Unless you’ve been living underground or have a vested interest in turning a blind eye to reality, you know that climate change has sent temperatures soaring to dangerous levels around the planet this summer.
Two global climate organizations on Thursday confirmed that July is on track to be the single hottest month on record. It is also likely the hottest monthlong stretch in 120,000 years. Nearly 200 million people — 60% of the U.S. population — are currently under an extreme heat or flood advisory.
But as usual, Republican climate deniers are quick to dismiss the dire impacts.
“There is a very scientific word for this: It’s called summer,” Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-Ala.) told HuffPost when asked about the heat on Thursday. “It’s no hotter right now than it’s ever been. I’ve been in this heat all my life in July and August as a football coach. This world’s not heating up, come on.”
Tuberville coached college football before entering politics and has no apparent scientific background. Yet the lack of knowledge in the field doesn’t keep him from confidently pooh-poohing the work of thousands of scientists around the world. Last month, as much of the U.S. Northeast was blanketed in thick smoke from Canadian wildfires, Tuberville deployed a similar response: “We’ve had fires for all of our life, come on.”
Make no mistake, humans have pushed the planet into uncharted territory. Devastating heat waves have plagued the U.S., Europe and Asia in recent weeks. The extent of sea ice surrounding Antarctica is at an all-time low. Sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic are at a record high. In the Florida Keys, hot tub-level marine temperatures have triggered widespread coral bleaching, and scientists have scrambled in recent days to rescue hundreds of corals before they perish.
These two graphs scare the hell out of me. Antarctic sea ice and North Atlantic sea temp are now both freakishly outlying. pic.twitter.com/w8YjiYXMl2
— Daniel Spiro (@DanielSpiro1) June 14, 2023
During a speech Thursday about the extreme heat gripping the U.S., President Joe Biden said the impacts of global climate change are undeniable.
“I don’t know anybody who honestly believes climate change is not a serious problem,” he said.
There are, in fact, plenty.
“Only in Washington will they try to find an excuse to take something that’s been going on for hundreds of years … to promote their crazy left agenda,” House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-La.) told reporter Pablo Manríquez in The New Republic this week when asked about the link between human-induced global warming and the crushing heat.
“Southern Louisiana, it’s always hot,” Scalise added. “Thank God for air conditioning.”
Last month, Senate Republicans heard from a fossil fuel advocate at a weekly closed-door meeting who argued that the benefits of using fossil fuels outweigh the harms. GOP senators representing states reliant on oil and gas industries ate up his speech, carrying his signed book back to their offices. [Continue reading…]