Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Domenici Gets Serious About Global Warming?

Congress begins to feel heat from global warming danger

[Domenici actually LISTENS to LANL scientists. -Editor]

By Ian Hoffman, STAFF WRITER

CONGRESS is headed to polar regions for hands-on education on global warming. House Science Committee chairman Sherwood Boehlert who led nine representatives to the South Pole said "eyes were opened." (National Science Foundation)

In February last year, the chairman of the Senate energy committee sat down at Los Alamos National Laboratory for a private briefing on climate change.

Was global warming real, Sen. Pete Domenici wanted to know. He turned for answers to a federal lab that he had gazed on admiringly since he was a boy.

In a barrage of computer slides, Los Alamos scientists showed the 72-year-old Republican senator a planet tipping into uncertainty. Greenhouse gases were increasing in the atmosphere and the trapped solar radiation was boosting temperatures worldwide, with cascading impacts on natural and human welfare.

Natural causes alone could not explain the measured warming, the scientists told Domenici, without the human addition of greenhouses gases, mostly from burning fossil fuels.

``I came out of there having listened,'' Domenici later said to reporters. ``And I concluded it is enough of a problem to try to do something about it.''

Today, Domenici and his committee host 29 corporate executives, scientists, economists and environmentalists to discuss a mandatory cap on greenhouse-gas emissions. It promises to be the most serious conversation in Congress to date about dealing with climate change.

Full Story

A very telling section of Hoffman's excellent article is the following:

In recent years, the pot of potential losers - energy, mining, manufacturing interests - have given two to four times as much to Republican campaigns as to Democrats, according to figures from the Center for Responsive Politics. But a growing number of Republican lawmakers, at least in the Senate, are signaling a willingness to consider some measure to contain greenhouse gas emissions. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, an Alaska Republican whose state is experiencing more warming and more ecological impacts than any other, said last summer that ``there's an emerging consensus we've got to deal'' with climate change. ``The debate is about solutions,'' said Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb. ``The question we face is not whether we should take action, but what kind of action we should take.''

Senators of both parties: Get out of the way of the calving glacier!

And don't let anyone gut science at LANL (or LLNL, for that matter) just for short-term profit!--that would be the height of folly.

Looks like Republican posturing during the election year. As Brad notes, Republicans get a lot more money from the polluters. The trick is; to get the money and confuse the public. Pete is doing his part.

As to LANL's contribution; if they did such a good job scaring Pete, how come no legislation is expected? Guess they needed to turn up the gain.
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