Senate Democrats’ 14-hour global warming “talkathon” produced enough hot air to make up for the “15-year pause” in worldwide temperature increases. But for all the senators’ dire warnings, the gabfest ended with little to show.
After talking from 6:30 p.m. Monday through 9 a.m. Tuesday, Democratic senators ended up with no plans for legislative action.
Here are some highlights:
1. Senator Harry Reid (Nev.) launched the “talkathon” by arousing fears of his favorite boogeymen as of late: “the oil-baron Koch brothers, and their allies in Congress.” The Senate majority leader warned, “Climate-change deniers still exist — there’s lots of them. They exist in this country. They exist, I’m sorry to say, in this Congress.”
2. Massachusetts’ Ed Markey was one of the stars of the show on the Senate floor. At one point, he invoked Paul Revere’s warnings of “an invasion coming from the sea,” and cautioned, “With climate change, Boston and the Bay State could now face an invasion of the sea itself.”
3. Markey later took a page out of Texas Republican Ted Cruz’ playbook by reading his own Dr. Seuss story. Rather than revisit Green Eggs and Ham, Markey read from Seuss’ environmentalist favorite The Lorax.
4. Markey also tried to illustrate the increase of carbon emissions over time through the increase in higher homerun totals during the steroid era of the 1990s.
5. Rhode Island’s Sheldon Whitehouse also used sports to warn of the impact of climate change. Unless the issue is addressed, children will no longer be able to learn hockey on frozen ponds. Additionally, many of the former sites of the Winter Olympics may no longer be “climatically suitable” to host future games.
6. One of the newest members of the Senate shared a harrowing story of crossing the United States in some kind of futuristic amphibious vehicle.
“Right after I turned 17 and got my New Jersey driver’s license, one of the earliest places I drove was a trip — the only trip I’ve ever taken — was to Hawaii,” the Garden State senator Cory Booker said.
“You didn’t drive to Hawaii,” New Mexico’s Martin Heinrich corrected him. Booker thanked his colleague for fixing the congressional record. The senators did not discuss whether rising sea levels are to blame for the deplorable condition of roads between the West Coast and the Aloha State.
— Andrew Johnson is an editorial associate at National Review Online.