TRAVERSE CITY — Michigan has fourteen Congressional representatives. Six of the 14 are on the record as denying that climate change even exists.
Rep. Dan Benishek,1st Congressional District, has said that climate change is “all baloney” and “just some scheme.”
Benishek, along with Rep. Dave Camp, Rep. Bill Huizenga, Rep. Candice Miller, Rep. Mike Rogers, Rep. Fred Upton, and Rep. Tim Walberg have also denied the existence of climate change.
On Sept. 27, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) on our environment. The IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 to provide the world with a clear scientific view on the current state of knowledge in climate change and its potential environmental and socio-economic impacts. Currently, 195 countries are members of the IPCC.
The 4,000 page Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) is released in four parts between September 2013 and November 2014. If parts two through four are anything like part one then the six Michigan “deniers,” along with the other 129 members of Congress who have proclaimed that climate change is hoax, will be burning the midnight oil (ooops, not the best analogy,) trying to figure out which big money oil company will come to their rescue. The majority of Congressional climate change deniers have received generous donations from oil and energy companies whose livelihood is jeopardized by moving from fossil fuels to alternative energy sources like solar, wind and geothermal.
If you want to see who donated to the campaigns of your representative, go to OpenSecrets.org for the list. It’s quite an eye opener to see who they really are beholden to and whose bidding they are doing. It certainly isn’t on behalf of the planet.
The IPCC has been collecting data for more than 25 years and has been able to conclusively tie climate change to human interference with the environment. The
summary for policy makers lays out a powerful scientific case that “significant climate change with severe impacts is already occurring, humans are mostly responsible, the pace of climate change is expected to accelerate, and we can make choices to cut emission of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that will limit the damage.”
In the introduction, the IPCC states, “warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented...the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased."
More than 800 leading scientists and meteorologists supplied the IPCC with research on climate change, thousands of reports, and millions of terrabytes of data. The outcome is, if we don’t do something quick, we are in for a rude awakening not in a couple of hundred years but in a couple of decades.
Fred L. Goldenberg is a Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) and the owner of Senior Benefit Solutions, LLC, a pre and post retirement income specialist and certified health insurance advisor in Traverse City. If you have any questions or comments about this article or any other senior issue he can be reached at 231-922-1010 or email@example.com.