Senate Democrats are using the week before a seven-week summer break to highlight what they say is a concerted, organized effort by fossil fuel companies and industry groups to cast doubt on the scientific consensus on climate change. Those efforts include the introduction of a resolution and speeches from 19 Democratic senators on the floor.
Included in that group of speakers was Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Tim Kaine (D-Va.), both of whom are reported to be atop Hillary Clinton’s short list for vice president. Here are a couple of excerpts of what they said.
Warren: “Today, climate deniers have an increasingly difficult time selling their anti-science positions. So a small industry of think tanks has emerged to give the veneer of plausibility to their bizarre views….Climate change is real. It is caused by humans. If we are going to address it in a meaningful way, we need to take decisive action now. This is why the fake science think tanks are so dangerous. They throw enough fake facts into the process to justify inaction, enough fake facts to excuse inaction, enough fake facts to let every politician in the pocket of Big Oil or Big Coal keep right on blocking meaningful action while the earth slowly chokes on its own filth.”
Kaine: “Climate change is not an abstraction. Climate change is not a next-year or next-decade issue. Climate change in Virginia is a today issue…There comes a point when the truth becomes so hard to deny that those who deny it are simply not credible. And you have to then ask the question: Why are you denying it? I assert that most of these organizations understand the science, they accept the science, and they realize it to be true. So why do they deny the science? The answer is greed. That is the basic answer. Many of the organizations we are discussing are funded primarily by fossil fuel interests. If they can delay, even by 1 year or 2 years or 5 years or even 6 months, the enactment of policies that would move us toward fewer fossil fuels, it will [help] their bottom line.”
Exxon Mobil Corp. and other fossil fuel companies have repeatedly and vehemently denied suppressing climate change research. The company has said it has funded research efforts on the subject since the 1970s and has disclosed the risks to investors.
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