Congressman Says Defunding Climate Science is a Priority for GOP

What’s an anti-science politician to do when even a Koch-funded researcher says that human activity is causing global warming? Well, you could just stop all scientific endeavors in the field all together.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference yesterday, Colorado Republican Congressman Cory Gardner explained to attendees that was just what his party was determined to do.

When a questioner asked how Republicans can stop taxpayer dollars going to climate research and other programs to reduce carbon emissions, the panelists chuckled. Then Rep. Gardner answered the question, explaining that many GOP leaders are committed to “get that money out that’s been feeding the industry.”

Think Progress Green has the video. (Also for another CPAC “best of,” check out TP Green’s post: Santorum Froths At CPAC About ‘Facade Of Man-Made Global Warming’).

QUESTIONER: Since climate science is now all settled, Republicans and Democrats can agree that it’s all settled” the DOE budget is going to roll out, can we stop spending taxpayer’s money on climate science and ways and means of limiting carbon emissions.

GARDNER: Those amendments were all added to the Republican past budgets and appropriations bills, stripped out of course by the Senate, so I think there have been attempts to get that money out of research that’s feeding the industry.

Rep. Cory Gardner was one of 34 members of Congress who voted three times in a row last March to against an amendment recognizing that “climate change is happening and human beings are a major reason for it.”

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17 Responses to Congressman Says Defunding Climate Science is a Priority for GOP

  1. SecularAnimist says:

    “Conservative”, which once referred to a political ideology, is now a trademark of Koch Industries and may only be used with their permission.

  2. BillD says:

    How much of climate research is funded by DOE? That must be mostly applied research. Quite a lot of climate money comes from NASA and NSF. So far at least, there is not much political interference in NSF.

    Probably DOE mainly funds projects on renewable energy and fossil fuels, not basic research on climate.

  3. Dennis Tomlinson says:

    The wife’s cousin is a tornado chaser at Oklahoma State U. He says they get money through NOAA, and also [get ready for it] Senator Inhofe is good at securing federal funding for their research.

  4. Paul Magnus says:

    Tension is rise everywhere. You can sense it in Canada. Just look at the latest planetary exchanges this week. Look at the Maldives and recently the debate in Australia on carbon; The arab spring.

    When you get population explosion like we have experienced with the associated resource depletion and environmental degradation things are going to get chaotic, to put t mildly.

  5. Dano says:

    He’s in a contested district. He needs to stir up hayden energy so folks will vote.



  6. Dano says:

    I agree Paul – I think you can see evidence of growing crowding and resource scarcity. No one wants to talk about it, of course, but it makes you want to be a prepper…



  7. Paul Magnus says:

    “I think our political discourse is really, really nasty at the moment, really nasty and really negative. ”

  8. Roger says:

    This is both unbelievable and sad!

    But it does beget a riddle: Which large bird often follows a Black Swan?

    Hint: It starts with the same letter as the middle name of the GOP.

  9. Leif says:

    The GOP is getting entangled in their own hypocrisy. Symptoms: Irrational thinking, spouting gibberish at important moments, unusual dependence on God’s intervention in logical solutions, defaming innocent people with outlandish accusations, paranoia that others are out to get them, decrying offensive tactics that they themselves have been using for ages, sudden loss of temper, and more. Pile on…

  10. BARBARA BECK says:

    Well now, I’m confused. QUESTIONER says, “Since climate science is now all settled, Republicans and Democrats can agree that it’s all settled.” (IN WHAT UNIVERSE DO WE AGREE?) But what DOES he mean? I also think, no actually I’m convinced, that the science IS settled, human-caused-climate-change-IS-a-reality. OUR REALITY!

    Can he possibly mean that it’s NOT real, and therefore; that’s why we should drop all discussion and the funding? Or, is he just accepting that it IS real and factual and he doesn’t care? Since he does go on to say, “can we stop spending taxpayer’s money on climate science and ways and means of limiting carbon emissions,” I guess he thinks we should just live it up while carbon lasts and we still survive!

