God Will Not Allow Global Warming Proclaims Rep. John Shimkus, Seeking Top U.S. Congress Energy Position

Thu, 2010-11-11 17:32Nathanael Baker
Nathanael Baker's picture

God Will Not Allow Global Warming Proclaims Rep. John Shimkus, Seeking Top U.S. Congress Energy Position

U.S. House Representative John Shimkus (Republican-Illinois), who has opposed cap and trade legislation because he believes God will not allow the earth to be destroyed by global warming, is running to become the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman.

In 2009, at a congressional hearing on cap and trade legislation, Rep. Shimkus said, “The Earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over.  Man will not destroy this Earth.  This Earth will not be destroyed by a Flood.”  This week in an interview with Politico, Shimkus reaffirmed these views:  when asked about climate change he stated once again that God will not allow the world to be washed away in a flood.

Watch Shimkus’ statements at 2009 Congressional hearing:

Shimkus has also called an energy bill incorporating cap and trade measures for carbon emissions as the “largest assualt on democracy and freedom in this country that I’ve ever experienced.”  His position on carbon emissions includes the belief that reducing carbon dioxide will be detrimental for plant life.

The House Energy and Commerce Committee oversees legislation related to issues including the supply and delivery of energy, public health, and air quality and environmental health.  Three other Republicans – Rep. Joe Barton (Texas), Rep. Fred Upton (Michigan), and Rep. Cliff Stearns (Florida) – are seeking the chairmanship of this committee.  Upton is considered the favourite to win the position.

Read the full story at Raw Story: ‘God won’t allow global warming,’ congressman seeking to head Energy Committee says

Image credit: Illinois Channel

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that, short of collisions with other large moving bodies, the Earth will endure until the sun expands and consumes it. What is uncertain is the future of human civilization as we know it and the future of all the other organisms with which we share this planet.

Shimkus probably considers that all Earth’s animals have been around since ‘the flood’ and thus all their ancestors lived within walking distance of Noah’s house. Shimkus is thus incapable of even contemplating the complexity of the interconnections and the interdependencies of the organisms which help provide us with sustenance (food and oxygen the levels of that latter are dropping I understand) and clothing.

Much clothing today, and other forms of shelter from the elements, rely upon oil for producing the raw materials from which they are made. When all the oil has been burned - what then?

Shimkus and his kind should be taken on a tour of the world, not to all those manicured resorts, by equally manicured cruise ship, but to the jungles and mountain communities and those of the Inuit - discover how others survive. Other places would be Palmer Station in the Antarctic and research stations in the Arctic - find out about climate change in the RAW.

For a High School teacher Shimkus appears remarkably backward in outlook.

Climate Change Impacting World’s Most Vulnerable Nation’s Fresh Water: World Leaders at Economic Summit and UN Climate Talks Urged to Act

Representative Shimkus ignores what science, environmental and religious leaders are saying about the reality of climate change and its world impact.

Preeminent climate scientist and noted environmental leaders speak out on behalf of the Kiribati Nation, calling upon world leaders who will gather this month at the Economic Summit in Seoul and U.N. Climate talks in Cancun to address the issue of water scarcity and its impact on food sources. James Hansen, world renowned climate scientist, Lester Brown, Founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, Rabbi Warren Stone, religious environmental activist who served as delegate at the U.N. climate talks in both Kyoto and Copenhagen and Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, call for bold action to alleviate this and other manifestations of global climate change.

Preeminent climate scientist and noted environmental leaders speak out on behalf of the Kiribati Nation, calling upon world leaders who will gather this month at the Economic Summit in Seoul and the U.N. Climate talks in Cancun to address the issue of water scarcity and its impact on food sources. James Hansen, world renowned climate scientist, Lester Brown, Founder and President of Earth Policy Institute, Rabbi Warren Stone, religious environmental activist who served as delegate at the U.N. climate talks in both Kyoto and Copenhagen, and Kathleen Rogers, President of Earth Day Network, call for bold action to alleviate this and other manifestations of global climate change.

Dr. James Hansen warned: “Kiribati and the Micronesian Islands epitomize the global warming story: actions now have effects decades in the future. It is now too late to avoid small sea level rise wiping out some Pacific islands, but we can and must avoid wiping out the land and lives of hundreds of millions of people and species.”http://www.columbia.edu/~jeh1/

Rabbi Warren Stone, who will soon be attending a world religious leaders’ Spiritual Forum in Seoul, relayed: “The most vulnerable nations of the world, particularly Kiribati and the Micronesian Islands, are currently facing a severe crisis of water shortages and the resulting disappearance of their food systems. Within decades, many other nations will be facing these same water and food issues. The Micronesian Island nations are the world’s first environmental refugees. It is the moral responsibility of world leaders, both at the Economic Summit in Seoul and the UN climate talks, to act now to protect future generations and the world’s creation from climate devastation.” http://www.templeemanuelmd.org/aboutus/staff/rabbi_stone/

