Rep. John Shimkus goes to Washington and becomes Mr. Incredible. It could happen.
Except that he has already been there and is creating quite a stir now for his 2009 testimony regarding climate change during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing. Shimkus, of Collinsville, is the highest ranking Republican member of he committee, and may become chairman.
As a result, his views on carbon dioxide and climate change are now front and center. But perhaps more so are his views on the Bible, the fact that he is a Bible-believing Christian, is open about it and believes in the inerrancy of scripture in the Bible. National news organizations and not a few environmental extremists have taken notice. Shimkus has been dubbed Mr. Incredible by political cartoonist R.J. Matson for his views. He has been described as far worse by others in the online media. A St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial labeled Shimkus “Chairman Clueless,” for speaking his mind about the Bible as it relates to climate change.
What is disturbing is the tone with which many dismiss the Christian beliefs and testimony of a legislator - that he would dare to claim that the Bible is infallible, or without mistakes. The headline seems to plead with God, that he would somehow prevent Shimkus from becoming chairman of the committee. The reality is that the editorial writers at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch probably have no such view or conviction, but rather are simply mocking Shimkus’ beliefs.
The editorial refers to testimony given by Shimkus dating from 2009, when clergy were present at the hearing, when he quoted from the Bible. A Politico article on the hearing says “he drew snickers from the left,” for quoting the Bible. Perhaps this is what is more important to liberals: that a Christian would dare to seriously quote the Bible in a committee hearing, and then suggest that he become a committee chairman on climate change.
If chosen, Shimkus would replace Rep. Henry Waxman, a congressman with a view of government involvement and politics far to the left of Shimkus. Under Waxman’s leadership, a climate control bill narrowly passed the House and stalled in the senate.
While Rep. Shimkus may be honest about his Christian beliefs, the question is whether his beliefs are reasonable as they may affect environmental standards. Does he oppose any and all environmental and industrial emissions. Clearly, no. He has also stated simply that he does believe in climate change.
The question for Shimkus is about spending taxpayer dollars on climate change. And let there be no mistake about Shimkus’ political leanings: they are pro business, and practical to the degree that any sort of climate change legislation popular with liberals will probably not see the light of day. Shimkus’ pragmatic view may be exactly what is needed in creating a reasonable emissions standards for the U.S. relative to China and India.
Pragmatism is exactly what is needed to combat extremist views on carbon emissions, some of which are coming from China.
In defending skyrocketing emissions, China is claiming that the United States and European countries are actually responsible for the Carbon emissions because the products are being exported to those countries.
At least a third of additional carbon emissions are because of exports to developed nations like the U.S.
It’s just the kind of logic - or Western guilt - that could be served up by liberals as necessary climate policy, to “even” the emissions score. Besides, the U.S. and other more developed countries have contributed far more carbon emissions and other pollutants during the past 100 years. One could use the same logic as illegal drugs crossing into the U.S. from Mexico. If the U.S. would just stop buying Chinese products, carbon emissions would drop in China.
Which is exactly why Shimkus’ leadership is necessary - to present a climate change policy that protects U.S. interests and does not given them away because of the latest alarmist testimony about carbon emissions and global warming.
And that could be incredible.
© 2010 Larry Ingram
Based in St Louis,
Larry Ingram writes about the news media, movies and culture, as well as topics like race, privilege, Christianity, religious expression and tolerance.
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