The Democratic Party’s recent midterm election wins in House of Representative races across the country means that the party will take over control of that body in the legislature in 2019.
Democrats likely have many plans for once they do take control officially in January, including addressing the need to examine changes in the world’s climate.
Current House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, who is a likely choice to become Speaker of the House next year, said she plans to ask members of her party to revive the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. That committee, which was created during Pelosi’s last tenure as speaker, was dissolved in 2011 after Republicans took control of the House after the Tea Party election wave the year before, according to reporting from the Hill.
The committee has, in the past, held hearings about climate change and extreme weather events. Although not capable of drafting legislation itself at the time, it was deemed an important committee to allow lawmakers to discuss the effects of man-made climate change.
The establishment of the committee will almost undoubtedly run counter to the opinions of the White House. President Donald Trump has, in the recent past, suggested skepticism on the topic and with scientists themselves who say climate change is a certain and real threat.
Trump said in an interview with 60 Minutes last month that climate scientists “have a very big political agenda.” He also said that, while he’s not necessarily casting doubts that climate change is real, he doesn’t believe humans are responsible for the warming temperatures across the planet.
“I don’t think it’s a hoax, I think there’s probably a difference. But I don’t know that it’s man-made,” Trump said, per reporting from the Inquisitr.
Scientists last month issued a damning report, urging leaders of the world to do something about climate change soon or risk creating irreparable damage to the planet. If no drastic steps are taken by 2030, the United Nations report stated, untold damage and destruction (not to mention the loss of human life) could come about, including increased incidents of extreme drought, more wildfires, huge flooding events, and food shortages affecting millions, according to reporting from CNN.
Current plans to address climate change will not work, experts warned.
“The window on keeping global warming below 1.5 degrees C is closing rapidly and the current emissions pledges made by signatories to the Paris Agreement do not add up to us achieving that goal,” said Andrew King, climate science lecturer at the University of Melbourne.