Nov. 30 News: ‘We Have To Face The Fact That The Deniers Are Wrong,’ Says Sen. Whitehouse In Climate Hearing

At a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearing featuring sometimes tearful reports from lawmakers representing East Coast states, some panel Democrats suggested putting customary congressional collegiality on the back burner to push more forcefully for mitigating climate change. [Politico]

“There is a new normal of new extremes and we have to be prepared for it,” Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said. “And the reason we have this new normal of new extremes is because global climate change is happening and is real. And we’ve tolerated the deniers for far too long in this body.”

Whitehouse criticized “a rear-guard action in this building led by polluters” against taking action on climate change.

“But we have to face the fact that the deniers are wrong. They are just plain dead wrong,” he said. “And we have to deal with that, and I think some of the courtesies that we have given to one another collegially really have to yield to the fact that some of the things that are being said in the Senate, and occasionally regrettably in this committee chamber, are just plain wrong.”

If Susan E. Rice becomes Secretary of State, she might have to recuse herself from one of the first and most controversial decisions she would face: the Keystone XL oil pipeline permit. [Washington Post]

In the month since Superstorm Sandy, hundreds of millions of gallons of raw and partly raw sewage from Bay Park and other crippled treatment plants have flowed into waterways in New York and New Jersey, exposing flaws in the region’s wastewater infrastructure that could take several years and billions of dollars to fix. [New York Times]

Despite the crosscurrents in the cleantech market, Mr. Khosla seems unwavering in his commitment. He is pouring money into start-ups. [New York Times]

Never let it be said that climate-change negotiators lack a sense of the absurd. Thousands of politicians, tree-huggers and journalists descended on Doha this week, adding their mite of hot air to the country that already has the world’s highest level of carbon emissions per head. [The Economist]

The loss of ice covering Greenland and Antarctica has accelerated over the last 20 years, shrinking three times as much as in the 1990s and contributing substantially to sea level rise, according to a comprehensive new study of ice sheet loss conducted by 26 laboratories around the world. [Los Angeles Times]

Humans have resorted to ‘nomadic’ lifestyles as they try to weather out the climate change storm. Only in this case the nomadic lifestyle is not only on finding greener pasture for subsistance farming, but also on humans migrating in search of job opportunities so that they can send remmittances home. [All Africa]

13 Responses to Nov. 30 News: ‘We Have To Face The Fact That The Deniers Are Wrong,’ Says Sen. Whitehouse In Climate Hearing

  1. Anne says:

    I’m a big fan of Sen. Whitehouse. I’d like to see him go all the way to the White House. Now wouldn’t that be something! (and, uh, confusing)

  2. BillD says:

    Let’s hope that the deniers are isolated as the Republicans who just claim to be “unsure” start coming around. One has to hope that a strong position on climate change will be needed to be elected to the Whitehouse in 4 years. The interesting question will be whether the Republican right wing still controls the primary process at that time.

  3. catman306 says:

    Too bad the sewers on Wall St. didn’t back up instead.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    It’s nice to hear a Senator just go ahead and tell the truth. I’ve always liked Whitehouse, but his Democratic colleagues leave a lot to be desired- including the ones in the executive branch.

  5. prokaryotes says:

    The world needs more Whitehouse’s and less Lamar’s!

  6. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    If they had, how would you tell the difference?

  7. Paul Magnus says:

    What Fox just melted… they are now admitting that both poles are melting and gw is here….

  8. Toby Thaler says:


  9. David B. Benson says:


  10. Paul Magnus says:

    Indeed, when I hear apocalyptic warnings about global warming, after a few moments of fear I tune out. In fact I think I might be something worse than a climate-change sceptic – a climate-change ignorer.

  11. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    If you incorporated the dreadful truth, with all the suffering and pain about to be endured by billions, into your psyche, without certain mental defences like wishful, magical, thinking, reflex optimism and, yes, a certain degree of reflex denial (like humanity’s congenital death denial that allows us to go on living basically meaningless lives) then you would go stark, raving, mad. There is a lot of talk these days here about the rising tide of rage and mindless violence. Pubs need to serve drinks in plastic, so common has the practise of ‘glassing’ others with broken glasses become. Politics is beset with virulent hatred (sometimes a pantomime, as the protagonists kiss and make up off camera)and the Rightwing MSM, the Murdoch excrescence in particular, foments hatred, fear and loathing of its ideological enemies and various demonised groups with hideous enthusiasm. I know that dividing and ruling society is a basic Rightwing tactic, doomed to run out of control, but one senses something else is at work. A species heading for self-extermination that has repressed the truth so effectively that it is erupting from individual and collective consciousnesses in weird and woeful ways.