Kathleen Rogers, who will soon be attending the U.N. climate talks in Cancun, urged: “In the absence of a global agreement on climate, our leaders must turn the COP 16 into a referendum on funding to protect developing nations from the disabling and destructive impacts of global warming. Anything short of full funding will seal the fate of not just Kiribati and the Micronesian Islands, but other at risk nations. It leaves the developed nations defending their economies and way of life at the expense of millions of people and species.” http://www.earthday.net/node/63

Lester Brown, Founder and President of Earth Policy Institute stated, “If we continue with business as usual, how much time do we have before we see serious breakdowns in the global economy? The answer is, we do not know,because we have not been here before. But if we stay with business as usual, the time is more likely measured in years than in decades. We are now so close to the edge that it could come at any time. For example, what if the 2010 heat wave centered in Moscow had instead been centered in Chicago? In round numbers, the 40 percent drop from Russia’s recent harvests of nearly 100 million tons cost the world 40 million tons of grain, but a 40-percent drop in the far larger U.S. grain harvest of over 400 million tons would have cost 160 million tons.” http://www.earth-policy.org/

About Kiribati
Kiribati, a Micronesian island of roughly 100,000, sits precariously on the very front lines of climate change. Located in the Pacific Ocean, Kiribati straddles the Equator. The tiny nation is composed of one island and 32 smaller atolls, islets of coral, which circle a lagoon. In 1999, two Kiribati islets, Tebua Tarawa and Abanuea disappeared underwater. Another of Kiribati’s islets, Tuvalu, has lost its coconuts trees, a major food staple, because the seawater has salinated the fresh water sources. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change predicts that the sea levels around Kiribati will rise by about half a meter (20 in) by 2100 or earlier due to global warming and that a further rise is inevitable. It will be the first nation of the world to disappear completely.

As Kiribati falls victim to climate change, we are reminded that one of the most urgent issues of our day is access to fresh water. Pacific Ocean waters are increasingly encroaching onto and salinizing the island. Salt water is seeping into the ground soil, destroying both the edible crops and the fresh water table underneath the island that has sustained its inhabitants and all life forms for centuries. The drinking water procured from streams and rains is also becoming salinized. The island people must now either import water and food for their families or become refugees leaving their nation.

The ravages of climate change are already impacting the Kiribati nation in frightful ways. Minister of the Environment of Kiribati, Michael Foon, addressed delegates at the UN Copenhagen talks: “Our children have no water!” How many more of our children will die because they have no access to fresh water?” Jesse Lambourne, a Kiribati native, spoke passionately: “We do not want to lose our homeland; we want to live in our country, our country called Kiribati! They tell us to leave the coast and leave our homeland. If our whole country is coastal area, where do you move? Our land is our spiritual connection to our ancestors, our culture, our memories — we are fighting to maintain our land as a people.”
Lambourne closed with this personal plea: “Help us, help us, tell the world our story!” The Kiribatians offered each delegate a shell necklace from their island and asked that they be remembered.

Hansen, Brown, Stone and Rogers join in response to the Kiribati plea and call on world leaders to act with a sense of urgency and moral purpose. “Remembering Kiribati” means awareness of the larger threats of cultural annihilation that climate change will bring to the most vulnerable. Climate change will present us with the most fundamental moral challenge that humanity faces in our century. It is imperative that we recognized that now is the time to address global water and food issues and develop international management programs. They urge all world leaders to review the technical papers on climate change and water at http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/technical-papers/climate-change-water-en.pdf.

The global warming deniers are winning over public opinion because they have reduced everything to a simple story that people find convincing.  The story is that most of the world’s scientists have found that there is always grant money in abundance for those who want to do research on global warming, and that the grant money is provided by politicians who want to regulate as many aspects of people’s lives as they possibly can.

People who respect science and believe that climate change is happening as a result of the burning of fossil fuels have yet to find an equally compelling way to express their concerns.  They respond to the deniers’ story line by talking science – which the deniers’ story has taught people to distrust – to despise, even.

And, the serious minded respecters of science are hampered by intellectual scruples.  If an environmentalist Michael Moore were to appear, he would surely receive as much criticism from those who accept AGW as a fact as from those who dismiss it.  Perhaps that is best.

The public figure who was incomparable at explaining the complexities of serious issues to the public was, of course, FDR, and in this, he was helped by his speechwriter, Samuel Rosenman.  This team was able to fashion a story that people could follow and that they found compelling – without falsifying the issues.  The “Fireside Chats” should be studied as examples of an art that is essential to democracy – the art of bringing the voters in our democracy up to speed on issues of daunting complexity but immediate bearing on everyone’s daily life. 


 

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