Despite overwhelming scientific evidence that shows humans are contributing to climate change on Earth, both of Georgia’s United States Senators refused to vote for an amendment that acknowledged humans’ role in changing atmospheric conditions.
The largely symbolic amendment narrowly failed 59-40, just short of the 60 votes necessary in the Senate. However, just prior to the vote, a similar proposal acknowledging climate change existed at all – though not necessarily because of human activity – passed overwhelmingly in a 98-1 vote, with only Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) voting against the amendment.
Democrats had originally planned a climate change amendment to the Keystone Pipeline legislation as a way of forcing Republicans to take a clear stand on the evidence of climate change. But Republicans scuttled those plans at the last minute by dividing the question into the two votes mentioned above.
Even incoming Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), who previously called climate change a “hoax,” voted for the first proposal acknowledging climate change’s existence. But only 15 Republican Senators joined Democrats in voting for the second vote, including Presidential hopeful Rand Paul (R-KY).
It’s worth pointing out that 97% of scientists disagree with Isakson and Perdue’s stance and that the carbon dioxide levels are already at a dangerous 400 parts per million that is acidifying our oceans, causing extreme weather, and contributing to rising sea levels.
So even if human-induced climate change is something that doesn’t worry Isakson (age 70) and Perdue (age 65), it’s certainly something that worries my generation, who will have to bear the costs of their denial.