified person schlumping down Senate hallways to make a pronouncement on science in any way, shape or form, says debate is over.

The core of science is debate. The core of science is to challenge accepted norms to find the flaws in the argument.  It’s like asking explorers to stop exploring because everything that could be explored has been explored – so stop exploring West in the Pacific, he would have argued, and North America wouldn’t have been discovered by European countries.

What is flatly amazing is that in the name of science, both Sanders and Leahy are arguing to shut down scientific argument about what impacts climate. But he goes on to argue further, by making the inevitable “Shut up, he argued” statement:

It is not my view. It is not Senator Boxer’s view, not Senator Schatz’s view. That is the view of the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which includes some of the major agencies of the U.S. Government. By the way, clearly it is not just the U.S. Government or agencies that believe that. There are agencies representing virtually every country on Earth that have come to the same conclusion.

Sanders cites a federal agency that’s funded on the assumptions made by the global warming community, and politicians like himself, and it’s entire reason for existence is to secure funding to promote the idea of global warming and climate change. This is like a criminal arguing in court that he didn’t do it, and to prove it, he says he didn’t do it – and then the state is prevented from presenting countervailing evidence.  This does not constitute a convincing argument.  Also, note that the agency’s website has changed, from what it was, to what it is now – with a name befitting its imprimatur.  13 agencies, all getting funding related to climate change.  For some reason, I don’t see its budget line getting reduced annually.  For some reason.

Not one to be left out when a lot of pointless speaking needs to be done, Senator Leahy had this to add to the debate that Sanders previously advised us was over:

And here's the drone that told me the climate was changing!  Ha ha ha ha!

And here’s the drone that told me the climate was changing! Ha ha ha ha!


Once again, we are confronted with irrefutable evidence that humans have altered not just the weather of a region, but the climate of the entire planet. This time, we do not need to climb mountains to see the damage.

We see it in New England’s flood ravaged river valleys, California’s scorched farmland, Alaska’s retreating glaciers, Wyoming’s burnt forests, and super-storm ravaged coastlines.

Leahy’s arguing that flooding is caused by climate change.  I guess in 1927 the flooding that wiped out the bridge in Winooski was also caused by climate change, it’s just that those rubes back in the day didn’t know it was happening to them.  It could be that floods happen every year, some larger, some smaller.  It could be that year over year weather patterns change that have nothing to do with emissions, and in all likelihood are due to sunspot activity or other phenomena (as if the climate itself is static and never changes) but if you’re going to shut off debate, you don’t need to explain yourself.  You only need to tell everyone else to shut up.  Leahy continues:

The State Department recently released its long-awaited environmental impact statement on the Keystone XL pipeline. I am deeply troubled that the State Department’s analysis did not take into account the overwhelming evidence that this project will further accelerate the release of greenhouse gas pollution and intensify climate change.

Even though it’s the 5th environmental impact study done, and also came to the same conclusions, and the only reason State is involved is because it crosses the border – well, since Leahy didn’t seem to complain about State’s explanation of Benghazi, why does he have a problem with their current analysis of Keystone?  At this point, Senator, what difference does it make?  Will a special prosecutor be appointed to change the outcome of the impact study?   If so, why, since I thought Sanders made clear the debate was “over”?

What’s really hilarious is that decades ago, when the boogey-man du jour was global cooling,the same “science” used to justify the scare tactics for massive government intervention are the same ones being used now, but used to combat global warming.

So which is it, Senators?  Are we warming, cooling, changing, or are we merely tepidly walking away from voting for you in the next election cycle?  With real calamities walking among us, including a trainwreck of an economy, I expect the average Vermonter is more interested in the economics of right now versus the grandstanding that occurred in the US Senate.  Grandstanding that is, again, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Reprinted with author’s permission from dangerwaffles.wordpress.com.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.

Latest News

VT Left Wing Media Bias Unmasks Itself

July 24, 2020 By Rob Roper Dave Gram was a long time reporter for the Associated Press, is currently the host of what’s billed on WDEV as a...

Using Guns for Self Defense – 3 Recent Examples

July 24, 2020 By John McClaughry  The Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal last week published eleven news stories about citizens using a firearm to stop a crime. Here are...

FERC ruling on solar subsidies could help Vermont ratepayers

July 21, 2020 By John McClaughry Last Thursday, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission finalized its updates to the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act (PURPA), in what the majority...

The Moderate Left’s Stand for Free Speech

July 17, 2020 By David Flemming Harper’s Magazine, a long-running monthly magazine of literature, politics, culture, finance, and the arts, is hardly what you would call a ‘politically...

Trump’s Regulatory Bill of Rights

July 16, 2020 by John McClaughry “President Trump [last May] issued an executive order entitled  ‘Regulatory Relief to Support Economic Recovery.’ The executive order includes a regulatory bill...