McCain, Clinton, other senators take global-warming tour in Alaska

Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), and two other Lower-48 colleagues are touring Alaska this week to see for themselves the destructive impacts of climate change. They’ve flown over Yukon forests devastated by spruce bark beetles — believed to be thriving thanks to unusually high temperatures — and eyeballed receding glaciers at Kenai Fjords National Park. In Barrow, America’s northernmost city, the senators spoke with scientists and met Inupiat native Alaskans who described how severe environmental changes are disrupting their hunts, homes, and lives. Coastal erosion and thawing permafrost are likely to force massive relocations of Native villages, which could cost hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars. “If you can go to the Native people and listen to their stories and walk away with any doubt that something’s going on, I just think you’re not listening,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).