Republican Louisiana Congressman Clay Higgins, who represents a congressional district that suffered from historic flooding last year and which has been further damaged this week with Tropical Storm Harvey, appears to have mixed feelings about the whole global warming discussion, particularly that related to the human involvement in any global warming.
During a recent interview with PBS, Higgins said it is “reasonable to question very carefully the science that has used models which has sometimes come under fire for having been sort of fraudulently manipulated in order to produce a result”
Yet, while aclaiming that global warming does exist and has existed before man, he appears not to be part of the population that outright claim that man-made global warming is a hoax.
Higgins, said the real issue as it relates to man-made global warming, if any, is the cost involved in dealing with the issue in terms of the “harvesting of the people’s treasury”.
Higgins, whose south Louisiana district which is adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico has had to deal with the effects of sea level rise and flooding and any man-made global warming. Higgins made his remarks in response to questions by Miles O'Brien of PBS.
Here is the relevant segment of the interview:
O’Brien: A year ago this time, your district dealt with some historic flooding and I know that you are a skeptic about the human impact on global climate change. I'm curious if this entire experience has changed your view in any way.
REP. CLAY HIGGINS: Well, I certainly do not disagree with the fact that climate change happens. But I do think that it's reasonable to question very carefully the science that has used models which has sometimes come under fire for having been sort of fraudulently manipulated in order to produce a result. When we talk about spending the people's treasure, and the very concept that we can fix climate change with some sort of a tax, is something that I certainly take very seriously with regards to having an intelligent debate about. In other words, I will not follow blindly into any endeavor that mandates the harvesting of the people's treasure.
Climate change has existed for well before human history. so the question is not whether or not our climate changes across the planet, nor is it a really a question that the human race does have some sort of impact upon climate change.
The question becomes to what degree and to what extent and what sort of timeframe, and how can we really best address that, and does it call for harvesting up the people's treasure.
O'BRIEN: So Congressman, would you concede then that it's happening and that you're living
HIGGINS: Well, climate change has always happened. That's my argument.This is well before we had four-wheel drive trucks, boats, Surburbans rolling around. Or, you know, large industrial plants or whatnot. Climate change has happened since before recorded history.
O'BRIEN: Wouldn't it be worth spending a little bit of treasure on fixing our infrastructure
to harden ourselves against this kind of storm?
REP. HIGGINS: I'm for that.
I'm all for the wise investment of the people's treasure to harden our infrastructure and to correct things like drainage. Right now, brother, we are experiencing some flooding that is going to be catastrophic to many Americans, and let us recognize that flooding does not care that we're Republicans or Democrats, or what color or creed or ethnicity we are, where we are on a social strata or how much money we make. The water just comes. And this is universally predictable across the country. Flooding has happened everywhere. And here, in the southern portions of the United States, especially the districts that I represent, the maintenance of dredging projects has been neglected for decades. And so some of the flooding that we'll experience right now will be due to improper maintenance of water control projects that were established, in some cases, 100 years ago. Man-made projects that must be maintained. So, yeah, I'm all for improving our infrastructure, including our waterways and water management control mechanisms so that American lives and property is protected in the most efficient manner. To me, I'd much rather be proactive and get involved with improvement of infrastructure as opposed to reactive and spending untold billions of dollars in an emergency procedure. Like we're about to do. We're about to pass emergency appropriations just in a couple of weeks to respond to this disaster here. And some of that could've been mitigated by the careful spending of federal and state and local monies to improve water management and control systems.