Friday, January 16, 2015

Senator Sanders Plays Truth or Dare

In a Senate crowded with climate change deniers, coal-heads, or "I'm-not-a-scientist" agnostics, Bernie Sanders (Socialist, Vermont) has found a marvelous way to cut through the crap. Seizing on new majority leader McConnell's promise to allow open debate, Bernie has introduced an amendment to the Keystone pipeline bill that would require senators supporting the bill to acknowledge the scientific consensus regarding anthropogenic climate change. They could (and no doubt will) still vote to support the pipeline, but in so doing they would have to admit to its destructive effects.

Of course senators can (and perhaps will) defeat the amendment ... and go on record as refusing to believe what 97% of climate scientists agree is a real fact. Will they? From the viewpoint of Republicans (and some Democrats) heavily subsidized by the fossil fuels industries, it's a Hobson's choice: offend their major contributors, or take a stand against Science, Reason, and our collective future. It will be a vote worth watching.

Thank you, Senator Sanders, for framing this issue with such clarity. At this date the vote on the amendment isn't scheduled, but the moment of truth should come in the next few weeks.

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