By Ben Geman - 07/18/12 02:51 PM EDT
A top Democrat says a massive ice chunk that broke free from Greenland shows that policymakers must take much stronger action to battle global warming.
Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), in a statement Wednesday, cited the new Batman movie “The Dark Knight Rises” to call for climate action and take a shot at presumptive GOP White House nominee Mitt Romney.
“When Republicans like Mitt Romney reject the science surrounding climate change, and block the solutions to this grave challenge, they become complicit in the acceleration and intensification of extreme weather events around the world and here in America,” added Markey.
An ice chunk twice the size of Manhattan has broken free from Greenland’s Petermann glacier, according to The Associated Press.
Democrats are pointing to this year’s record-setting heatwaves, violent storms, wildfires and other extreme weather to seek the political offensive on climate change and criticize Romney.
Markey’s comments mark at least the second time in recent weeks that he has needled Romney on climate change.
Romney says he would seek to strip the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, and on the stump has appeared to distance himself from the widely held scientific view that humans are playing a key role in causing global warming.
Last October, the former Massachusetts governor said, “My view is that we don't know what's causing climate change on this planet.”
A spokeswoman subsequently clarified his view on warming by saying Romney “believes it's occurring, and that human activity contributes to it, but he doesn't know to what extent.”
Romney also rejects cap-and-trade proposals.
As Massachusetts governor, he initially backed efforts to create a cap-and-trade system for power plants among Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states. But Romney, citing cost concerns, later backed away from the program, which his Democratic successor, Gov. Deval Patrick, subsequently joined.
Markey, for his part, was the co-author of the sweeping cap-and-trade bill that cleared the House in 2009. But even a scaled-back plan failed to gain traction in the Senate and died in 2010 without a vote.
“We must take action to reduce the carbon pollution that is warming our planet, melting our ice caps and wreaking havoc with our weather. If we do not, we will go down as the most shortsighted generation in history,” Markey said Wednesday.