What our leaders are saying about climate change…

…says something about who we choose as our leaders

By Ben Olson
Reader Staff

When President Trump announced that the United States would pull out of the Paris Climate Accord last week, he created a heat wave of feedback from all over the political spectrum.

Supporters of the decision lauded the President on keeping his promise to put America first, claiming the withdrawal will help boost the US economy.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., tweeted his support: “@POTUS made the right call in leaving a deal that would have put an unnecessary burden on the United States.”

Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, wrote, “President Trump did the right thing by withdrawing us from Paris treaty – it would hurt American companies and American workers.”

Those opposed to the action were concerned it amounted to the US essentially putting its back to the rest of the world.

“We’re already feeling impacts of climate change. Exiting #ParisAgreement imperils US security and our ability to own the clean energy future,” tweeted former Vice President Joe Biden.

Longtime advocate for climate change awareness Al Gore wrote, “Removing the United States from the Paris Agreement is a reckless and indefensible action. It undermines America’s standing in the world and threatens to damage humanity’s ability to solve the climate crisis in time.”

The unprecedented decision also rattled the business world. CEOs from many major corporations such as Apple, General Electric, Facebook and others expressed their disagreement with the President’s decision.

Additionally, Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX and Disney CEO Bob Iger both announced they would step down from Trump’s Strategic and Policy forum, a group of business leaders who offer the President advice.

“As a matter of principle, I’ve resigned from the President’s Council over the #ParisAgreement withdrawal,” tweeted Iger.

“Am departing presidential councils,” wrote Musk. “Climate change is real. Leaving Paris is not good for America or the world.”

On a state level, Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho, was asked for comment on the pullout of the Paris Climate Accord. His office sent this statement: “There are many reasons the Paris Climate Accord was a bad deal. Not the least of which is that it was agreed to unilaterally by the Obama Administration, violating our Constitution’s requirement that all treaties be passed by a two-thirds vote in the Senate. In addition, President Obama contributed $500 million from the State Department to the United Nations climate fund on two separate occasions. These payments were made without authorization from Congress and without regard for the American taxpayers who shouldered the heaviest burden. … I was opposed to the Paris Accord when Obama signed it then and I remain opposed to it in its present form.”

When asked to further comment on whether Sen. Risch believed in climate change, his office issued no comment.

Sen. Mike Crapo, R-Idaho, did not respond to attempts to clarify his position on climate change and the pullout of the Paris Climate Accord.

Rep. Raul Labrador, R-Idaho, was also contacted for comment but did not respond by press time.

State senator Shawn Keough, R-Sandpoint, said the Paris Climate Accord isn’t something that would come across her desk as part of her state senate responsibilities, but she does believe the climate is changing.

“My work in our forests, my observations of our weather and my conversations with friends, family, and colleagues and peers across the country inform me that our climates are changing,” Keough wrote in an email. “…The USA as a nation could do a better job at conserving, recycling, and using less of things and understanding the finite nature of many of our resources.”

Rep. Heather Scott, R-Blanchard and Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay were both contacted for comment but did not respond.



Some outlandish quotes about climate change

There have been a lot of outlandish things said about climate change over the years, from world leaders to radio personalities. Here’s a small list, for your reading displeasure:

1. State Rep. Larry G. Pittman (R – N.C.):

“Our climate runs on a cycle. It goes up and it goes down and the lord designed it that way. And the main thing that causes global warming is the earth’s relationship to a big ball of gas that’s burning out there that we call the sun. And it is the height of hubris for human beings to think that we can have any effect on that.”

2. Don Blankenship – CEO Massey Energy:

“We must demand that more coal be burned to save the Earth from global cooling.”

3. Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.):

“My point is, God’s still up there,” he told Voice of Christian Youth America. “The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous.”

In another instance, Sen. Inhofe brought a snowball into the US Capitol to attempt to disprove the “eggheads” at “science laboratories” and their claims that humans have had an impact on the changing climate.

“It’s very, very cold out. Very unseasonable,” said Inhofe, before launching the snowball to the sitting Senate president saying, “Catch this.”

5. State Senator Scott Wagner (R-Penn.):

“The earth moves closer to the sun every year. We have more people. You know, humans have warm bodies, so is heat coming off? We’re just going through a lot of change, but I think we are, as a society, doing the best we can.”

6. Rush Limbaugh, radio personality:

“I have a theory about global warming and why people think it’s real. Go back 30, 40 years when there was much less air conditioning in the country. When you didn’t have air conditioning and you left the house, it may in fact have gotten a little cooler out there, because sometimes houses become hot boxes. Especially if you’re on the second or third floor of a house in the summer time and all you’ve got is open windows and maybe a window fan. Or you have some servant standing there fanning you with a piece of paper. When you walked outside, no big deal, it’s still hot as hell. Now, 30, 40 years later, all this air conditioning, and it’s a huge difference when you go outside. When you go outside now, my golly, is it hot. Oh. Global warming. It’s all about the baseline you’re using for comparison.”

7. President Donald J. Trump:

President Trump has tweeted climate change skepticism 115 times in the past five years, including these comments:

“Global warming is based on faulty science and manipulated data which is proven by the emails that were leaked.” Nov 2, 2012

“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” Nov. 6, 2012

“The freezing cold weather across the country is brutal. Must be all that global warming.” Jan. 25, 2013

“We should be focusing on beautiful, clean air & not on wasteful & very expensive GLOBAL WARMING bullshit! China & others are hurting our air.” Dec. 15, 2013

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