Senate: Climate Change Is Real, but Not Humans' Fault
Votes reject measures that say people are causing environmental devastation
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2015 6:54 AM CST
Land owner Jim Tarnick of Fullerton, Neb., who opposes the Keystone XL pipeline, hangs on to a sign at the site where the planned pipeline is to go through his land, Jan. 16, 2015.   (AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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(Newser) – Even though Republicans have acknowledged that climate change does indeed exist (and the Pentagon has called it a military threat), GOPers still don't want to commit to stating it's humans who actually cause it. On Wednesday the Senate voted down two measures that say just that—and yesterday it added two more measures to the rejection list, the New York Times reports. All of these proposed amendments are related to the underlying bill that Republicans are trying to pass to gain federal approval to start building the Keystone XL pipeline. With these debates, Democrats had hoped to force Republicans to make their thoughts known either way about what role they see humans playing in environmental changes.

These are the first Senate floor votes on climate change issued in eight years. The tally was 56 to 42 yesterday not to take up an amendment stating that "climate change is real, is caused by humans, and wreaks devastation," the Times notes; a second vote came in at 54 to 46 to not take up an amendment making similar claims. Both amendments also included calls to the government to take a stand on fossil fuels by transitioning away from our dependence on them (the first amendment) and boosting support for research on harnessing carbon emissions from them (the second). (Meanwhile, the Doomsday Clock has jumped 2 minutes.)