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GOP Rep Tipton Won’t Acknowledge Human-Caused Climate Change Because It Would ‘Divide America’

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"GOP Rep Tipton Won’t Acknowledge Human-Caused Climate Change Because It Would ‘Divide America’"

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Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO)

FORT GARLAND, Colorado — Man-made climate change may be helping to devastate the western half of the country with droughts and wildfires, but acknowledging its existence is problematic because it would “divide America,” according to a leading Tea Party congressman.

In an interview with ThinkProgress, Scott Tipton (R-CO) conceded that climate change exists, but argued that it’s caused by natural climate cycles rather than humans. “Here in the state of Colorado as our tree rings demonstrate, we’ve had droughts long before there were very many people here,” the Tea Party freshman argued. Acknowledging that humans can affect the climate is futile because it would “divide America,” said Tipton.

KEYES: The drought’s obviously been a huge issue not only in Colorado but the western half of the country. Is this something that you think is evidence of human-caused climate change or is this something that’s just normal weather?

TIPTON: Is there climate change? I live in the shadow of some of the greatest climate change the world has ever seen. It’s called the Rocky Mountains. When the glaciers went back.

KEYES: Human-caused climate change.

TIPTON: I think we need to be very cautious in trying again to divide America. You’re either for or against. Let’s do things responsibly. Let’s make sure we’ve got great technology now that we’re able to take advantage of. Do we have cycles that we’ve gone through? The rings on the trees tell us so. That does not absolve us of the responsibility of just being responsible and making good, common-sense decisions. Here in the state of Colorado as our tree rings demonstrate, we’ve had droughts long before there were very many people here.

Listen to it:

The Centennial State has acutely felt the impact of human-caused climate change this year. Global warming makes every drought and heat wave worse. The most destructive wildfire in Colorado history occurred earlier this year, fueled in part by an the worst drought in a decade and one of the warmest periods in state history.

Congressmen like Tipton argue that these are simply natural weather patterns, ignoring nearly all scientific evidence to the contrary, at their state and country’s peril.

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32 Responses to GOP Rep Tipton Won’t Acknowledge Human-Caused Climate Change Because It Would ‘Divide America’

  1. Peter M says:

    Tipton is right about climate change ‘dividing America’- it will be- into ‘habitable’ & ‘Uninhabitable’ zones.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      Between the mad, bad, dangerous to know and insatiably greedy and the dreaded ‘Others’. We will be forced to take sides or roll up and let Them destroy everything.

      • Peter M says:

        When climate change begins to batter the the US- around 2030 =/- we might as time goes on having millions ‘wanting out’ of their hell driven dried up dust holes- states near the center of this country- its a a huge moral question to ask- what will the ‘cooler states’ on the fringes do? restrict immigration to ‘so many’— a highly ethical dilemma we could see. Another reason to expect social chaos within this country.

        • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

          You could treat them the same way they treat economic refugees from Mexico and Latin America, but that would be morally wrong, and given the fact that they will be armed and dangerous, very risky. Showing human solidarity and empathy to those that do not possess those virtues themselves (and, of course, this is certainly not true of all, or even a majority, of those from the red-neck regions-just a nasty fraction)is fraught with risk.

    • pbillp says:

      LMFAO… cause the truth is sometimes funnier than fiction, and I am into black humor.

  2. David Lewis says:

    He isn’t actually arguing that humans have not caused climate change in the clip or your transcript. There isn’t any sense in what he’s saying. You asked him if what’s happening is evidence and he’s ignored your question and talked about something else.

    No one is rooting for the biggest hurricane ever to make landfall anywhere in the world to come out of the Gulf and hit a political convention.

    People who are falling on the floor laughing at the thought of “leaders” like Tipton finding themselves being swept out of the convention center in a 20 foot storm surge are sick.

    • Cheri Lundstrom says:

      While I personally do not condone wishing ill on one’s enemies and the GOP has proven itself the enemy of all women and most of the common man. The idea of the convention being swept away by an act of their God is ironic at the very least. Sick is an unfair word as in my experience people tend to say things they don’t really mean and hoping that God will tend to one’s enemies is normal.

