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The REAL Threat Of Climate Change

I’m a conservative Republican and I believe climate change is real. It’s time for my fellow Republicans in Congress to stop treating this environmental threat as something abstract and political and recognize that it’s already affecting their constituents in their daily lives.

If we don’t change our party’s position soon, our voters will punish us.

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It is well past time for Republicans to recognize the increasing costs and dangers associated with a changing climate. Scientific data empirically substantiates rises in sea and land temperatures which have materially increased over the past 20 years, increased acid in our air and seas, and rising sea levels, which have also increased velocity over the past 25 years.

In the past few years, the U.S. alone has experienced record-breaking tornadoes and flooding, devastating hurricanes, and expansive wildfires. The doubling of the deep ocean heat content in the past 20 years portends significantly more severe storms and hurricanes in the future, creating more and more calls for “disaster relief.”

I’m from a coastal district that is directly affected by these issues every day. In fact, my home state of Florida is ground zero for the adverse effects of climate change. As these extreme weather events increase in frequency and intensity, Congress — especially my Republican colleagues — needs to recognize the costs, disruptions and global security risks that climate change will bring to both our domestic and foreign policy, and the federal budget.

Americans are experiencing these disasters firsthand, and these personal experiences are informing their views on climate change regardless of their age or party affiliation. According to a poll conducted by Monmouth University in 2018, 78 percent of Americans believe the world’s climate is undergoing a change that is causing more extreme weather patterns and sea level rise. That same poll showed that 64 percent of Republicans surveyed believe in climate change, a 15-point increase from poll results just three years earlier.

Further, research conducted by the Pew Research Center in 2018 showed that 59 percent of U.S. adults say the effects of climate change are affecting their local community, and 56 percent of U.S. adults say protecting the environment should be a top priority for the president and Congress in 2019.

Clearly, there is broad support for action on climate change, but there is even more consensus among younger generations. Among millennials, 81 percent believe the planet is warming, and even the youngest members of this generation are now eligible to vote. As young people begin to make up an increasing portion of the electorate, the importance of climate change on the policy agenda will only increase as well.

As elected representatives, it is time to step up and respond to the American people.

It’s important to remember that Republicans have traditionally led the way on important environmental issues. President Teddy Roosevelt established the U.S. Forest Service and many national parks to protect our natural treasures, President Richard Nixon created the Environmental Protection Agency and enacted the Clean Air Act, and President George H.W. Bush implemented measures to combat urban smog and acid rain by improving the Clean Air Act. We need to reclaim our legacy of Republican stewardship of the environment.

We have finally begun to see some Republican members of Congress change their positions on this issue. Several of my fellow conservative members have become some of the strongest advocates for environmental policy. Recently several senior Republican committee chairmen and policymakers publicly acknowledged that climate change is a real threat and must be addressed.

My colleague from Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz is one of these members, and we now work closely on the environmental issues affecting our state. Earlier this year, we sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to make permanent a current ban on drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico that is set to expire in 2022. The moratorium was enacted by Republican President George W. Bush, with the bipartisan support of both U.S. senators from Florida, Republican Mel Martinez and Democrat Bill Nelson.

Climate and the environment must be bipartisan concerns, but Republicans are lagging. Congress must work together to find solutions that will advance the goals of both parties and the best interests of the American people. Presidents of both parties have shown leadership on this issue: President John F. Kennedy said that “our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this small planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.”

We need to work together, in a bipartisan way, to find common ground. This is where the most effective solutions will be found. In the words of President Ronald Reagan, “If you got 75 or 80 percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later.”

If we want to show America that we’re the party of the future, then it’s time for all Republicans to return to their roots as champions of our environment.

Rep. Francis Rooney represents Florida’s 19th Congressional District.

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  1. You need to do your research very, very much better than this, Francis.

    The marginal warming of our planet which has taken place between 1870 and 2005 totals 0.8° Centigrade. Since 2005 there has been neither increase nor decrease.

    Storm activity has slightly decreased both in frequency and intensity over this period. Indeed, because all weather events are caused by the temperature difference between the equator and the poles, an increase in storm activity would be an effect of global cooling! The only thing that HAS increased is much more comprehensive and wide-spread reporting of these events. This is due not to any mythological warming but to the advent of hand-held cameras, smart ‘phones etc.. When you look at the metrological record – which you’ve obviously not so far done – you will not find the increase portrayed in the propaganda but the decreases mentioned above.

