The topic of the day at the Environment and Public Works subcommittee hearing was climate change. The hearing was held to discuss natural resource management, a very real concern in a world undergoing widespread global climate change. We can already see the effects of climate change right here in America, today. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) found that this past January was one of the four warmest in recorded history. The Environmental Protection Agency is already predicting longer and more common droughts in the drought prone west, rising sea levels along the coasts and more intense hurricanes to hit our eastern shores. Further, the warmer drier climate nationwide stands to cause serious disruption to American livelihoods from sea to shining sea.
The hearing was also the same week as the release of U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the United Kingdom’s Royal Society report “Climate Change: Evidence and Causes.” The report provides scientific evidence definitively supporting the reality of human caused climate change, and is aimed to educate the public and legislators. In the face of the facts climate change denial seems impossible—but then again I’ve found hearings on Capitol Hill to be full of surprises. Despite the scientific consensus on climate change the EPW hearing illustrated that there are still those who contest the reality of climate change.