Climate zombies now run House of Representatives

The incoming Republican chairs of the House of Representatives plan to send the United States back to the Stone Age with respect to climate policy. All of them opposed the climate legislation supported by President Barack Obama, and now oppose limits on global warming pollution under the Clean Air Act. Several have accused climate scientists of doctoring data and suppressing dissent; the others merely claim climate policy is actually a conspiracy to destroy the American economy.

Brad Johnson has the line-up of climate zombies who will be in charge of developing all federal legislation for the next two years:

Financial Services: Spencer Bachus (AL). Bachus introduced legislation that accused climate scientists of fraud: “Whereas recent events have uncovered extensive evidence from the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in England (in this resolution referred to as the ‘CRU’) which involved many researchers across the globe discussing the destruction, altering, and hiding of data that did not support global warming claims.” [H.R. 954]

Ways and Means: Dave Camp (MI). “What is the science of climate change? What can it definitively tell us? Can it say who is responsible for it? Can it tell us what impact we can have on it, and if we can, what are the results, both positive and negative? From what I have read, there remains a great deal of uncertainty with regard to the scientific evidence about climate change.” [Camp, 2/25/09]

Budget: Paul Ryan (WI). “Unilateral economic restraint in the name of fighting global warming has been a tough sell in our communities, where much of the state is buried under snow.” [Racine Journal Times, 12/11/09]

Natural Resources: Doc Hastings (WA). “Over the last few weeks an international summit on climate change took place in Copenhagen, Denmark. It centered around developing a binding international climate change mandate. Unfortunately for the United States, this is likely to do much more harm than good. Instead of allowing all scientific opinions to be heard, this conference was devoid of an honest, comprehensive debate.” [Hastings, 12/18/09]

Oversight and Government Reform: Darrell Issa (CA). “One of the difficulties in examining the issue of the climate change and greenhouse gases is that there is a wide range of scientific opinion on this issue and the science community does not agree to the extent of the problem or the critical threshold of when this problem is truly catastrophic.” [Issa 9/11/09]

Judiciary: Lamar Smith (TX). “We now know that prominent scientists were so determined to advance the idea of human-made global warming that they worked together to hide contradictory temperature data. But for two weeks, none of the networks gave the scandal any coverage on their evening news programs. And when they finally did cover it, their reporting was largely slanted in favor of global warming alarmists.” [Smith, 12/8/09]

Science and Technology: Ralph Hall (TX). “There is growing concern and evidence that scientific data, from which global warming theories emerged, has been manipulated, enhanced or deleted.” [Hall]

Energy and Commerce: Fred Upton (MI). Upton joined the head of Koch’s Americans For Prosperity to question the threat of carbon pollution. “Moreover, the principal argument for a two-year delay is that it will allow Congress time to create its own plan for regulating carbon. This presumes that carbon is a problem in need of regulation. We are not convinced.” [WSJ 12/29/10]

Appropriations: Hal Rogers (KY). “This administration is trying to shut down coal and fire all of you,” claimed Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., adding that the EPA was practicing “strangulation by regulation.” [AP 9/15/10]

Armed Services: Buck McKeon (CA). “We must put a stop to the radical agenda that is rapidly making its way through Washington in the form of a Cap & Tax climate change bill, federal free-market takeovers, and government run health care systems.” [McKeon, 7/2/09]

Education and Labor: John Kline (MN). Kline attacked the House passage of the Waxman-Markey climate bill. “Created to raise federal revenue and reduce greenhouse emissions, this proposal will, in reality, drive up the price of everyday goods, strain the economy, reduce jobs, and impose a significant cost increase on every American who dares turns on a light.” [Kline, 7/10/09]

Small Business: Sam Graves (MO) and Agriculture: Frank Lucas (OK) In a joint op-ed with Doc Hastings, Lucas and Graves claimed climate legislation and carbon regulation would threaten the fabric of America. “Democrats in Congress have been arrogantly pursuing an ill-conceived cap and trade program that will slam rural families and businesses with a national energy tax. As a result, electricity prices would skyrocket, gas prices would balloon and thousands of jobs in rural America could be lost forever. In a two-pronged attack, President Obama is also instructing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose harmful new regulations and mandates on carbon emissions and energy consumption. This government power grab would give the EPA unprecedented authority to regulate anything that emits carbon””including semi-trucks, tractors, lawnmowers and even weed-whackers.” [St. Louis Post-Dispatch, 6/3/10]

