A dire warning on climate change from two Republicans (who aren't in Congress any more)

The Republican party needs to wake up to the reality that we're causing global climate change before it's too late, warned two former GOP congressmen.

Former Rep. Sherwood Boehlert (R-NY) wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post urging the members of his party to "open their minds to rethinking what has largely become our party's line: denying that climate change and global warming are occurring and that they are largely due to human activities." He noted:

In a trio of reports released in May, the prestigious and nonpartisan National Academy concluded that "a strong, credible body of scientific evidence shows that climate change is occurring, is caused largely by human activities and poses significant risks for a broad range of human and natural systems." Our nation's most authoritative and respected scientific body couldn't make it any clearer or more conclusive....

What is happening to the party of Ronald Reagan? He embraced scientific understanding of the environment and pollution and was proud of his role in helping to phase out ozone-depleting chemicals. That was smart policy and smart politics. Most important, unlike many who profess to be his followers, Reagan didn't deny the existence of global environmental problems but instead found ways to address them.

And Rep. Bob Inglis (R-SC), who was ousted this year by a Tea Party-backed candidate, used a House science and environment subcommittee hearing to take his own party to task. He used the analogy of a sick child, according to the New York Times:

"Your child is sick," he said. "Ninety-eight doctors say treat him this way. Two say no, this other way is the way to go." By taking the minority viewpoint that carbon emissions are not a problem, "you're taking a big risk with those kids," he said.

And Inglis said that China was going to "eat our lunch" in developing green technologies (such as the wind power plant in Urumqi, pictured above):

They plan on innovating around these problems, and selling to us, and the rest of the world, the technology that'll lead the 21st century. We may press the pause button for a few years, but China is pressing the fast-forward button.

Too bad both of them are out of Congress — by all accounts, the new crop of GOP legislators is more skeptical about the validity of climate change science than their predecessors, and the most likely new chairman of the House Science and Technology panel, Ralph Hall (R-TX), has vowed to question climate scientists under oath about "the integrity of their research," the Times reports.

Top image: Getty Images.