Republicans seek to 'neuter' new global warming committee

Tara Lohan: With one exception, Republicans chose a team of climate foes to take part in a new committee on climate change.
Speaker Pelosi created a new House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming -- much to the chagrin of Republicans who apparently think the environment is a partisan issues.

ThinkProgress writes, "Unable to block the creation of the committee, House conservative leaders are now doing everything they can to neuter it. Conservative leadership aides reportedly told Republican members that a vote in favor of the bill creating the global warming panel 'would put them out of running for a seat' on the panel."

That's right. The committee was voted into existence 269 to 150, with 44 Republicans voting in favor. But how many of those Republicans who are in support of a committee dedicated to climate change were appointed by Republicans to be a part of the effort? Just one -- Greg Walden of Oregon.

The Republican's ranking member of the committee will be James Sensenbrenner (WI), long regarded as one of those "climate skeptics" like Inhofe.

But he's sadly not alone -- apparently only 13 percent of Republicans believe global warming is caused by human activity (compared to 95 percent of Democrats). It seems the GOP is more than a little out of touch with where nearly 80 percent of Americans stand on the issue.

At this point, it is time we change the language that is used to refer to people like Sensenbrenner and Inhofe and the rest of their Republican cohorts. Using the word "skeptic" to describe those folks who are preventing progress on addressing a global crisis that will affect the environment, health, security, and way of life for billions of people is just plain criminal.

The science is in -- there is no longer anything to be skeptical about except, perhaps, why these climate foes were elected in the first place.
Tara Lohan is a managing editor at AlterNet.