More Republicans Edging Toward the Emergency Exits

December 10, 2014


The climate denial Crazy Bus is heading toward a cliff.

On board,  increasingly uncomfortable republicans have been eyeing the drunk driver and their fellow, somewhat-odd passengers nervously for some time. But now, that precipice looms.
I’ve posted in the last week on various strategies being deployed for those awakening few who do not want to be written up in history as the Bull Connors and Strom Thurmonds of planetary change.

Here, Bloomberg profiles Garret Graves, a young GOP candidate who has just won a runoff election in a safe district in South Louisiana, whose professional background makes it impossible for him to continue in denial and still profess a modicum of sentience.


I briefly got to ask the candidate about the issue that separated him from most Republicans. Graves used to be Gov. Bobby Jindal’s “coastal czar,” and from that perch he warned that rising sea levels were threatening the state.

Really, he did. As Mother Jones‘s Timothy Murphy reported, Graves presided over the drafting of the state’s coastal disaster plan, which used data from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to explain the need for billions of dollars in sustainability projects. None of this went viral the way that, say, Republican also-ran Lenar Whitney’s video attacking the climate change “hoax” did.

Areas of Rep. Graves district expected to disappear within 50 years.

“You want to take your thermometer, I’ll take a ruler,” Graves told reporter Stephanie Grace when asked about that video. “To say that it’s not happening while we’re watching it is not in the best interest of the people we’re supposed to be representing.”

I started to ask about the idea, furthered by most of Louisiana’s delegation—like probable future Governor David Vitter—that climate change was a hoax.

“I’m not going to get into a prolonged discussion over climate science,” he said. “It was my job for over two years. I enjoy talking about it, but I’m not going to get into the anthropogenic versus biogenic causes of climate change right now. I’ll just say this: We have measured sea rise in south Louisiana. For us to stick our heads in the sand and pretend it’s not happening is idiotic, and it puts the lives of 2 million people who live in south Louisiana in jeopardy.”


Never mind.

Mother Jones:

Graves’ chief accomplishment as Jindal’s “coastal czar” in Baton Rouge was the 2012 Louisiana Coastal Master Plan, a $50 billion scheme to shore up the state’s rapidly disappearing coastline against erosion and rising sea levels. The proposal was hailed at the time for its scope, and Graves has won plaudits from some of Jindal’s most consistent critics for his work. “It remains unfunded, but all acknowledge that it is based on science, not politics,” wrote the New Orleans alt-weekly, the Gambit, in an editorial when Graves stepped down. “That alone is a significant accomplishment.” A coalition of environmental advocacy groups hailed Graves as an “invaluable voice” for coastal protection, and one of those groups, the Environmental Defense Fund, has spent six figures to help get Graves elected.

The Master Plan is based on the assumption that sea levels in South Louisiana will rise somewhere between five inches and 2.1 feet over the next 50 years. “Climate change was central to our analysis, given coastal Louisiana’s vulnerability to increased flooding and the sensitivity of its habitats,” the report explains. Although it doesn’t assert that the changes are man-made, it doesn’t back away from those who do. “The science behind this is extensive,” it declares, noting emphatically that “sea-level rise will accelerate in the next century.” The primary source behind this: the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has been pilloried by the right as a cabal of pseudoscientific alarmists. The plan also predicts an economic disaster if the state doesn’t act—Graves’ document forecasts a 1,000 percent jump in annual flood- and storm-related damages by 2061, to $24.1 billion each year.



5 Responses to “More Republicans Edging Toward the Emergency Exits”

  1. MorinMoss Says:

    Wow. Lenar Whitney really nailed the rightwingnut talking points in that video, only missing out on harping on abortion & gay marriage.

    Is what Alex Jones would look & sound like after gender reassignment?

  2. “… makes it impossible for him to continue in denial and still profess a modicum of sentience”. Superb!

  3. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    Republicans also don’t dig holes with emergency exits…

  4. […] Opportunities to acquire understanding and wisdom mount up as the years tick by. Which ones to seize, and which to ignore? Not many are brave enough to go public with what they have learned. Seemingly unabashed to share her insights into the way the world currently works is Lenar Whitney, Republican state representative for Louisiana. Bidding for a place in the US Congress she set out her stall here. (I found this via Peter Sinclair’s Crock of the Week.) […]

  5. […] like every time a bell rings these days, a Republican finds his conscience on […]

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