Senators on climate change: “We look a bit like Neanderthals”

With most Americans now viewing climate change as a major threat, a group of senators announced the first bipartisan climate caucus to address the crisis. But the senators are short on specifics and seem to be taking small steps toward action, CBS News chief congressional correspondent Nancy Cordes reports.

Utah Senator Mitt Romney is one of four Republicans, three Democrats and one Independent who just joined the caucus. “We look a bit like Neanderthals,” he said. “It’s real. We’ve got to take action.” 

The caucus is the brainchild of Delaware Democrat Chris Coons and Indiana Republican Mike Braun. “My expectation is that we will start by listening,” Coons said.
 
“I’ve got four kids,” Braun said. “I took a poll among them, ‘What do you think about this idea?’ They love it.”
 
It’s a departure from the climate science skepticism the GOP has embraced in recent years. “There are still some Republican senators who think that cold winter weather is a sign that the climate isn’t changing,” Cordes said to the senators, referring to a common but mistaken assumption

“Science is more and more clear, and I think people will either be convinced or not as time goes on,” Romney said.

“I think many probably just were not willing to say it,” said Braun. “To me, it’s chemistry and physics, and I’m not going to deny that.”
 
Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen can already see the impacts of climate change in her home state of New Hampshire. “Our ski industry is affected, our snowmobiling, our maple-surgaring industry. So many things that people can see,” she said.

Coons also said he has seen changes in his state. “It’s striking, in Delaware, just how much it’s impacting everything, from sports fishing, commercial fishing,” he said.

The caucus’ first move will be a meeting with CEOs, some of whom are pushing for a carbon tax. But the group will not commit to anything yet. 
 
“If we go there right away, I think we’ll probably be doing the whole thing a disservice,” Braun said.

“Do you have to cap, or at the very least discourage emissions, in order to make a difference?” Cordes asked.

“Oh, I’m not going to say any ‘have to’ with regards to climate. I think all the ideas will be on the table,” Romney said.

Maine Senator Angus King said strength in numbers will help. “My philosophy is, let’s take small steps, find some things we can succeed on,” he said. 

Scientists insist there’s an urgency to act now, with millions at risk from rising temperatures and sea levels. And with the crisis threatening to cut the U.S. economy up to 10% by century’s end, these senators hope Congress can catch up.

“I do believe that old saying is true, which is, when they feel the heat, they’ll see the light,” Romney said. “People who might otherwise be more inclined to slow things down are going to say, ‘We’ve got to respond.'”

The group wants to introduce legislation by next year, but they have a challenge in winning over the Trump White House, which just began the process of withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accords this week and has rolled back dozens of environmental rules in the past three years.

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NHL roundup: 5-goal period lifts Panthers over Senators

© Reuters. NHL: Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers © Reuters. NHL: Ottawa Senators at Florida Panthers

Aleksander Barkov scored twice as the Florida Panthers won their fourth straight game, scoring five goals in the second period to defeating the visiting Ottawa Senators 5-1 on Sunday afternoon.

Barkov, an All-Star last season, scored both of his goals in that second period. After a slow start this season, he has five goals. Florida also got goals from Jonathan Huberdeau, Troy Brouwer and Frank Vatrano.

Panthers winger Mike Hoffman, who had played his entire career with Ottawa until he was traded twice in the offseason, earned two assists and extended his points streak to 12 games, one short of Pavel Bure’s team record.

Florida backup goalie James Reimer made 34 saves, earning just his second win of the season (2-4-1). Ottawa backup goalie Mike McKenna, making his third appearance and first start of the season, made 35 saves.

Jets 5, Devils 2

Mark Scheifele scored twice and Blake Wheeler extended his points streak to 10 games with two assists as host Winnipeg never trailed in beating slumping New Jersey.

Scheifele scored two of Winnipeg’s first three goals and assisted on a third, by Nikolaj Ehlers. Jack Roslovic and Mathieu Perreault also scored for the Jets, and Brett Seney and Blake Coleman scored for the Devils who beat the Devils

Connor Hellebuyck made 34 saves as Winnipeg improved to 7-2-1 at home.

Bruins 4, Golden Knights 1

Goaltender Jaroslav Halak stopped 37 shots to win for the second straight night, and David Pastrnak scored his NHL-leading 16th goal in Boston’s win over visiting Vegas.

Danton Heinen, Jeremy Lauzon and Brad Marchand also scored goals for the Bruins, who wrapped up a four-game homestand with their third win. Cody Eakin scored for the Golden Knights.

With No. 1 goalie Tuukka Rask out after being granted a leave of absence on Friday, Halak recorded 40 saves Saturday night in Boston’s 5-1 thrashing of Toronto and was back at it against Vegas.

Sharks 3, Flames 1

Joe Pavelski had a three-point outing while Evander Kane and Joonas Donskoi each collected one goal and one assist as San Jose stopped visiting Calgary.

Sharks goalie Martin Jones made 14 of his 29 saves in the third period to backstop his team to a victory that snaps a two-game losing skid.

Kane opened the scoring just 50 seconds into the game, potting his sixth tally of the season and seventh in his last three games against the Flames. Kane collected the puck from Donskoi and worked to the left face-off dot before whipping a shot that beat the glove of Flames netminder Mike Smith.

Coyotes 4, Capitals 1

Richard Panik and Alex Galchenyuk both finished with a goal and an assist as Arizona ended a three game losing streak by defeating host Washington, which has lost two in a row.

Arizona goalie Darcy Kuemper helped with 38 saves, robbing the Capitals on several occasions. Braden Holtby finished with 18 saves for Washington.

Vinnie Hinostroza and Derek Stepan also scored Arizona, and Nicklas Backstrom scored for Washington,

Avalanche 4, Oilers 1

Mikko Rantanen, Carl Soderberg and Tyson Barrie each scored a goal and added an assist as visiting Colorado beat Edmonton to end their losing streak at five games.

The Oilers (8-8-1) suffered their fourth straight loss. The setback raised questions about the future of Oilers coach Todd McLellan, who is considered to be on the hot seat.

Colorado goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 26 of 27 shots to up his team’s record to 8-6-3, while Edmonton starter Cam Talbot recorded 12 saves on 15 shots in 25:06 of action. Oilers backup Mikko Koskinen allowed 1 goal on 13 shots.

Wild 3, Blues 2

Minnesota heads home on a winning note after defeating host St. Louis, as Mikael Granlund scored the tiebreaking goal with 12:17 to play in the third period.

Zach Parise and Joel Eriksson Ek scored during a 25-second span of the second period for the Wild. It was the seventh of the season for Parise and the first for Eriksson Ek. Oskar Sundqvist and Alex Pietrangelo scored for the Blues.

Minnesota’s Devan Dubnyk was credited with 29 saves. He stopped all 12 St. Louis deliveries in the third period. Chad Johnson stopped 15 shots for the Blues, facing only 10 after the first period.

(Field Level Media)

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