— New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 17, 2015
If you needed more evidence that people in DC are wastes of time and space you got it yesterday when the Senate voted to affirm that the climate was, in fact, changing but not that it was due to human activity. The vote was pretty meaningless in the first place and the wrangling over the language on the climate was the result of Democratic technical maneuvering to screw with the Keystone XL pipeline bill that is expected to be vetoed anyway. Your government at work.
Or maybe this could have been some kind of important symbolic victory somehow? Regardless of the merits (or lack thereof) of the Democrat’s maneuver to get Republicans to affirm the scientific basis for climate change the plan failed when Senate Republicans countered with their own legislative maneuver that allowed them to vote in favor of a position which agreed that climate change was real but that human activity was not the cause.
In a complicated maneuver that was the first politically perilous test for Senate Republicans, the new majority party split up the votes that Democrats had hoped would force the GOP into an awkward roll call on whether they believed in the science behind climate change — just hours after President Barack Obama slammed Republicans in his State of the Union address for dodging the issue.
But Republicans made an eleventh-hour change in strategy on two Democratic attempts to divide them — with Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, their most vocal denier of humans’ effect on the climate, joining a leading liberal in a symbolic vote on whether global warming is “real and not a hoax.” “There is archeological evidence of that, there’s Biblical evidence of” the climate changing, Inhofe, the chairman of the Environment and Public Works panel, said on the floor before signing onto a proposal from Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) that stopped short of linking climate change to human activities, such as burning of fuels like coal and oil.
Not sure exactly what “Biblical evidence” he is speaking of but given that Senator Inhofe wrote a book called “The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future” this vote was some kind of progress? And yes, he is the chairman of the Environment and Public Works subcommittee so good luck getting anything through the Senate on climate change for at least the next two years.
But actually Inhofe did not change his mind so much as tweak his position saying “the hoax” is now that man is responsible for climate change. So there you have it. That’s the important work going on in DC in response to a looming environmental catastrophe – procedural slap fights over symbolic votes. God bless America.