Tsunami chartWhatever, my kid can do that.Image: Pacific Tsunami Warning CenterIf we had any evidence that Republican House members were capable of feeling shame, we’d expect them to be so red right now. Mother Jones reports that one of the items on the GOP’s budgetary chopping block is … tsunami monitoring. Last month, they voted to hack out nearly a third of the funding for the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which (go figure) warns about tsunamis in the Pacific:

In February, the union representing the National Weather Service warned that the Republican cuts could place the residents of Hawaii in mortal danger. “People could die… It could be serious,” Barry Hirshorn, Pacific region chairman of the National Weather Service Employees Organization, told Hawaii’s Star Advertiser. The House budget includes a 28 percent cut to the National Weather Service that would result in staffing cutbacks to Hawaii’s Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which monitors potential tsunamis in the Indian Ocean.

Because there’s no way a tsunami could hit the U.S. OH WAIT

This is getting to be a trend with these guys. Remember when Bobby Jindal mocked the Obama administration for funding volcano monitoring, and then Eyjafjallajokull erupted and massively disrupted European air travel? I’m not NECESSARILY saying that Republicans cause natural disasters, but it’s just as logical as saying sunspots cause climate change.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Seriously, it’s one thing to not believe in science. It’s quite another to be so committed to your Medieval vision of how the world works that you’re willing to stake other people’s lives on it. Call it the Jenny McCarthy phenomenon: You go around having whatever crazy beliefs you want, until they start making people die. Then folks tend to get pissed.

But the GOP is willing to take that gamble: Climate change isn’t real, so we don’t have to worry about a future full of increasingly devastating disasters, and that money would be better put towards their real objective: destroying the EPA preventing women from getting health care NASCAR advertising styrofoam cup activism JOBS somehow.


Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free. All donations DOUBLED!