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If you have the munchies (puff puff) right now and your favorite munchies snack is Cheetos, you'll appreciate this:

Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) attacked climate deniers with a Cheetos metaphor on the Senate floor on Monday, saying those who take money from big coal and also reject global warming should be ignored.

"If 98 out of 100 doctors tell me I've got a problem, I should take their advice," he said. "And if those two other doctors get paid by Big Snack Food, like certain climate deniers get paid by Big Coal, I shouldn't take their advice." - Huffington Post, 4/23/13

I actually thought Franken used a pretty spot on comparison for climate change deniers and scientist that try to discredit evidence of climate change.  By the way, Huffington Post points out that Franken's "98 out of 100" remark echoes a 2012 survey that shows that climate change deniers have little to no scientific credibility:

Global warming deniers often claim that bias prevents them from publishing in peer-reviewed journals. But 24 articles in 18 different journals, collectively making several different arguments against global warming, expose that claim as false. Articles rejecting global warming can be published, but those that have been have earned little support or notice, even from other deniers.

A few deniers have become well known from newspaper interviews, Congressional hearings, conferences of climate change critics, books, lectures, websites and the like. Their names are conspicuously rare among the authors of the rejecting articles. Like those authors, the prominent deniers must have no evidence that falsifies global warming.

Anyone can repeat this search and post their findings. Another reviewer would likely have slightly different standards than mine and get a different number of rejecting articles. But no one will be able to reach a different conclusion, for only one conclusion is possible: Within science, global warming denial has virtually no influence. Its influence is instead on a misguided media, politicians all-too-willing to deny science for their own gain, and a gullible public.

Scientists do not disagree about human-caused global warming. It is the ruling paradigm of climate science, in the same way that plate tectonics is the ruling paradigm of geology. We know that continents move. We know that the earth is warming and that human emissions of greenhouse gases are the primary cause. These are known facts about which virtually all publishing scientists agree. - Jim Powell, DeSmog Blog, 11/15/12

Senator Franken is the chairman of the Energy Subcommittee, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, and has said he plans to use the post to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency.  His speech was calling upon colleagues to launch a dialogue about how to combat climate change:

"In a time when Americans are dealing with record droughts and devastating hurricanes, the Senate cannot afford to simply ignore climate change. We need to talk about it, just as Democratic and Republican leaders outside of Washington are talking about it. And ultimately we have to come together to start addressing climate change before its damage and cost to society get out of control." -, 4/22/13
In late 2011, Franken teamed up with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D. RI) to hold a colloquy in which they urged their colleagues to take scientific evidence of global climate change seriously, and to take legislative action to slow and reverse it:

Franken also adamantly supports federal legislation to put a price on carbon emissions:

The overwhelming majority of scientists agree that climate change is real and that steps must be taken to address the threat to public health, our economy, and our national security posed by pollution that destroys our lungs and our environment. To address this global challenge, Congress needs to enact legislation that puts a price on carbon emissions and transitions our economy to renewable, homegrown sources of energy.

Minnesota has already done this. Our state has a strong renewable electricity and renewable fuels standard in place. As Congress considers policies to address this daunting challenge, I am working to ensure that any legislation includes robust emission reduction mechanisms, consumer protections against rate increases, and provisions to secure new economic opportunities for Minnesota farmers and manufacturers. -

By the way, Franken's colleague, Senator Amy Klobuchar (D. MN), had some nice things to say about Al as he gets ready for re-election:

From left, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., react as they are acknowledged by President Barack Obama, Friday, June 1, 2012, at Honeywell in Golden Valley , Minn. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Klobuchar had kind words for former comedian Al Franken, the junior senator from Minnesota and a fellow Democrat who was elected in 2008 by a margin of 312 votes. He is running for re-election in 2014.

"He would like to more than double his margin, that's his goal," Klobuchar joked, then added, "He's clearly done a good job in the Senate. He's put his head down and worked. People thought, 'Oh, his former life on Saturday Night LIve, is he going to just be a laugh riot and come over and be a celebrity?' That just hasn't been the case at all. He's put Minnesota first and done his work." - USA Today, 4/23/13

And being a Grateful Dead fan, Franken made a Dead Head reference about Senator Patrick Leahy (D. VT):

During a discussion about seasonal agricultural worker visas at a Senate hearing on immigration reform this morning, Senator Patrick Leahy alluded to a hypothetical human-bovine conversation. "You can't tell the cows that we'll be back in six months to milk you again," Leahy said, "they don't react well to that."

When it was his turn, Senator Al Franken pointed out that you can't tell cows anything, because they are cows, and implied that Leahy might only believe otherwise because, as a noted Deadhead, he was currently under the influence of the marijuana. - New York magazine, 4/22/13

Leahy himself is an admitted Dead Head as well.  If you'd like to donate to Al's 2014 re-election campaign so he can continue to fight for resolutions to climate change, please do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Apr 23, 2013 at 08:00 PM PDT.

Also republished by Climate Hawks and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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