Republican Rep. Mike Rogers must believe in fairy tales. If he wishes hard enough for something, it will come true.
Right now, the Brighton Republican is wishing that climate change would go away, but anyone with a brain knows that won't happen. Climate change, and its devastating effects on the global, our economy, and our lives, can only be halted by action, not by wishes.
Nevertheless, Rogers has grabbed on to a trumped up scandal over emails from a few British scientists to try to claim that the burning of fossil fuels is not impacting our climate -- the polar ice cap isn't melting, ocean levels aren't rising, and everything is just fine.
But wishing doesn't make it true. The U.S. Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency know that. They call climate change a threat to our national security and have developed steps to reduce it. Thousands of scientists working at climate research centers all over the world agree on the extent of climate change, the human role in causing it, and the need to do something about it now.
Among the findings are these:
--The world's oceans have risen by about an inch and a half.
--Droughts and wildfires have turned more severe worldwide, from the U.S. West to Australia to the Sahel desert of North Africa.
--Species now in trouble due to climate change include the polar bear, butterflies, frogs and huge areas of North American pine forests.
--Temperatures over the past 12 years are 0.4 of a degree warmer than the dozen years leading up to 1997, far faster than what scientists expected.
--Water polluted by carbon in the Canadian Arctic is threatening the marine food web.
--Rainfall in the United Kingdom has shattered all records, exactly as predicted by climate change research.
--Heat, drought, and winds at levels never seen before are sweeping across eastern Australian, exactly as predicted by climate change research.
--So far, this decade is on the way to being nearly 0.2°C warmer than the 1990s, an acceleration from the 0.14°C increase over the 1980s.
--The world’s glaciers shrink for the 18th year at a rate twice the rate of two decades ago. The University of Zurich’s World Glacier Monitoring Service report in 2006 and 2007 the world’s glaciers lost 2 meters (2000 mm) of thickness on average. They note, “The new data continues the global trend in accelerated ice loss over the past few decades.” The rate of ice loss is twice as fast as a decade ago.
--The U.N. weather agency says greenhouse gases, thought to be responsible for global warming, reached record highs in the Earth’s atmosphere in 2008.
Mike Rogers would like to wish all that away. But when your friends are big oil companies, that's to be expected.