Transportation and Infrastructure: John Mica (FL). “Earlier in the 111th Congress, the House of Representatives considered H.R. 2454, the energy tax bill also reffered [sic] to as the Cap and trade bill. I voted against this energy tax bill when it was passed by the House of Representatives by only a margin of seven votes: 219 to 212. The Cap and Tax legislation would impose an energy fee on almost all forms of energy.” [Mica]

A few of the committee chairmen, like Upton, Mica and Kline, have taken the moderate position of being willing to support climate policy, so long as it doesn’t involve any regulation, tax, government spending, or mandate of any kind that would actually reduce pollution. There is support among the Republican caucus for policy to accelerate global warming through new oil and coal subsidies, however.

— Brad Johnson, in a WonkRoom cross-post

29 Responses to Climate zombies now run House of Representatives

  1. catman306 says:

    The ‘Bake us’ dozen.

    Word has it that special accommodations are being prepared for a well deserved and everlasting sauna for these 13 ‘dead men walking’, that is, climate zombies.

  2. Peter M says:

    In the end- the Zombies it themselves- coming soon.

  3. J Bowers says:

    I feel like sending the EPA, NOAA, et al, a little present every week to cheer them up a bit. When 22nd Century historians look back at this period, they’ll be shaking their heads and rubbing their eyes in disbelief while researching their books…. that’s if there are still printing presses lying around.

  4. Mike says:

    The uncertainty is in when we will get hit by dangerous climate change, not if.

  5. Mike Roddy says:

    “Bake us dozen”- good one, Catman306!

    This collection of cheap whores that answer to “Congressman” are bringing shame on both the United States and their own families. It’s hard to be shocked these days, so incredulity and nausea seem to be the instinctive responses. Now we know how people felt when they listened to Republicans’ speeches during the Gilded Age, or when Louis XIV sent his spokesmen out to reassure the peasants.

    We know that the press is bought off, but where are the Democrats? Has anyone heard of one of them making a speech or even public comment to the effect that their opponents are completely incompetent to manage our affairs?

  6. Peter M says:

    typo- sorry in my second post above

    it meant to read

    In the end- the Zombies eat themselves- coming soon.

  7. Susan Anderson says:

    Mike, yup “let them eat cake” about sums it up, except this bunch is more devious.

    What a sad story. I agree with my friend who said this morning, “I wish we could stop wrestling with idiots” as there is so much real work that needs to be done.

  8. John McCormick says:

    So, this is life in America for the next two years.

    And, it will only get worse in 2012. 10 repug senators are up for reelection while 23 Dems and mainly from red states are up for reelection.

    Head vises will not do the job.

    We’re over the edge and there is no pulling back. Chaos is our future and America’s democracy has delivered us to the crazies.

    John McCormick

  9. Mike says:

    This is from New Scientist:

    Winning over the Republicans
    04 January 2011 by Peter Aldhous

    In its Pledge to America, the incoming Republican leadership of the House of Representatives has vowed to cut federal spending to the levels it stood at before President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus measures and the bank bailout. If applied across the board, researchers with bright ideas would find the door slammed in their faces. The National Science Foundation (NSF), for instance, would lose more than 11 per cent of its funding at a stroke.

    Worse still, some Republican leaders are pillorying research projects as emblems of government waste. Especially chilling is the YouCut Citizen Review [
    ], in which the public is being asked to search NSF grants to highlight projects “that you don’t think are a good use of taxpayer dollars”.

    The knee-jerk reaction is to decry the YouCut review as an act of philistinism by a party conducting a war on science, and to say that only qualified experts are able to judge whether research dollars are well spent. Yet reacting in this way, at this time, would be an act of arrogant folly.

  10. MarkF says:


    1. Joe Romm , and others, should make a standing offer to attend and testify at any “hearings” these people hold;

    2. booths set up outside any hearings; display simple charts, and be staffed by prominent, well informed, well trained expert communicators.

  11. I. Snarlalot Thiesedaise says:

    Peter M.,

    I thought “the Zombies it themselves” meant that they’d spay and neuter each other, which is OK by me.

    Plan for the worst case scenario, but hope for the best.

  12. The Orchestra of Neroic Fiddlers.

  13. Barry says:

    Let’s not forget that the entire GOP caucus is in lock-step on this.

    NOBODY in GOP is proposing *ANY* solution to dangerous and irreversible climate disruption at this point. The few that were have all pulled back and shut up, giving the entire GOP microphone on climate to the zombies.