    • Organelle says:

      Well maybe an eensy bit of rooting

      • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

        You can’t say that in Australia. If the Republicans are washed out to sea it must, surely, be God’s Will? Could they ignore such a Divine Intervention?

    • Andy Lee says:

      No one? :-)

  3. These guys and their bosses in the oil industry have divided America with their constant stream of misinformation. They won’t acknowledge it because its a lie they made up and can’t seem to let go of. They profit from carving up America like a political flank steak.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      ‘Divide and Rule’ has been the parasite type’s favourite modus operandi since the first ‘entrepreneur’ somewhere on the African savannah conceived of a ‘business plan’ which involved whacking the ‘competition’ over the bonce with a handy stick.

  4. Chris Winter says:

    TIPTON: “I think we need to be very cautious in trying again to divide America. You’re either for or against. Let’s do things responsibly. Let’s make sure we’ve got great technology now that we’re able to take advantage of. Do we have cycles that we’ve gone through? The rings on the trees tell us so. That does not absolve us of the responsibility of just being responsible and making good, common-sense decisions. Here in the state of Colorado as our tree rings demonstrate, we’ve had droughts long before there were very many people here.”

    This is barely coherent. In particular, look at the first two sentences. To my mind, declaring “You’re either for or against” is dividing America just as plainly as when GW Bush said it.

    Also, Rep. Tipton should be aware that the issue of climate change has already divided America far beyond his poor power to add or detract (to borrow a phrase.) He’d be well advised to accept the fact.

  5. Dave says:

    However they are fine with “dividing america” when it comes to Gay rights, women’s health issues, rape, etc.. ad nauseum. There is no central philosophy in the GOP right now except do what the corporate masters say.

  6. Leif says:

    … “acknowledging its existence is problematic because it would “divide America,”” … Only if short term profits and dogma are allowed to trump survival of Earth’s life support systems.

  7. Joan Savage says:

    America’s already divided.

    • Joan Savage says:

      He might be using “America” as a word-substitute for Republicans who could be divided on this issue (already are), leaving them with two minority parties.

  8. TK Vanacoro says:

    GOP Rep Tipton Won’t Acknowledge Human-Caused Climate Change Because It Would ‘Divide America’…and make his head explode!

  9. Logically his argument leads to conclusions like “Lee Harvey Oswald couldn’t have killed Kennedy because Brutus killed Caesar.”

    Events in the past are absolutely different than current events and have different causes, Senator. Because something had a similar result once doesn’t mean that future similar events must have the same cause. It’s such an elemental logical error you’re committing I doubt that you’re sincere. Sorry. I just don’t think you’re that dumb.

  10. Pickwick says:

    Translation: “I’m afraid I’ll lose votes if I show a moral backbone.”

    • Dennis says:

      Rather, he’s afraid (they all are) that he’ll face a well-funded challenger (paid for by corporate interests) if he deviates from the party line.

    • Mulga Mumblebrain says:

      “I’m afraid I’ll lose political contribution from the rich if I grow a brain and a conscience’.

  11. SaturNine says:

    Global warming will divide America – with a desert right down the middle.

  12. scarecities says:

    when climate change and energy collapse forces population into anarchy, America will divide anyway
    The divisions are already in place: theocratic, ethnic, wealth/poverty as well as geographic regions and a fully armed population who will be ready to kill each other when the going gets really tough
    Frontier politics anyone?

  13. TCinLA says:

    Thanks for reminding me why I left the swamp of morons known as the State of Colorado at my first opportunity and never went back. What an idiot!

  14. John McCormick says:

    Seniors and women, vote for any republican at your peril. Spread the word.

    Put this slogan on 100,000 billboards across America. We normal people are in a fight to save our lives and democracy from these domestic taliban.

  15. David Lewis says:

    Let God’s Will Be Done.

  16. Andy Lee says:

    @John 14
    Trouble with that statement is that a few million people would get lost looking for the place called “your peril”.

    • John McCormick says:

      Thanks Andy. Good comment.

      How about, vote for a republican and you deserve the consequences.

  17. Jeff says:

    The headline is misleading. Tipton doesn’t oppose acknowledging climate change’s impact because he’s afraid doing so would divide America. Apparently he opposes it because he’s delusional.