August 15, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Members of the national, California, and San Diego Leagues of Conservation Voters will deliver a climate change denier award to Rep. Darrell Issa in recognition of his extreme anti-science views, which put him at odds with 97 percent of scientists and a majority of the American people. The event is part of a “Day of Action” held nationally in coordination with Organizing for Action to hold climate change deniers accountable.
“As Chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Congressman Issa is not only denying climate change, but also actively impeding federal action, pledging to hold hearings on the ‘Politicization of Science,’ and calling for greater oversight of the EPA’s regulations of greenhouse gases,” said Livia Borak, President of the San Diego League of Conservation Voters. “Congressman Issa voted against cap and trade and for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Even in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, he continued to deny an increase greenhouse gas emissions and manmade climate change.”
“Congressman Issa’s winning of the Climate Change Denier Award seems especially appropriate for him considering his technical background. He certainly must understand the evidence of climate change, which leads one to consider if he has something to gain by continuing his lack of action with this incredibly important issue,” said Dave Peiser, a constituent who is active with several organizations with a focus on climate change solutions.
“The Sierra Club calls on all members of Congress to stop denying climate change science. Instead of playing dumb, we would also like our federal legislators to help us educate our local leaders. We don’t need deniers. We need your help,” said Mike Bullock, Chair of the San Diego Chapter of the Sierra Club’s Transportation Committee.
“One of the difficulties in examining the issue of the climate change and greenhouse gases is that there is a wide range of scientific opinion on this issue and the science community does not agree to the extent of the problem or the critical threshold of when this problem is truly catastrophic,” says Issa on his own website.
The reality, says President Barack Obama’s “Organizing for Action,” is that the scientific consensus is that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities, and poses significant risks for public health and welfare. There is no significant scientific disagreement on these facts. A study published in May 2013 found that 97% of scientists agree that man-made climate change is a reality. Climate change is caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, caused by human activity like burning fossil fuels and land use changes.
“Despite the scientific consensus, Issa claims a ‘careful relook’ at the science is necessary. It's clear, however, that he's already made up his mind. Congressman Issa, we’ve heard your skepticism loud and clear, and today we want to honor you with this Climate Change Denier award,” said Borak.
In a report released just last week, the California Environmental Protection Agency says climate change is having a significant and measurable impact on California’s environment. The indicators highlighted in the report show that climate change is occurring throughout California, from the Pacific Coast to the Central Valley to the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Impacts of a warmer climate include decreasing spring snowmelt runoff, rising sea levels along the California coast, shrinking glaciers, increasing wildfires, warming lakes and ocean waters, and the gradual migration of many plants and animals to higher elevations.
According to a study presented by the San Diego Foundation, "San Diego's Changing Climate: A Regional Wake-up Call," if current warming trends continue, San Diego’s climate will become hotter and drier. By 2050, average annual temperatures will rise between 1.5 and 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit, with higher increases in summer. Heat waves will increase in frequency, magnitude, and duration. The region will become even more vulnerable to drought. Sea level will be 12-18 inches higher. Beaches will shrink and some will disappear completely. Fragile sea cliffs will collapse. Coastal properties will be flooded with increasing regularity. More frequent high waves and rough surf will increase the potential for significant damage. Existing tide pools will be destroyed. Coastal wetlands will lose their capacity to filter polluted runoff and keep beaches clean.
According to the latest Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) poll on Californians and the environment, a record-high majority of Californians say state government should act right away to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, rather than wait until the economy and job situation improve. In the annual survey, 65 percent of Californians say the government should act right away to cut emissions—up 9 points since 2012. Less than a third say the state should wait for the economy to improve. Among likely voters, 59 percent say the state should act now, up 13 points since last year. For more information, visit http://www.ppic.org/main/pressrelease.asp?i=1378