Senators to Host Climate Change Slumber Party

By Matt Vespa | February 16, 2014 | 4:45pm EST

A group of U.S. Senators is planning a slumber party to discuss climate change.  So, bring your sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets because Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D- Rhode Island) told activists at Organizing for Action that these plans are a go!

And, don't forget to bring an extra alarm clock for a congressman you think needs to "wake up" to the threat of climate apocalypse:

Via the Huffington Post:

'We will be all night on the Senate floor,' said Whitehouse. The goal, he said, is 'to basically break the pattern of the Senate and show the interest of at least 20 senators who will be participating through the night.'

Whitehouse said on the call that the event would begin on March 10. But his spokesman Seth Larson told HuffPost on Thursday that "the exact date and specific details have not yet been finalized and could be subject to change." Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) will be organizing and leading that effort, Larson said.


Whitehouse also said that the members of the Climate Action Task Force are planning a rally at the Capitol in May, during which they will ask the public to deliver alarm clocks to lawmakers "to tell everyone that Congress needs to wake up on climate change."

No word on whether they'll have pillow fights - or make prank phone calls to Doomsday Deniers like Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), who tells that Whitehouse is waiting to throw his global warming party until a less frigid month:

"They are having to announce it now and actually follow through on their party later, because they can't run the risk of getting stuck in the snow.  Their plans to deliver clocks around Capitol Hill will instead just serve as a reminder that they are the true alarmists.

"As I've said before, their real challenge is to find more than 30 Members in the Senate right now who would vote in favor of global warming legislation like cap-and-trade.  At a cost of $400 billion per year, who wants to go on record in favor of something like that?  But that's exactly what makes the President's greenhouse gas regulations so dangerous.  He's doing regulations without legislation, and that's why I've spent so much time talking about it."

Whitehouse will have plenty of spooky stories to tell at the all-nighter, since he's been delivering climate horror tales on the Senate floor every week that the Senate has been in session since April 2012.

One such scary speech was made on February 4, where Whitehouse spoke about the evil, scary "climate denial beast:"

This apparatus is big, and artfully constructed:  phony-baloney organizations designed to look and sound like they're real; messages honed by public relations experts to sound like they're truthful; payroll scientists whom polluters can trot out when they need them; and the whole thing big and complicated enough that when you see its parts you could be fooled into thinking it's not all the same beast.  But it is. Just like the mythological Hydra:  many heads, same beast.


[[Sen. Whitehouse presents] The climate denial beast chart]

This chart from Dr. Brulle's report shows the complex interconnection of the Beast's major players.  The green diamonds are the big funders:  the Koch-affiliated foundations, the Scaife-affiliated foundations, the American Petroleum Institute, and so on.

And the blue circles are the who's-who of climate denial groups:  the Heartland Institute (they're the group that compared folks concerned about climate change to the Unabomber, just to give you a sense of what sort of people they are), the American Enterprise Institute, right here; the Hoover Institution; the Heritage Foundation; the Cato Institute; the Mercatus Center; to name just a few.


The Drexel University report chronicles that from 2003 to 2010, 140 foundations made grants totaling $558 million to 91 organizations that actively oppose climate action.

Ooooh! spooky! But, why are these groups opposing climate change? Again, last November, NOAA noted that the 2013 hurricane season was its calmest in 30 years.  Additionally, we've seen the quietest tornado season in nearly 60 years; the creation of 19,000 Manhattans-worth of sea ice; and the Arctic ice cap, which was supposed to be completely gone by this year, grew by 920,000 square miles.

In 1975, the same people warned about "global cooling" and were wrong. They might be wrong now, but it's safe to say that the jury is still out on global climate change, or whatever you want to call it now.

The upcoming climate slumber party is being hosted by a new Climate Action Task Force led by Sen. Whitehouse and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.).

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