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Your Opinion: Worlds apart on climate change

Your Opinion: Worlds apart on climate change

August 8th, 2013 by Tony Smith, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

In his beginning testimony at a recent Senate hearing on "Climate Change, It's happening now," Senator Sanders of Vermont stated that those listening would hear two different stories. Actually, two different planets would be discussed.

There is our world and there is another world promoted by the carbon and chemical industry tycoons who own much of our country.

By attacking science and promoting an alternate reality, we heard from Republicans in this hearing that the earth is cooling, that mistaken scientists are recanting their predictions and that the government cannot do anything to stop climate change. The carbon industries spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year to get this message out. Their goal is to create confusion on climate change issues, neutralize the press, and keep their politicians in line with denial and delay tactics.

These old tactics were used by the tobacco institute to deny a link to cancer. The propaganda goes back decades and continues with climate, lead and asbestos pollution issues. When Missouri citizens say they want more renewable energy on our grid, oil tycoons use shadowy groups like ALEC to influence legislators to undermine that progress. When is a cleaner environment ever a bad thing?

You can find the four-hour Senate hearing on the web under the title mentioned above. Recently in a July 30 letter a Centertown resident felt cheered by the obstruction and dysfunction of Republicans at the hearing.

Most people would watch it and be disgusted that we elect so many people to be tools of special interests. Half of those senators will go on to work as future lobbyists at million dollar salaries.

On Aug. 1 five former Republican directors of EPA put an open letter in the New York Times repudiating every statement made by Republican senators at the climate hearing. These EPA directors flat out said the science is settled on the climate crisis and now is the time for action. They favored a market-based solution such as Cap and Trade or a carbon tax to slow down pollution and gear up alternative energies.

As they acknowledged that the carbon industry owns so many politicians and a market solution is not likely, these EPA Republican administrators completely endorsed President Obama's actions with EPA to regulate carbon pollutants.

Are we really not up to facing our environmental challenges? Are we going to roll over because greedy tycoons demand it?