The lies candidates tell

Will Florida continue to deny climate change when it's drowning?

“I just came back from New Hampshire, where there’s snow and ice everywhere. My view on this is simple: Debates on this should follow science and should follow data, and many of the alarmists on global warming, they have a problem because the science doesn’t back them up.”

So sayeth newly-announced presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, personifying the weather report view of climate change, i.e. ’I see snow, therefore global warming doesn’t exist.’ Cruz is a long-time denier, stating last year: “The problem with climate change is there’s never been a day in the history of the world in which the climate is not changing.”

California Gov. Jerry Brown, leader of a state experiencing a drought reaching historic proportions sees the issue differently. And he’s tired of the climate change deniers’ nonsense. On Meet the Press, he proclaimed Senator Cruz “absolutely unfit to be running for office. That man betokens such a level of ignorance and a direct falsification of existing scientific data. It’s shocking, and I think that man has rendered himself absolutely unfit to be running for office.”

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid recently took on Senate Republicans who have no plan to address climate change “and cannot even bear to utter the words.” He blamed the Republicans’ anti-global warming position on the influence of the fossil fuel industry. He said, “There is a massive political and public relations operation being run by the fossil fuel industry to create false doubt and plant phony questions to delay their day of reckoning, so they can keep making money.”

Certainly, the recent exposure of Harvard researcher, Willie Soon, who was paid $1.25 million by Exxon Mobil, other fossil fuel companies and a Koch brothers foundation, should raise some eyebrows. Soon believes climate change is caused by the sun, not rising greenhouse gas emissions. His funding sources were undisclosed until Greenpeace uncovered proof through the Freedom of Information Act.

Yet, the denial continues, with Cruz and his cronies obsessed with ignoring science, calling climate change activists “flat Earthers.” In 2014 Cruz told CNN, “The last 15 years, there has been no recorded warming. Contrary to all the theories that—that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened.”

Better get your facts straight before you come to campaign in Nevada, senator. According to the Nevada State Climate Office report, in 2014, Nevada had the highest average statewide temperature, at 53 degrees, since recordkeeping began in 1895. Our normal average temperature is 49.5 degrees.

Ski resorts are closing earlier than ever and the Lake Tahoe Basin’s snowpack on April 1 was just 3 percent of normal, the worst snowpack on record.

It was refreshing to see the city of Reno show leadership in acknowledging the issue of climate change as a threat to the region. At the city’s annual retreat, Councilmember David Bobzien argued strongly for growth policies to take climate change into account. Councilmember Jenny Brekhus agreed, saying, “(City) master plans, they are more or less climate action plans.” The council intends to consider policy changes in land use planning, public transit, and perhaps embedding carbon footprint mitigation requirements in local building codes.

Even FEMA is getting it right. Beginning in 2016, states must address climate change in their hazard-mitigation plans or risk loss of disaster-preparedness funds. This will roil governors like Rick Scott of Florida, who ordered his Environmental Protection staff to avoid using the terms “climate change” and “global warming” in any official communications despite the fact that Florida is the state most susceptible to the effects of global warming.

Can we please bravely face the truth? Climate change is real. Any politician who refuses to acknowledge that fact doesn’t deserve your vote.