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Houston Chronicle slams Cornyn’s climate-change skepticism

The editorial board of the Houston Chronicle published a brutal take-down of John Cornyn’s sudden adoption of climate-change denialism. Excerpts below.

The four warmest years on record, according to NASA data, were 2014-2017. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that Europe had recorded the highest temperatures for the first 11 months of last year since continental testing began in 1910. The U.S. Navy has sounded the alarm over the risks of climate change. The Department of Defense has named it among our greatest national security challenges. The White House’s long-term scientific planning committee has agreed, as has state of Texas, the European Union and the United Nations.

It’s also true that storms are getting stronger, less predictable and more frequent. Sea levels are rising, threatening both tiny islands in the Pacific and cities as large as Miami. Babies born today will be finishing graduate school when summer temperatures in Houston and Dallas will likely reach 120.

Two tweets sent by the senator earlier this week highlight his lack of leadership.

Here are those tweets, plus a one extra:

The Chronicle goes on to say:

Where he has fallen so unconscionably short is in his insistence that whatever its effects, the proper remedy to climate change is within the purview of private industry, or if regulation is ever needed, through state laws. After all, as he wrote in an 2015 op-ed, private-sector ingenuity has helped address previous environmental threats.

Translation: Congress needn’t be bothered.

What a dereliction of duty.

He’s hardly alone among Republican leaders, but for the senior senator from Texas, the energy capital of the world and with a coastline especially vulnerable to climate change, it’s a devastating shortcoming.

And, the kicker:

We deserve better.

Cornyn’s “urgent” vs. “important” distinction is a lazy, fatuous dodge. It’s how we got into this mess, and at 66 years of age, John Cornyn won’t be around to see the worst of it.

But the effects can be seen now, and in his home state. The federal government even issued a report confirming that Hurricane Harvey was a climate change harbinger.

Cornyn also applauded Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Climate Accord. In the 2017-2018 election cycle, he accepted $1.6 million from the oil & gas industry.

Cornyn took 1.6 million from the oil & gas industry in 2018. Source: Open Secrets.
Cornyn took $1.6 million from the oil & gas industry (including PAC money) in 2018. Source: Open Secrets. 

Unless we completely overhaul Congress, and elect leaders who are willing to admit that climate change is a global crisis, and who are willing to confront the problem head-on, we are really and truly fucked. And our children and grandchildren—including Cornyn’s!—will fare worse than we will. We deserve better. And we will elect someone better in 2020.

One comment

  1. Senator Cornyn is a disgrace. Climate denial is the latest unhinged corruption. And his enablement of Trump has only served to magnify that behavior and amplify Trump’s messages of hate, bigotry, fear – while stoking his “nationalist” agenda and undermining democratic values of truth, justice and equality. Vote him out!

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