    That must be what Mitch (sadly-my-senator) McConnell meant by “Conservatives are more simply more fun than liberals, and there is a reason for that,” that’s what he said at the Conservative Political Action Conference. “We’re always right.” Check it out at @thinkprogress

    Please-Pardon-my-OhSoConfused-status-but-whenever-I-contemplate-the-Radical-Right-Ringed-Religious-Rantafanatics-I-do-wonder-if-Alternate-Universes-are-overlapping-where-I-exist-in-Time/Space/Reality barb

  11. Doug Bostrom says:

    As a general example of how to make choices, it’s interesting to read these two articles from the UK’s Independent and then ask again whether more ignorance will help us to make better policy here in the U.S.:

    Fears over money to maintain flood defences

    UK told to prepare for mass floods in future

    “What you don’t know won’t hurt you” is probably not a wise assumption.

  12. Mond from Oz says:

    I suspect that the problem facing the GOP Central Committee right now is how to disavow the craziness of the candidates when it comes to winning a presidential election. If this stuff is a winner for the electorate at large, the US is doomed to a bizarre irrelevance. I guess, however, that The Prez is laughing.

  13. Sounds pretty accurate. Although the American Legislative Exchange Council has had a lot to do with it over the decades…

    The most important group, I’m pretty sure, is the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), which was founded in 1973 by Henry Hyde, Lou Barnett, and (surprise, surprise) Paul Weyrich. Its goal for the past forty years has been to draft “model bills” that conservative legislators can introduce in the 50 states. Its website claims that in each legislative cycle, its members introduce 1000 pieces of legislation based on its work, and claims that roughly 18% of these bills are enacted into law. (Among them was the controversial 2010 anti-immigrant law in Arizona.)

    Nevertheless, the Kochs have been near the center of it all for a long time. David and Charles’ father Fred helped found the John Birch Society. David Koch ran as the 1980 Libertarian VP candidate. But ALEC is bigger and receives funding from many corporate and private sources, including other major fossil fuel industry interests.

    The corporate board includes Koch Companies Public Sector, but it also includes Energy Future Holdings Corp. and Peabody Energy. Other corporate members include Alliant Energy, American Electric Power, Amoco (which merged with BP), ARCO (which merged with BP), Arizona Public Service Company (which is into coal), Artemis Exploration (Canadian oil), Ashland Oil, and Atmos Energy. And those are just the fossil fuel company corporate members that begin with A. I won’t both people with the other twenty-five letters.

    Please see:

  14. In the Conservative lexicon, there is no proof that Weather causes Climate… Tornadoes are just weather. Lots and lots of weather. More every decade. Decade after…

  15. BillD says:

    Here’s the rationale: Since it’s settled science that AIDS is caused by human imunodeficiency virus (HIV) we no longer need to fund AIDS research. Since it’s settled science that burning fossil fuels is the main cause of climate change, we no longer need further research.

    Using these rationales, nearly all scientists can retire from doing science.

  16. Lionel A says:

    When you don’t like the message coming from the science then it is no good simply killing the messenger for the message has already got through. Clearly the answer is to kill the processes that feed the messengers.

    That this has been mooted is clear evidence that humans, in the sense of human societies can devolve into those that make their own extinction inevitable.

    When ‘the commons’ becomes stressed then those who operate driven by thirst for power, which is underpinned by greed and avarice, will doom their societies by trying to hide or distract from the problems, this aligned with attempts to blame everybody else except themselves.

    The GOP is such a collective and I suspect that plans are already afoot to infiltrate those academic bodies and research centres that are producing researchers and the results of scientific research.

    Those climate scientists who are key practitioners and position holders should be on guard lest a ‘Liberty University’ type (creationist) movement gathers way.

  17. Mike Roddy says:

    Why don’t they just abolish the EPA, and rescind all environmental regulations? Oh, I forgot, they already thought of that.