    Most apparent sea level changes are due to land rising and falling and are not due to any intrinsic change in sea level.

    You report in some detail what large numbers of people believe but do not take into your consideration whether such beliefs are in accord with reality: I am here to tell you that they are NOT!

    As the climate continues to improve (or so we should hope) a great many benefits will accrue. One of the major problems which we, at the moments, have is the almost dangerously low levels of carbon dioxide – an essential nutrient for almost all life on Earth. Experiments conducted in US government facilities show that the ideal level for human, animal, plant and planetary health is 5% of the entire atmosphere. This is ten times the present level and the reason why market gardeners purchase CO2 to pump into their greenhouses to facilitate optimal growth.

    Real climate scientists almost all agree that we have both increased sun spot activity since 1870 and a position in our millennial orbit slightly closer to the sun to thank for our leaving the Little Ice Age (Ca. 1320 to 1870). Indeed, it would be most strange if the sun were not the major driver in climate variations over the last 350 million years or so. The geological and ice-core records both show, over many thousands of years, that increases in CO2 are a long-term EFFECT of increased solar activity warming our planet’s oceans.

    In short, we don’t need a solution to the climate improvement because there is no problem. Indeed, NASA records show that plant growth has increased 25% across the globe and, in some areas, 50%. This means greater harvests for all.

    So please, Mr. Rooney, do your homework first before you open your mouth.

    Blessed be

    Karma Singh

  2. Time you got down to facts instead of what people”believe” the only model that has been accurate onout the climate and temp. is Milankovitch this has the biggest affect on our climate. And you can’t do a damn thing about it. It’s fine to keep doo g as we have but the US is a leader in these things not in second place. China builds two coal power plants a month, Indonesia and southeast Asian countries are responsible for 85% of the plastic and trash in our oceans . And believe it or not we have NO control over that. You can pretend you do but you don’t. The scientific communities are finding their estimates of CO2 and other gasses given off by the earth itself are far greater than believed. This you also have no control over, NOAA says the oceans will rise 6-9 inches by the year 2100 so I’ll keep any beach property I have. Time to look at facts I’m getting tired of alarmists.

  3. I have no doubt the climate is changing. It is always changing. Assuming the change is due to anthropogenic effects, I am still stumped about what the U.S. is supposed to do about it.

    In 1975, the CO2 emissions for the US was 4.421 billion metric tons with a population of about 210,000,000. In 2018, around 5.27 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions were produced from energy consumption in the United States. In 2015, around 34.8 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide was emitted globally.

    The U.S. has led the world in decreased emissions 7 years since 2000. CO2 emissions per capita of United States of America fell gradually from 20.44 metric tons in 1997 to 15.56 metric tons in 2016. The 30+% increase in worldwide emissions since 1990 is not coming from the U.S. It is primarily coming from China and India.

    What exactly are Republicans supposed to do about that?

  4. In the 1970’s it was “The New Ice Age” – remedy nationalize everything with our Eco-Nazis in charge; when no new ice showed up the same far-left creeps invented “The Global Warming” scam; remedy see above; After 20 years of ZERO warming the far-left creeps switched to “The Climate Change” crap. Enough!!

  5. You should all look at graphs of temperature and CO² levels over the past four ice ages. Theoretisch misst recent ice age was ending about 11,000 years ago, with warming since then and a brief mini ice age from about 1320 to 1870 A.D. The temperatures continue to rise gradually since 1870. If they follow the pattern noted after the previous three ice ages, they will continue to rise over the next 10,000 to 100,000 years. Looking at the period since the industrial revolution, the effects of worldwide CO² emissions created by humans has had a negligible effect on this warming, so the great majority of temperature changes are due to natural causes, and complete cessation of human caused CO² emissions would have no real effect on this ongoing natural process. So, put your wallets away, don’t worry about disaster in the next 12 years, and prepare to move to an area with a cooler climate- sometime in the next several thousand years. Those with climate change anxiety and panic disorders should seek serious professional psychological help.

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