Senate Democrats have introduced a joint resolution stating the belief that climate change is real and that it is a genuine threat to life on Earth.
The resolution, which is barely a page long, is a response to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who is forcing a vote on a separate bit of legislation introduced earlier this month by Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
In other words, Senate Democrats are chickening out on a proposal they once eagerly backed. And Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is now left struggling to find a good way to counter-troll Senate Republicans. Schumer surely didn’t want this situation. And his solution, perhaps the best available, makes his party look a lot worse than I think he realizes.
One problem with their fallback resolution, which carries the names of all 47 Democratic senators, is that it suggests they’re disingenuous about addressing climate change. After all, they just rolled out the Green New Deal. Now they’re asking for a vote to affirm that climate change is real. Don’t they have it backward? Perhaps it would have been wiser to establish a consensus before proposing a groundbreaking multitrillion-dollar overhaul of the U.S. economy. Or was their embrace of Cortez’ Green New Deal never really about getting anything substantive accomplished? Was it always more about playing to their base’s fevered fantasies than it was about combating climate change?
The joint resolution, which was announced Thursday by Schumer, asks that the Senate vote to affirm three core beliefs. These beliefs are:
– Climate change is real.
– Human activity during the last century is the dominant cause of the climate crisis
– The United States Congress should take immediate action to address the challenge of climate change.
Senate Democrats aren’t exactly taking a bold stand. They’ve gone from backing the wildly ambitious Green New Deal to asking for a vote to agree that climate change is real, and all because they didn’t anticipate McConnell would call up Markey’s resolution. Worse than getting outplayed with their own legislation, though, Democrats also look like they’re making it up as they go, and that’s a hell of a thing to be doing if you really believe the world will end unless we do something drastic within the next 12 years.