One of the most fascinating facets to emerge from the images beamed back from Mars is the striking resemblance to areas of our own planet. For some strange reason, possibly due to the sci-fi movies prevalent when we were younger, the expectation is of garish, unearthly, landscapes. It comes as something of a shock to gaze out on a vista that could be almost any desert on Earth; an amazing similarity, as NASA scientists have themselves remarked, to parts of the southwestern United States.
Given the intense drought presently gripping much of the United States, it seems likely that, within a few years, many more of this nation’s vistas will come to resemble Martian landscapes.
The science of climate change on planet Earth is now sufficiently advanced for man’s part in its causality to be well-proven. Few scientists, with the possible exception of some in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry, are in any doubt that the increasing intensity of extreme weather conditions experienced over the last few years results from man’s pollution of the planet and its atmosphere.
US politicians still refuse to act on this evidence, allowing industry to continue pumping millions of tons of carbon, and other greenhouse gases, into our atmosphere with little regard for anything but short-term profit.
One in particular, Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma…
…at last week’s Senate hearing on climate change (the first for three years) continues to deny the existence of climate change, and insists the planet is not heating up, but cooling.
I must say it feels like we’re back to the good old days. It may be hard to believe, but it was in February of 2009, during the height of the global warming alarmist movement, that this committee last held a hearing on global warming science. Back then we heard promises from the Obama administration of a clean energy revolution with green jobs propped up by billions in taxpayer dollars to companies like Solyndra.
What came of all those promises? The global warming movement has completely collapsed and cap-and-trade is dead and gone…
Yes, indeed, Mister Inhofe. Dead and gone because you and your right-wing, fossil-fuel affiliated, cronies blocked all attempts to pass legislation in the Senate.
Senator Barbara Boxer, who chairs the environment and public works committee, said afterwards that the Republican-controlled House had turned down fifteen requests from Democrats for climate change hearings. Inhofe is the leader and instigator of these refusals.
One has to wonder why he is so adamantly averse to what is fast becoming too obvious for further denial by any sane individual? Well, the answer is equally obvious.
The fossil-fuel lobby maintains Inhofe in a job. Vast sums in campaign funding are required to keep returning a senator to government. One glance at Inhofe’s generous contributors reveals why he continues with his objectionable climate-change stance, in the face of all the evidence to the contrary.
His biggest source of campaign funding over the past five years – over half a million dollars – has been from the oil and gas industry:
Koch Industries – oil, gas, minerals, chemicals, and much, much, more…
Murray Energy -“the largest privately owned coal company in America”
Devon Energy – a leader in the ‘fracking’ industry. Devon holds 13 million net acres of the North American continent, including Cana Woodford Shale and Arkoma Woodford Shale in Oklahoma.
Contran Corporation – a holding company owned by billionaire Harold Simmons, with interests in titanium mining and chemicals.
Without these corporations backing him, Inhofe would be a nobody. He’s a poodle of the powerful.
It’s the intention of corporate America to prevent any climate legislation interfering with their colossal incomes. To that end they are spending vast sums to ensure a Republican win in November’s presidential election.
The Koch brothers, owners of the giant oil producer Koch Industries, are widely perceived as Obama’s major opponents in the energy sector.
But they don’t lack for company. Oil and gas companies, led by Koch Industries, are pouring millions into the 2012 elections and almost all of it is going to the GOP.
Of the $8.1 million contributed thus far to federal candidates, 86 percent went to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
It’s a deadly game the rich and powerful think they can win. Yet, in the end, if they succeed no-one will win.
We’ve been through this now for the past 3 ½ years and the results are clear: President Obama’s green energy agenda has been a disaster. The time has come to put these tired, failed policies to rest and embrace the US energy boom so that we can put Americans back to work, turn this economy around, become totally energy independent from the Middle East, and ensure energy security for years to come.”
The Inhofe’s of America, together with their masters in the fossil-fuel industry, would sell us all down the river for the sake of their insatiable greed. Yet, there may well be no rivers for anyone, if they get their way.
Planet Earth will have the last word on climate change, not Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma. And, when she does, your backyard may well end up looking like the Martian landscape at the head of this article.
 “Nasa Mars rover makes detailed crater image” BBC, August 13th 2012
 “Statement of James M. Inhofe” US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, August 1st 2012
 “James M. Inhofe” Center for Responsive Politics
 “Energy interests pour millions into campaign” Muckety, August 9th 2012