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Texas Matters: The State Of Climate Change Denial

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Global climate change has already had observable effects on the environment. Glaciers have shrunk, the sea is rising, animal ranges have shifted and there are more intense heart waves.

Scientists have high confidence that global temperatures will continue to rise for decades to come, largely due to greenhouse gases produced by human activities — and the clock is ticking to deal with this. The sooner steps are taken to reduce the carbon in the atmosphere and in the oceans, the better off humanity will be. But this was not a message heard at the Texas Legislature, which recently concluded.

The Republican controlled Texas House and Senate along with other GOP elected state officials have yet to officially recognize that climate change is real, and that Texas needs to prepare for it. More was done to protect the state’s oil and gas industry than to deal with climate change in the recent legislative session.

Luke Metzger is the executive director of Environment Texas — a nonpartisan nonprofit which advocates for solutions to environmental challenges in Texas.

Politically Locked

The climate change deniers are more than undeterred in their firmly held belief that this is a hoax, it’s not that bad, it’s a liberal fantasy that’s trying to take away F-150’s and cheeseburgers. But the science has never been more clear and in agreement: the planet is warming and we are in danger. "We" can refer to Texans or humanity. There's still no action with state leaders and people seem to be fine with that — given their lack of outrage.

Andrew Dressler is a professor of atmospheric science at Texas A&M University. He is the author of the books, "Introduction to Modern Climate Change" and "The Science and Politics of Global Climate Change — A Guide to the Debate."

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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi