It has been over two and a half decades since the first climate scientist initially testified before the US Senate that global climate change was happening and being caused by human activity. In a symbolic climate change vote this week, the US Senate has almost entirely accepted that climate change is real and not a hoax. However, the majority of the Senate still refuses to accept humanity’s role in climate change.
The result of the vote for climate change being real and not a hoax was nearly unanimous, with only one Republican senator, Roger Wicker from Mississippi, voting against the resolution. The vote was 98 to 1. However, the two resolutions attributing climate change to human activity, chiefly the burning of fossil fuels, were both voted down.
Senator Inhofe, ironically the new chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, finally admitted with his vote that climate change is real, but refused to acknowledge that human activity has anything to do with it.
One of the climate amendments specifically stated, “human activity significantly contributes to climate change.” Only 5 Republican senators supported this, and all of the top Republican contenders for next year’s presidential campaign voted against the bill. It was voted down 50 to 49.
The other amendment also acknowledged human activity contributed to climate change, but also said the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline would have no significant impacts. Climate scientists have said the pipeline, and other unconventional fossil fuel projects, will be highly detrimental. The amendment was voted down 59 to 40.
Although most Republicans still do not accept that human activity is a cause of climate change, at least nearly all are now willing to accept the science that says climate change is happening. That’s at least some progress, I guess.
Image CC licensed by Kevin Burkett