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Travis Rowley: Sheldon Whitehouse: A Radical Embarrassment

Saturday, May 25, 2013


As many became rightfully upset over the fact that US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse politicized the deadly storm that struck Oklahoma this week – and then dishonestly excused his reference to “cyclones in Oklahoma” as a mere “coincidence” – the real story behind Whitehouse’s speech from the floor of the US Senate went largely unnoticed.

The primary purpose of Whitehouse’s speech was to achieve a reckoning in regard to the climate change controversy. Speaking out of genuine sincerity, Whitehouse warned of “a Republican Party disgraced, [a party] that let its extremists run it off the cliff.”

The Senator asked Republicans, “What are you thinking? How do you imagine this ends?...The great Republican Party, the party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, branding itself as the one that gave it all to protect a gang of scheming polluters? That’s where you’re headed.”

“Let me ask my Republican friends,” Whitehouse continued, “What’s your best bet that this climate and ocean problem gets better or worse in the next 20 or 40 years? Seriously. Your party’s reputation is on the line here. All the chips. Tell me how you’re going to bet.”

Before Republicans answer Whitehouse’s taunt, they should consider the words of Forbes.com contributor James Taylor. Last year Taylor wrote, “The year 2012 is breaking all-time records for lack of tornado activity, inviting the question whether global warming is causing a long-term decline in destructive extreme weather events.”

Whitehouse’s warning to Republicans was, of course, hysterical.

“Have you noticed the floods, and wildfires, and droughts, and super-storms, and tornadoes, and blizzards, and temperature records? Have you noticed those warming, rising seas…and Arctic sea ice disappearing?”

Yeah, Republicans. Have you noticed all the wind, fire, and snow? The melting and the freezing?

More to the point, Senator Whitehouse represents a body of people – liberal Democrats – whose political culture involves drifting oneself into intellectual oblivion by their continual silencing of viewpoints that typically offend them. In regards to climate change, its proponents are famous for declaring, “The debate is over.”

Just this week, CampusReform.org reported that “the list of keynote commencement speakers at Ivy League institutions for 2013 does not include a single conservative.”

Wherever leftists dwell, their anti-intellectualism follows them. Senator Whitehouse is merely the latest exhibit.


The fact that renowned scientists are among the “deniers” is also cause for skepticism. Democrats insist, however, that “the science is settled” – with Senator Whitehouse accusing inconvenient scientists of being funded by “the polluters.” Oh yeah, and the “Koch Brothers.”

That’s how Democrats handle dissent – not by confronting it, but by discrediting it.

And it certainly is a wonder that Democrats never smear scientists that deliver favorable data by pointing out that they are often funded by the government and/or the United Nations.

Of all people, Democrats should realize that one major reason why climate change remains scientifically suspicious is due to the politics involved. After all, science often ceases to be science once money and power fuel the Bunsen Burners.

But Whitehouse only wants to recognize the compromised position of scientists on a particular side of the political aisle.

Moreover, Democrats are highly incurious over the body of radicals that obsess over the issue of climate change. The International Socialist Organization, like so many other Marxist organizations, openly declares that “capitalism produces poverty, racism, famine, environmental catastrophe, and war.”

Has Sheldon Whitehouse ever wondered why so many communists are so feverishly involved in the issue of climate change?

Everything people need to know about the debate over climate change can be found within the March 12th edition of the Providence Phoenix in which Wen Stephenson centers an article around devoted climate change activist Tim DeChristopher, who once said, “We should not try and hide our vision about what we want to change, of the healthy, just world that we wish to create. We are not looking for small shifts: We want a radical overhaul of our economy and society.”

Senator Whitehouse would have Republicans yield to the desires of men such as DeChristopher.

According to Stephenson, in 2008 DeChristopher “met climate scientist Terry Root, a lead IPCC author, at a symposium at the University of Utah.” After realizing that “the best case [scenario] was that carbon [emissions] peaked around 2030 and started coming back down,” DeChristopher asked Root, “Didn't the report that you guys just put out say that if [carbon emissions] didn't peak by 2015 and then start coming back down that we were pretty much all screwed, and we wouldn't even recognize the planet?"

“Yeah, that’s right,” Root replied. "You're not missing anything. There are things we could have done in the '80s, there are some things we could have done in the '90s — but it's probably too late to avoid any of the worst-case scenarios that we're talking about… I'm sorry my generation failed yours."

Hey, it’s science!

After some time, DeChristopher would come to agree with Root’s conclusion: “We are at a time in our movement where we need to be honest…[It’s] too late to stop a climate crisis.”

But, somehow, left-wing radicals still find a reason to take up arms – rather than head to the beach and just enjoy the apocalypse as much as possible.

Senator Whitehouse, for some reason, remains “ever hopeful that [Republicans] will wake up before it is too late, both for you and for the rest of us.”

Is Whitehouse listening to his own scientists? It’s over, Senator.

Stephenson’s Phoenix article stubbornly goes on to claim that the “climate-justice movement must embrace its radicalism to fight it,” and that there must be a “bold plan” “to cut greenhouse emissions” in order to prevent future “devastation.” “This is the reality…of the historical moment in which we find ourselves,” writes Stephenson. “At this late hour in the climate crisis, with the clock ticking down on civilization, to be serious about climate change…is to be radical.” Soon we'll be "locked in" to “catastrophic warming,” warns Stephenson. “Unless, that is, we drastically change course.”

So, basically, we’re out of time. But the “clock” is somehow still “ticking down.”

That doesn’t sound very scientific.


Travis Rowley (TravisRowley.com) is the author of The RI Republican: An Indictment of the Rhode Island Left.


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