Climate

Half Of GOP Caucus Are Climate Zombies, Four Members Admit Science Is Real

Following the Tea Party wave of the midterm elections, half of the Republican caucus in the U.S. Congress now questions the scientific consensus that greenhouse pollution is a civilizational threat. Analysis by the Wonk Room, with research by Daily Kos’s RL Miller, finds that 45 of 97 Republican freshmen and 85 of 166 reelected Republicans are confirmed climate zombies. There are no Republican freshmen, in the House or Senate, who admit the science is real. New members include William Marcy (MS-2) — who warns of “Global Warming Environmental Terrorists” — and Kristi Noem (SD-AL) — who voted for a resolution that “astrological” and “thermological” dynamics “effect” the weather.

The U.S. Senate, as the Wonk Room has previously described, has a monolithic Republican bloc against climate action, with incoming Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) repudiating their past support for cap-and-trade legislation. The U.S. House of Representatives now only has four Republicans who publicly admit that global warming pollution is real:

— Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL-18): “Global warming is real and man-made.”

— Rep. Judy Biggert (IL-13): “The science behind climate change is sound.”

— Rep. Jim Gerlach (PA-06): “Congressman Gerlach believes we have a responsibility as legislators and citizens to reduce our imprint on the Earth and reverse the effects of science-based climate change for both current and future generations.”

— Rep. Frank Wolf (VA-01): “I believe that global warming is real. The National Academy of Sciences has presented evidence that the Earth’s surface is warming because of human activities, including increased worldwide industrial development, over the past several decades.”

However, none of these four voted in favor of the American Clean Energy and Security Act to combat climate pollution and support a clean energy economy. All five Republicans who did support the legislation and ran for re-election won: Reps. Mary Bono Mack (CA-45), Dave Reichert (WA-8), Frank LoBiondo (NJ-2), Chris Smith (NJ-4), and Leonard Lance (NJ-7). None of them have spoken publicly about the science of climate change.

It remains to be seen whether these nine Republican climate realists will do anything to stop the impending witch hunt against climate scientists by their conspiracy-minded caucus.

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