Budget Chief: Denying Climate Change ‘Makes You a Member of the Flat Earth Society’

By Penny Starr | September 19, 2014 | 4:48 PM EDT

Shawn Donovan, director of the Office of Management of Budget, spoke at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 19, 2014. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Shawn Donovan, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said on Friday that if you don’t believe in climate change and support federal spending to fight it, you believe the earth is flat.

“The failure to invest in climate solutions and climate preparedness doesn’t get you membership in a fiscal conservatives caucus,” Donovan said at the Center for American Progress in Washington, D.C. “It makes you a member of the Flat Earth Society.”

Donovan, who formerly ran the Department of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, is now in charge of the arm of the executive branch that oversees the federal budget and a range of other executive branch functions, including oversight of federal regulations and congressional legislation.

At CAP, Donovan spoke about what he claimed is the cost of not spending federal dollars – or taxpayer dollars – and local and state funds on “climate solutions and climate preparedness.”

“Climate action is a must do,” Donovan said. “Climate inaction is a can’t do.

“And climate denial scores,” Donovan said. “ And I don’t mean scores like the average person would think – scoring points on a board.

“I mean that it scores in the budget,” Donovan said.

“Climate denial will cost us billions and billions of dollars,” Donovan said. “The failure to invest in climate solutions and climate preparedness doesn’t get you membership in a fiscal conservatives caucus.

“It makes you a member of the Flat Earth Society,” said Donovan, citing a controversial organization that dates back to ancient times founded on the belief that the earth is a disc not a sphere. The society still exists online today and on Twitter.

“Climate denial doesn’t just fly in the face of the overwhelming judgment of science,” Donovan said. “It is fiscally foolish.

“And while we cannot say with certainty that any individual event is caused by climate change, it’s clearly increasing the frequency and intensity of many different kinds of severe weather events,” Donovan said.

“The costs of climate change add up, and ignoring the problem only makes it worse,” Donovan said.

Along with Donovan’s address, CAP – a liberal think tank founded by John Podesta, now top advisor to Obama – also distributed a July report entitled: “One Storm Shy of Despair; A Climate-Smart Plan for the Administration to Help Low-income Communities.”

The report concludes: “The new normal of more extreme weather triggered by climate change creates costly risks with devastating consequences, particularly in low-income communities. The time is now for leadership across all levels of government, and coordination across sectors and with the private sector, to reduce these risks.

"By improving the quality of our housing and infrastructure, reducing environmental hazards in communities, and increasing economic security, the president, state and local governments, and Congress can build resilient, safe, and equitable communities where all Americans can prosper.”

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