For the past eight years, a hearing on the climate crisis in either house of Congress was a rare occurrence, and any that did take place overflowed with scientific illiteracy and climate science denial.
Since the Democrats won a solid majority in the House of Representatives last November, however, at least 15 climate-related hearings have been conducted in the 65 days Congress has been in session this year. And while the overlapping cohorts of incumbent numbskulls and deniers are still present, and some testimony from expert witnesses still reflects the Exxon-Koch agenda, realism about what impacts climate change is having now and what we may face from it in the near and distant future have been the dominant themes.
Remarkably, some Republicans known in the past for vigorously rejecting the scientific consensus about the climate crisis have changed their tune a bit. How much of this is a genuine change of mind and how much is a smokescreen shielding their real views is anybody’s guess.
But while most of these men and women have made statements in the past—challenging the scientific consensus on climate change, disputing whether greenhouse gases are truly altering the Earth’s climate, rolling their eyes at anybody who says dealing with the climate is an urgent matter, and assorted other nonsense—not a single one of them has tossed a snowball into a hearing room in the past two months while claiming it to be proof that global warming isn’t happening, as Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma did four years ago.