(Promoted by Colorado Pols)
Erstwhile "Area 51" Congressman Cory Gardner is anti-science and he wants to be your next Senator, whatever it takes. There is no other explanation for two actions he took this week between his campaign stops and fund raisers, while working his tax-funded day job as a U.S. Representative.
In one bill that he sponsored he is working to tie the hands of biologists trying to recover one of the West's iconic species. In the other he is trying to tie the hands of the U.S. military in its effort to prepare for the effects of a rapidly changing climate. Both efforts are sure to please some of his primary funders–the fossil fuel barons and Koch Brothers.
The potential listing of the Sage Grouse under the Endangered Species Act is a hot topic across the West, the subject of both controversy and concern with hyperbolic hand-wringing predicting calamity should it occur. The U.S. Department of Interior's Fish and Wildlife Service is obligated under law to designate the bird if it finds that its extinction may be imminent, and to designate critical habitat to increase the chance of the species' survival. The ESA was signed into law by renown leftist tree-hugger President Richard M. Nixon.
I HAVE today signed S. 1983, the Endangered Species Act of 1973. At a time when Americans are more concerned than ever with conserving our natural resources, this legislation provides the Federal Government with needed authority to protect an irreplaceable part of our national heritage–threatened wildlife.
This important measure grants the Government both the authority to make early identification of endangered species and the means to act quickly and thoroughly to save them from extinction. It also puts into effect the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora signed in Washington on March 3, 1973.
Nothing is more priceless and more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed. It is a many-faceted treasure, of value to scholars, scientists, and nature lovers alike, and it forms a vital part of the heritage we all share as Americans. I congratulate the 93d Congress for taking this important step toward protecting a heritage which we hold in trust to countless future generations of our fellow citizens. Their lives will be richer, and America will be more beautiful in the years ahead, thanks to the measure that I have the pleasure of signing into law today.
Rep. Gardner–promptly joined by go-along congressman Scott Tipton–last week introduced legislation that would prohibit any listing of the bird for 10 years. Not based on science, or recovery chances, or habitat protection or really anything, other than the notion that it might hamper oil and gas drilling, tar sands mining, oil shale dreaming and Craig-America's never-dying hope for an Inland Empire where there should have been a reservoir any ways. Ten years might seem like a random number, but Rep. Tipton says it is because of 'real science,' which presumably means findings that oil and gas companies have signed off on rather than that prepared by field biologists who have studied the matter for decades.
Also in the news, and maybe more troubling outside the windswept sage and grasslands of the West's high deserts, is the recent effort by the U.S. House of Representatives to micro-manage the Pentagon and seek to deny it funding for even studying how to adapt our 21st Century military to the 21st Century. UPI reports:
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted mostly along party lines Thursday to approve an amendment to the $600 billion National Defense Authorization Act which prohibits the Pentagon from using any of its budget to address climate change and specifically instructs the Department of Defense to ignore the latest scientific reports on the threats posed by global warming.
Although Climate Change Denialists often couch their ignorance in silly statements like "of course the climate is changing it always has," they nonetheless, it would appear, do not want the United States to even prepare for it–regardless of what is causing it (and, yes, it is 'settled science' as to that too).
As an article in Think Progress notes:
Sea level rise impacting naval bases. Climate change altering natural disaster response. Drought influenced by climate change in the Middle East and Africa leading to conflicts over food and water — as in, for instance, Syria.
The military understands the realities of climate change and the negative impacts of heavy dependence on fossil fuels.
The U.S. House does not.
In addition to being anti-science, Mr. Gardner–apparently wanting to appeal to the moderate middle in our purple state–must also think Colorado is under threat from local zoning laws as the secret backdoor for the blue-helmeted 'peace-keepers' of the dreaded, fierce, and oh-so-effective United Nations. At least that is one conclusion to be drawn from the amendment he voted for:
None of the funds authorized to be appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used to implement the U.S. Global Change Research Program National Climate Assessment, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, the United Nation’s Agenda 21 sustainable development plan, or the May 2013 Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order.
With the economy still hurting from the Bush recession it is no wonder that Climate Change is not at the top of concerns for most Coloradans. That does not mean, of course, that most Coloradans–particularly those Mr. Gardner needs to appeal to to win statewide–don't believe it to be true; or think that the U.S. military should be specifically banned from considering how to prepare itself for the inevitable changes coming to our planet. Or that anyone in the state other than the far-right crazies think the United Nations is stealthily taking over the world via local government's zoning ordinances. But that is now what Rep. Cory Gardner is on record supporting. Maybe someone should tell him that Dan Maes called…he wants his bike back.