Pombo Fiddles While We Burn
During last month’s record-breaking heatwave, the Tracy Press gave this report of conditions in CA-11:
Roads are melting, people and dairy cows are dying and animal carcasses are piling up.Dairy farmers and senior citizens weren’t the only ones feeling the pain:
It sounds like the apocalypse, but it’s happening right now as record temperatures of 114 degrees baked San Joaquin County and the Central Valley on Monday. […]
“We’ve heard that the rendering plants are overloaded with cows that have died from the heat,” said Ron Baldwin of the county Department of Emergency Services. […]
“[Dead] cattle aren’t being picked up,” said dairy rancher and county Supervisor Leroy Ornellas. “With this heat, in 12 hours, they’re like balloons and they’re going to explode. You’ve got to act quickly.” […]
At least two people died in Stockton over the weekend as temperatures soared to 115 degrees. Three people died from heat-related causes over the weekend in Lodi, a Lodi Memorial Hospital spokeswoman said Monday. Sutter Tracy Community Hospital reported an increase of heat-related admissions.
Central Valley farmers were assessing damage to their crops and livestock. Growers of peaches, plums, nectarines and walnuts were especially hurt, said Rosanna Westmoreland, a spokeswoman for the California Farm Bureau.Unfortunately, it looks like that week of intense heat is going to become the new “normal.” The California EPA has conducted a long-term study of global warming at the request of Gov. Schwarzenegger and released its results last week. The report predicts the following scenario for Californians:
"This is definitely going to be one of those years we're going to remember," said Paul Wenger, a Stanislaus County farmer who said thousands of his walnut and almond trees suffered sun damage and even died in the heat.
California will become significantly hotter and drier by the end of the century, causing severe air pollution, a drop in the water supply, the melting of 90 percent of the Sierra snowpack and up to six times more heat-related deaths in major urban centers, according to a sweeping study compiled with help from respected scientists around the country.Richard Pombo’s response was to stick his fingers in his ears and say, “La-la-la-la-la — I can’t hear you.”
The weather -- up to 10.5 degrees warmer by 2100 -- would make last month's heat wave look average. If industrial and vehicle emissions continue unabated, there could be up to 100 more days a year when temperatures hit 90 degrees or above in Los Angeles and 95 degrees or above in Sacramento, the report states. Both cities have about 20 days of such extreme heat now.
Actually, what he said, through his spokesman, is this:
Meanwhile, House Resources Committee spokesman Brian Kennedy noted that the panel's chairman, Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Stockton, is a ‘'skeptic'' when it comes to global warming.That’s a variation on the same tired argument that Richard Pombo has used for his entire 14 years in Congress, that scientific opinion is split on the issue. The simple truth is that a handful of scientists have whored themselves out to the energy industry so that the industry and the corrupt politicians on their payrolls can keep up the sham that global warming is somehow in question.
‘‘I think there is a consensus that the earth is in a warming trend, but there is no consensus whatsoever in the minds of the Congress as to what the correlation is'' to greenhouse gas emissions, Kennedy said.
"It's false balance, and it's lazy," said Tom Yulsman, co-director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado.That has been Richard Pombo’s MO for his entire political career, and that’s exactly the strategy that he will pursue if he’s re-elected. Republican House members know who pays their bills:
After writing about the issue for years and carefully examining the evidence, he's convinced the naysayers are simply pushing an economic and political agenda to avoid making any dramatic changes.
"By sticking to the 'global warming: yes or no' debate, you can paralyze us," he said. "Until you guys figure it out, we're not going to take any action."
Continued Republican House and Senate majorities would likely mean more of the same on climate. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said he would oppose global warming mandates if Republicans control the 110th Congress. “I think the information is not adequate yet for us to do anything meaningful,” he said.Right now, our future lies in the hands of men like Blunt and Pombo. Voters in CA-11 and throughout America have the power to change our course, to acknowledge the problem and work toward real and practical solutions. But if Pombo is returned to Congress in November, we’d all better get used to those melting freeways and exploding cows.