Senators send dueling messages to Qatar climate conference
The top Republican and Democratic senators on the Environment and Public Works Committee released dueling videos to their respective audiences at the UN Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar, Thursday.
The chairman of the committee, California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, stressed the need to confront climate change, cheered President Obama for his role in carbon emissions reductions, and claimed that Hurricane Sandy foreshadowed the devastation of further climate change.
“Several weeks ago, Superstorm Sandy gave us a preview of what to expect if climate change is not addressed,” Boxer said in her video to the conference. “That storm caused tremendous destruction along the United States’ East Coast and it ranks as one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit America.”
In his video, played at a global warming skeptic event near the conference, Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Inhofe, the ranking member on the committee and a vocal opponent of the green agenda, accused the Obama administration of “quietly handing over billions of dollars to the United Nations in the name of global warming” and explained that he believes the true goal of international conferences like Doha is wealth redistribution.
“Of course, the focus of this year’s global warming conference — like all the conferences before — is not the environment,” he said. “It’s about one thing: spreading the wealth around. As the Associated Press reported, ‘one of the main challenges will be raising climate aid for poor countries at a time when budgets are strained by financial turmoil.'”
Watch Inhofe’s video:
Boxer said that the country, due to new regulations, is on track to reduce carbon by nearly 17 percent by 2020 and that Obama have voiced his commitment to confronting climate change. She focused on the way in which Sandy has affected public perception of the issue.
“I believe Superstorm Sandy will mark a turning point in our approach to climate change. Some people may choose to close their eyes, but anyone with a heartbeat and a pulse can see that things are changing for the worse, and we simply cannot afford to ignore these warnings,” she said.
“Sandy was a single devastating storm, but scientists tell us that these destructive events will only get worse in the future if carbon pollution continues to increase,” Boxer added.
Watch Boxer’s video:
Alternately Inhofe, stressed that the public is not paying attention to the conference this year, because the idea of climate change has been discredited.
“It’s not surprising that this year’s conference has been ignored,” he said. “Remember EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson admitted to me that EPA’s global warming regulations are based primarily on the now exposed Climategate science of the completely discredited UN IPCC [International Panel on Climate Change]. The Atlantic Monthly said of Climategate ‘the stink of intellectual corruption is overpowering.’ And the UK Telegraph wrote that ‘This is the worst scientific scandal of our generation.'”
Still, Boxer asserted, there are those who are serious about confronting the climate change.
“I want to send a clear message to the conference that there are leaders in Congress who understand the urgent threat facing the globe, and we are dedicated to preventing the terrible impacts of unchecked climate change,” she said.