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When it comes to climate change delay is denial. Anyone who does not acknowledge that immediate steps must be taken to dramatically reduce emissions is by implication denying the scientific fact that precious little carbon sequester capacity remains for us to use without exceeding 2c warming. The difference between delayers and deniers is more rhetorical than substantive. They share the same policy positions and goals. It's just that the delayer is the good cop to the denier's bad cop. Inhofian madhattery lets the Landrieu and Manchin types sound somewhat scientifically sane when they say "of course we eventually will have to do something about climate change, but not yet."

The Democratic Senate leadership has just chosen climate change delayer Mary Landrieu to be chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. Let that sink in.

Landrieu (D, Big Oil), one of Mother Nature News Network's five Democrats who don't get global warming, is surpassed only perhaps by Joe Manchin (D, Big Coal) in anti-environmentalism on our side of the aisle.

Her lifetime League of Conservation Voters score barely breaks 50%, and she was one of LCV's dirty dozen in 2008.

She supports ammending the Clean Air Act to prevent the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.

She and her Republican cosponsor on that bill have been two of the biggest recipients of Big Oil campaign contributions.

She and Mark Begich made opposition to the "Close Big Oil Tax Loopholes Act" a bipartisan affair.

She even joined the most notorious climate denier in the Senate, James Inhofe (R, Crazytown), in voting to elimate federal spending to reduce CO2 emissions.

Just this summer she echoed rightwing anti-regulatory rhetoric in attacking the president's call for action on climate change.

Landrieu supports construction of export infrastructure to facilitate the rapid expansion of production of the worst oil on earth for climate change, even as we stand of the precipice of global catastrophe.

Her position on tar sands extraction and exports is inconsistent with scientific facts on action necessary to keep warming below the 2c threshold. Delay is denial.

This list could go on and on. No doubt some commenters will find some concilliatory statements and favorable votes by Landrieu, but we're not fooled by the good cop/bad cop routine. There's no doubt that Landrieu is a climate action delayer. In my book, delay is denial. With Democrats like these, who needs Republicans? We're not looking for kinder gentler corporatism.

Kossacks, please, walk me back from this ledge. When the Democratic leadership betrays environmentalists repeatedly, why should we continue to vote Democratic?

Yes, I understand the significance of Landrieu's seat for retaining control of the Senate, and I understand Big Oil's pull in her state. Yes I've heard (and sometimes given) all the arguments against "purism." But here's the thing: if we have a slim majority and pragmatic defectors on every issue (a different defector for each issue) then we still lose every vote. We may as well have a Republican majority, in that case. It's just a mathematical fact that purism has it's place. If we've got defectors on every issue then we keep losing.

Originally posted to play jurist on Wed Feb 12, 2014 at 03:25 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Change SOS.

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