HARD TO ARGUE WITH LOGIC LIKE THAT…. It was certainly discouraging that Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) argued, publicly and with a straight face, that if we limit carbon emissions, we’re “taking away plant food from the atmosphere.” But I was also impressed by Shimkus’ theological argument against combating global warming.
Shimkus explains — well, perhaps “explains” is a strong word — his belief that we need not worry about the effects of global warming, because his interpretation of the Bible suggests planetary changes are solely in the hands of the Christian God. “The Earth will end only when God declares it’s time to be over,” the Illinois Republican said. “Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a flood…. God’s word is infallible, unchanging, perfect.”
What’s more, be sure to watch to the end of the video clip, at which point Shimkus argues that we’re not pumping enough carbon into the atmosphere: “There is a theological debate that this is a carbon-starved planet, not too much carbon.”
I’ve heard a few conservatives over the years argue, “Kill ’em all and let God sort ’em out.” I didn’t expect, however, to hear an elected member of Congress apply this thinking to environmental policy.
Shimkus’ “insights” came around the same time as Rep. Joe Barton’s (R-Texas) argument that we need not worry about global warming, because in a pinch, humanity can simply pursue an “utterly natural reflex response to nature,” by finding “shade.”
There’s a genuine policy discussion to be had about climate change. If policymakers like Shimkus and Barton represent the mainstream of House Republican thought, this discussion won’t be bipartisan. Indeed, for humanity’s sake, it can’t be.