    Where are the proposals from formerly honest Republicans like Collins, Snowe, McCain, Graham? How can these people live with themselves when they know full well the science and the threats? These folks know the dangers they are letting Americans walk blindly and helplessly into with unabated climate pollution.

    Sure there are greedy and selfish zombies in any large group. I’d expect some of that. But really my greatest loathing goes out to the people who know there is a danger, who used to try to do something about it…but who have swallowed their integrity and duty and let the zombies take over their party and essential policy without offering any resistance or alternatives.

    The total lack of any solution of any kind by any GOP leaders at this point is pathetic on a personal level and immoral on a societal level.

  14. William P says:

    Republicans are zombies. They must be or lose their seats.

    Any Republican deviating from the political line laid down by the huge right wing media propaganda machine is immediately singled out, and flayed publicly before his/her constituents, putting their seat in serious jeopardy.

    We have seem public displays of obsequious apology to Rush Limbaugh for such deviations from the Party line. They bow before the Great One, kiss his ring, and wimper for forgiveness and mercy.

    The whole direction of this government, especially the Republicans, but to some extent Democrats, is controlled by the huge right wing media propaganda machine. We need to see that.

    A effective, successful propaganda machine can take a country down to utter ruin. Just ask the Germans.

  15. Hendo says:

    This is a sorry state of affairs. I believe that it will lead to increasing alienation of the US by other regions. The US can no longer rely upon its own greatness for acceptance and leadership privileges – other countries are stepping up. Clearly the bitter division of interests within the US has paralyzed the nation and it’s administration. This in turn offers some insight to the world to forecast the comparative relevance of the US in coming decades. If the US turns its back on climate change – as the republicans appear determined to do – it will surely, at the least, project the US into an isolationist posture that would be totally at odds with the times.

  16. Ecotretas says:

    Why did it take so much time???

  17. I never really got it why they are still denying climate change. (OK, by greed, but still…)

    When I started documenting on climate change in 2003-4 I still could understand it, but NOW ?

    Luckily, here – in France – we have few of them.

    Please keep us posted ! I read Climate Progress each day since I discovered it and it has become a great information source.

  18. Scrooge says:

    Well let’s hope the squeaky wheel gets the grease because the progressives of this country will start to squeak. I watched a documentary the other day about the equal rights amendment and the absurd obstacles liberals had to overcome to get it passed makes me think there is hope for progress to be made. Since the T bagger movement is built from corporate greed and selfishness and most members are just puppets of such, the light bulb should click on for some.

  19. darth says:

    Mike in #9 linked to a site where citizens can evaluate grants awarded by the NSF. I suggest everyone check out that site and submit a reply stating what a bad idea this is. Here is what I submitted (I worded it very politely and suggested an alternative):

    “This is a really bad idea. If you really think that NSF is awarding grants that shouldn’t be awarded, you should change the system of government incentives whereby an agency must spend all of its budget each year to demonstrate its need for next year’s funding. I’m sure many questionable grants are done at the last minute to use up ‘end of year’ funds. Why not create an incentive so the agency heads are not graded based on the amount of money they spend, but by the quality of the work funded. If there are not enough qualified grants to use all the money, roll it over to next year’s budget instead of returning it to the Treasury. Having citizens with no qualifications judge these grant requests and second-guess the professionals that are in charge of this process will simply cause demoralization at NSF, perhaps causing some of the best people there to leave the government entirely. (The side effect would be to increase the number of bad grants) If you really want to change the way government works, then REALLY change it. Don’t engage in silly PR stunts like this.

    For the record, I just picked the first award number I found. I cannot possibly judge whether a grant to study “Collaborative Research: Integrated investigation of inertial particle pair dynamics in turbulence” is worth my tax money or not. That’s why we hire professionals at NSF.”

  20. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    In so many ways we are handing world leadership to the Chineese. So much of their military technology has gone from being more than a generation out of date to up to the minute. Even in English language publications Their science is skyrocketing. In foreign relations they are achieving more with aid in the millions than the US is with trillions worth of war. Financially, too depressing.

    If the US economy ever recovers, we will find that China has already purchased the available energy sources.

    It is just so scary, we are getting our buts kicked and do not even know it.

  21. caerbannog says:

    Not completely on-topic, but relevant enough to post here.

    LATimes article entitled “Scientist proves conservatism and belief in climate change aren’t incompatible” can be read here:,0,6481221.story


    According to the conventional wisdom that liberals accept climate change and conservatives don’t, Kerry Emanuel is an oxymoron.

