Today, the US Senate took several "historic" votes. The first, comical one, was taken to agree it's actually happening, that the fact that the Earth is warming and that the warming is "Not a Hoax." Wow.. talk about taking a real risk AND an important vote... I mean, there is no evidence at all that the Earth is NOT warming, and mountains that it is. No respected scientist claims or has proof it isn't warming, 100,000 DO have facts to show that it is, because we have records from sources which are unquestionably reliable from all over the world from the past 150 years, that in fact the Earth is substantially warmer than it was when we started keeping records of these temperatures on a global basis, and further we know it has been warming for decades. Unless you think people taking measurements in the 1850's were "in on the conspiracy" to claim the Earth was warming 150 years later, a conspiracy which has been claimed to exist btw, or you think that mercury thermometers somehow worked differently in 1910 than they did in 2010, there IS NO CONTROVERSY in the scientific world, even the world paid for by the Oil and Coal industry "think tanks", about whether the Earth is warming. Zero, zip, zilch.
Maybe tomorrow they can vote on whether gravity will cause you to fall downward. I have friends who would dispute that point, if told to by their political "thinkers."
So that 98-1 vote is admitting to nothing. It's hilarious that it was even taken, of course except that SO VERY MANY conservatives DO think the Earth isn't warming. They commonly and snarkily remark, "Must be Global Warming" whenever the thermometer dips below zero, indicating both a deep-seated and factually empty skepticism that it's even happening at all AND a lack of grasp of the difference between weather (the immediate meteorological conditions in the area) and climate (the general, seasonal and annual prevailing meteorological conditions over time). So, it was a meaningless and embarrassing vote for the United States Senate, in that our nation is a laughingstock that 30% (or so) of it's people are so ignorant that they think Climate Change isn't happening at all. So, apparently, we need our Senate to vote to say it is happening to show that, at least for US Senators there is no question that it is and they have to be more honest than their ultra-conservative friends, because Senators represent entire states rather than highly partisan districts of ignorant fools, and by doing so, maybe, just maybe, the rank and file will stop and say,"Oh, I guess it's happening." Yeah, that's gonna' happen. As a side note, I have to wonder who the hell voted to say it WAS a hoax. I'm sure I can find out, and then laugh like hell at the state which voted in that toolbag.
(Update, it was Roger Wicker, R-Mississippi, a state which has been last in education since I was born, and so, many also still believe the Earth is flat).
But, more importantly, the Senate ALSO took votes today, votes which failed on 59-40 line votes, that MAN is causing, or SIGNIFICANTLY causing Climate Change. Do you hear that Paleoliths? MAN is causing it, even SIGNIFICANTLY, so says 15 members of your own party's Senators. Now, don't get me wrong 15 out of 55 being able to agree that when 99% of science says something, it's pretty likely to be true, isn't something to pin a medal on anyone over, but it's still a pretty big moment, an historic one to a degree, because it can be used to beat neo-cons over the head with, even though the vote was symbolic nonsense. You have, now, finally, members of the Party ("cult") of Stupid Climate Change Denial (SCCD), who have agreed it is in fact significantly caused by man.
Well.. except, not so much. You see, the reason they did so, was that if the bill had passed, it would have funded the KeyStone XL (needless) pipeline. It would have funded a pipeline to increase the use of the same fossil energy sources as the bill decries must be stopped being used. So, they voted to fund the EXACT thing they were, in that vote, saying MUST BE STOPPED. So, this was absurd, hypocritical, special interest backing political theatre. I neither think my "friends" like Mitch Berg nor David Strom are going to start saying that Global Climate Change is occurring, nor, as clearly evidenced by the vote, do I think Republicans have ANY intent to do anything about it. So these votes, these "important" votes, schedule by the Republican Majority Leader (Mitch McConnell) were nothing other than a waste of money and time. Rather than doing something important, once again Republicans are showing their stripes by showing they intend to do little and less to address the fundamental problems facing this country. As an aside, they cancelled a vote in the US House this morning, one which would have easily passed, to ban all abortion after 20 weeks. You women out there who think Republicans are not misogynist, think again. No votes on infrastructure, no votes on higher education funding, no votes to move our country forward on a real energy policy. Nope, just subterfuge intended to make it seem like they are moderate (when they aren't), to mask their actions to fund a pipeline which has no real positive economic impact except to the ultra-wealthy. Nothing new, they are a party whose leadership and policies are set by the Rich, of the Rich, and for the Rich. Those of you out there who vote for them who have a net worth less than $50m are easily deluded pawns, and when your kids ask you why you did nothing to try to address the destruction of the American farm belt as it slides inexorably into being an arid plain incapable of supporting cash crops, you can at least say, "Hey, Donald Trump is a winner, and whiners like you are just bitter. Eat your dust and shut up. NO, there's no (safe) water to drink, but at least we've got oil."