Rural climate skeptics are costing us time and money. Do we keep indulging them?
Rural climate skeptics are a growing part of Washington’s political landscape. They are people from towns and counties that do not typically see federal spending on climate change, and they are also people from states that are unlikely to be impacted by federal climate policy, because they are not on federal land.
But the federal government has not been taking kindly to the presence of climate skeptics and their claims that global warming is a hoax.
Last week President Donald Trump signed an executive order reversing an Obama-era climate change regulation. Trump’s plan could cost states and local governments up to an additional $2.4 billion in state and local discretionary spending.
“This week marks a turning point for climate policy in the United States,” said Michael Brune, CEO of the Alliance for Climate Education. “In the past three years, we learned from the scientific community that climate change is real and our planet is warming. We must act now to limit the temperature rise we see in recent decades.”
In 2015, the federal government put the climate science on its side when it determined that global warming poses a threat to public health. In that year, the Obama administration released a report and an accompanying executive order from the EPA to determine that “if the United States is unable to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to low-enough levels to meet the primary objective of the Paris Climate Agreement, the world’s second-most populated nations and the United States may be forced to increase their commitments in that agreement,” the EPA said in the press release announcing the report.
The report included statements made by experts in the field of climate science saying that we are on the threshold of a tipping point – a point of no return – and that global warming was a cause of a number of serious environmental and public health issues.
“There is already a dangerous transition that is underway — human activity is accelerating the rate of climate change,” the U.N.