Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An Open letter to Climate Change Skeptics in Congress: Resolving a long gridlock?

Keywords of Terms: US Congress; Attitudinal change; Bi-Partisanship; Stalled Climate Change Bill; Advocacy Groups; Congressional Hearings and Testimonies; New Beginnings

How can Congress know whether or not we have issues with climate change? How can congress weigh scientific against non-scientific information on climate change when several bills are sitting on congressional docket without attention? How were water quality issues impacting fish kills in many watershed traced to phosphate discharges from several point and non-point sources, if setback regulations on water waste systems were not in place; regulations, traceable to the act of congress? How can congress identify the specific risk factors of climate change if it refuses to open communication to body of proofs? How can Americans have the information on the risk factors specific to climate change; and probably quality of life that will reduce medical costs? How can advocacy groups tender their justification for policy enactment or regulations to combat potential human activities impacting climate change? How can congress know whether to fund some parts of the climate change bill or all? How can we resolve this long gridlock? For most of us, it’s simply not practical to assume that opposing views on the subject of climate change are incredulous; thus, congress will not look more carefully to the opposing views coming from several interest groups.

In 1969, the United States manned mission moon landing, opened up the benefits of today’s information age or society. Over several decades, we invested human and non-human capital in space travels, advanced science to a degree never before imagined, solidified lunar advances to the envy of the rest of the world. Our investments in pioneer and ranger space missions not only afforded us to read and understand our solar environment, they made our understanding of air (winds), land and water movements around the globe, less of a guess work. For starters, there are some of us who believe there are enough data in the nation’s kitty from space experiments, either from Lyman-alpha telescope, rubidium-vapor magnetometer or particle detectors, to junk or support a case for climate change, period. United States Congress nonpartisan 1965 NASA budget appropriation not only landed a manned Apollo rocket on the moon, it laid the foundation for Ranger 8 and 9 successes. All through these successes, it took a non-partisan congress to act and attain the dream of a President and the ordinary American.

The debate over whether man landed on the moon or not, emanating from conspirators’ theorists, were put to rest through empirical evidence garnered from dialogues and conversations. The resolution pictures of NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance orbiter were not only mind blowing, they essentially made a believer even of astute hoax theorist; and if that was not enough, when the conspirators’ theorists saw the astronaut’s walking paths in the lunar dust in the 2009 pictures, many probably blamed themselves of ignorance. And, as the saying goes, Time of ignorance God overlooks! In the same light, if US Congress opens up debate over climate change, empirical and non-empirical evidence will likely open up our minds or make us junk the advances. Shutting the door against dialogues and debates only muddle up the whole process and issues.

Holding series of congressional hearings and testimonies helped the nation continue conversations and dialogue over whether we take the route of manned space or robot-based space program. Congressional hearings and testimonies have a way of exposing the truth about proposals, advances or heated debates. The US Space program has been successful so far, because there is a constant congressional updates over the developments on the programs and funding for the program has remained mostly nonpartisan. We have built the bridge to far away galaxies through experimental explorations and empirical evidence, including heated debates among our scientists. Despite the fact that we realize how challenging some of our endeavors or explorations are for the limits of human body, despite the fact that some of the empirical evidence called to question our initial misconceptions or position, we have remained open to robbing our minds against each other, to deliver truth. That is why the hold up on many of the bills on climate change in congress, hardly serves the interest of the people
With congressional acquiescence, the climate change bills that are lagging in congress may be tabled. Yes, the Senate defeat of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, after passing the House on a vote of 219 to 212 in the 111th US Congress (H.R. 2454) was a blow to some interest groups on emissions standards; Yes, there are biologists and ecologists against legislation set to destroy wildlife habitat by setting aside US environmental laws protecting Yosemite National Park and National Forests;  Yes, the American meteorological society believes that global temperature will rise in the next one hundred years by about 7 degrees Fahrenheit’s, and this shift in temperature may trigger widespread disasters for rising sea levels, violent and volatile weather patterns, water shortage and desertification, among others; and, Yes, Australia, a country with probably similar dynamics with carbon-based burning to the US has been able to pass a bill through their lower and upper house of parliament that curtails carbon emissions. Getting into tit-for-tat dynamics with President Obama’s choice to use executive power to reverse the new coal-fired powered plants guideline of US EPA that was rolled back by the Republican led US House Energy and Commerce Committee vote of 29-19, is essentially, not the way out of this quagmires.

We must remember that most of our accomplishments and successes in the space program have been through dialogues and conversations. Holding fastidious to one’s position is often not a characteristic of a team player. Offering opportunities to testify by those who know more about the issue of climate change, in a transparent congressional hearing and testimony, is probably the best standard, to avert mistrust and misconceptions of many interest groups on the debate over climate change. There has to been room for us to look at issues in a nonpartisan way, whether those issues are in agreement with our beliefs or not; however, with the Republican/Tea party controlled House of Representatives, it has been difficult for us to confront our fears, lately. There is room for us to give each other the benefit of doubt on the debate over climate change; we owe ourselves the opportunity to talk over our doubts with those holding opposing views to our position. The choice now is not to continue in the soloist flight of my way or the highway.

Attitudes have to change; lawmaking and debates in congress need to take a new tune and turn; things in congress have to change. The nation needs to begin the debate somehow, congressional lawmakers who are the proxy for the will of the people, need to take action on the floods of climate change bill on congressional docket. Funding is not the only issue on several congressional dockets on climate change. So, with this appeal and pleading for bipartisanship in United States Congress, there has to be a new movement to do the work of the people, not only with climate change! We need a new start, beginning once again, with the climate change bills.