Is Climate Change Finally Becoming a Bipartisan Issue?

blog-bipartisan caucus-2.10.16For conservatives, climate change has often been the “third rail” of politics – even acknowledging the reality of climate change could be hazardous, let alone advocating for solutions. But that seems to finally be shifting. Last week, two Republican members of the House of Representatives took steps to create a bipartisan Climate Solutions Caucus. The purpose of the group is “to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply, and public safety.”
The founding members of the caucus are both from Florida, which is feeling the effects of climate change more severely than anywhere else in the country. Local politicians in South Florida can’t afford to ignore the increased flooding, storm surges, and a water supply that’s in danger of contamination. As this ThinkProgress article points out, the caucus is focused more on addressing risks than actually fighting the causes of climate change, but it’s still a giant step in the right direction – and talking about preparedness tends to resonate well with people who may not typically be open to climate change messages.

These House Representatives Just Did Something Amazing On Climate

By Samantha Page, climate reporter for ThinkProgress
A bipartisan caucus in the U.S House of Representatives — on climate change?
Yes, this is really happening.
Two congressmen — Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R) and Rep. Theodore Deutch (D), both of Florida, filed paperwork this week to create the Climate Solutions Caucus.
The group plans to look at options to address climate change and will serve “to educate members on economically-viable options to reduce climate risk and protect our nation’s economy, security, infrastructure, agriculture, water supply, and public safety,” according to the petition filed with the Committee on House Administration, which oversees caucuses — formal groups of legislators who meet regularly to advance specific legislative agendas.
“This is music to our ears,” Steve Valk, a spokesperson for Citizen’s Climate Lobby, told ThinkProgress. “This is what we’ve kind of been waiting for.”
Over the past two decades, climate change has moved from being a bipartisan concern to a hotly-contested, highly-politicized issue in Washington. None of the current Republican presidential candidates accept — or admit that they accept — mainstream climate science. The chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is perhaps best known for using the existence of a snowball to doubt the existence of climate change.
This political climate — no pun intended — can be incredibly difficult for Republican representatives who are worried about their districts being washed away by the rising oceans or any of the other scary scenarios rising global temperatures portend.
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Image credit: Dylan Petrohilos/ThinkProgress

One Response to “Is Climate Change Finally Becoming a Bipartisan Issue?”

  1. This is a small caucus of two misguided individuals promoting policies that are bankrupting this nation with billions of tax dollars spent on propaganda promoting global warming caused by carbon dioxide from burning the nation’s abundant, inexpensive fossil fuels of coal, oil, and natural gas. On top of this trillions of dollars are being spent on unneeded,expensive, unreliable renewable energy sources of solar, wind, ethanol from corn, other biofuels, etc.

    The nations debt is over $19 trillion. Adding to this debt will leave the nation in a hopeless position for economic recovery. Remember the days in 1981 when the interest rate on the 30 year government bond was 13 percent. If the debt is not under control and reduced, yearly interest payment will be trillions of dollars that leave nothing left for building roads and other needed items.

    James H. Rust, professor of nuclear engineering

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