    Emanuel sees himself as a conservative. He believes marriage is between a man and a woman. He backs a strong military. He almost always votes Republican and admires Ronald Reagan.

    Emanuel is also a highly regarded professor of atmospheric science at MIT. And based on his work on hurricanes and the research of his peers, Emanuel has concluded that the scientific data show a powerful link between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.


    “Scientists are being asked to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that there is an imminent danger before we as a society do anything,” Emanuel said. “The parallel to that is saying, ‘You won’t buy property insurance unless I can prove to you that your house will catch on fire right now.’ ”

    Although more scientists are pushing back against climate change denial, Emanuel is not convinced it can help, given the corporate interests and the weight of the GOP arrayed against them. All of this is making him reconsider his political loyalties: For the first time in his life, he voted for a Democrat, Barack Obama, in 2008.

    “I am a rare example of a Republican scientist, but I am seriously thinking about changing affiliation owing to the Republicans’ increasingly anti-science stance,” he wrote in an e-mail. “The best way to elevate the number of Republican scientists is to get Republican politicians to stop beating up on science and scientists.”

  22. David B. Benson says:

    Jim Hansen is another scientist who is a Republican.

  23. Solar Jim says:

    Thanks David Benson. I have never understood why someone, as brilliant in his field as Hansen is, would promote the costly idiocy of atomic fission as an energy solution to c.c. If you are correct, then he can apparently side with clearly regressive, corporatized politics, especially since he knows almost nothing about Sustainable Energy Policy Planning (which does not exist in America except in small exceptions) since this is not his field.

    Yet, he thinks he knows “the solution” (of which he is not informed). As Spock would say “Fascinating.”

  24. Barry says:

    Hansen says he is an independent.

    Hansen supports 4th gen nukes of which none exist yet at commercial scale. It isn’t fair to tag him with support for current nuke power.

    Boggles my mind that people would dump on Hansen after the years of service he has done humanity by doggedly sticking to an unpopular cause through trying circumstances, political power shifts and unrelenting attack by big fossil. He might not have the solution you favor but he has done more to inform humanity of the plight we are in than almost anyone.

  25. David B. Benson says:

    Solar Jim @23 — Dr. Hansen’s advocay is for the same reason as mine: its a good solution to provide clean, reliable electric power. Since I have the time, being retired, I’ve carefully looked into the advantages and disadvantages of all the ways to generate utility scale electricity. Turns out the nuclear power plants are one of the best ways to generate nightload (sometimes called baseload) power. Much more can be learned from several of the threads on

    Sustainable energy is usally called renewable energy in the USA is is done in every state that I know about. In this region spanning all of two states and parts of two more, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council is heavily invovledd in providing guidance to all the retail utilities as well as BPA; the state planning agencies setting renewable guidelines for the utility regulatory agencies in each state also pay attention to NPCC. Just now in this regional the big push is for energy efficiency.

  26. David B. Benson says:

    I suppose the climate zombies all have law degrees?

  27. Tom Lewis says:

    With respect, a good deal of this discussion misses a central point, which is, as someone (Will Rogers?)said, it is very difficult to explain something to someone when his paycheck requires that he not understand it. The contest here is not among Republicans, Democrats and Tea Partiers, but between Moneycrats and all the rest of us.

    A member of Congress must raise an average of at least $2,000 per day, seven days a week, just to keep the job. To get it, Democrats, Republicans and Tea Partiers (to their considerable public embarrassment these days, to the extent they are capable of feeling embarrassment) have to go to the same places — the Koch brothers, Big Oil, Big Pharma, etc. Not much point in reaching out to the Congress’s other clients, the poor, the sick, the elderly, the unemployed.

    It amazes me that pundits continue to talk as if our politics were based on policy debates and public opinion and reactions to “what the American people want.” The elephant in the room — the reality for decades now — is that what we have is government of the money by the money, for the money.

  28. Mike Roddy says:

    Tim Lewis, I agree with you, thanks for pointing out how the US government actually works.

    The problem is that we have no other way to fight back except via arousing the public, through media or grassroots campaigns. The other side will always have more money. Yes, it’s a huge handicap, but existing interests will keep Congress from passing campaign finance laws.

  29. Bernard J. says:

    Given the cartoon at the top of the thread, I can’t resist referencing a very funny and very prescient scene from Erik the Viking…