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Rep. Chris Stewart Whopper: ‘Majority Of Democrats Recognize That The Science Regarding Climate Change Is Uncertain’

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"Rep. Chris Stewart Whopper: ‘Majority Of Democrats Recognize That The Science Regarding Climate Change Is Uncertain’"

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by Emily Southard, Campaign Manager for Forecast the Facts

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) confronted by local climate activists at an April 2 town hall.

Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) has doubled down on his climate change denial in response to pressure from constituents and the local media. In a Salt Lake Tribune op-ed this Saturday, the newly appointed chair of a key climate science committee delivered a litany of climate denial tropes, concluding with the “political fact” that “the majority of Democrats” are climate deniers like himself:

Finally, let’s consider this political fact. In 2009, despite having control of the entire elected government, President Obama and the Democrats in Washington chose not to pass climate change legislation. And why not? Because even the majority of Democrats recognize that the science regarding climate change is uncertain, the suggested remedies would likely not work, and would be devastating to working families.

Stewart’s “political fact” is not only irrelevant to the scientific fact of human-caused global warming, it is also simply false. A Gallup poll released last week found that 78 percent of Democrats accept the overwhelming scientific understanding that human activities are the cause of climate change.

Only a few months into the job, Stewart’s rejection of science is hurting him at home. The Salt Lake Tribune castigated the new congressman for “ignoring the costs of drought, wildfires and storms like Sandy” when he claimed that the cure to climate pollution is worse than the threat. Scientists at NOAA, NASA and other agencies that are now under Stewart’s jurisdiction have repeatedly found that fiercer droughts, wildfires, and storms are the result of climate change.

Stewart’s comments were particularly disturbing to Utah residents, who faced one of their worst wildfire seasons in the state’s history — one that the recent fossil-fueled drought and extreme heat exacerbated. Over 18,000 people have signed Forecast the Facts’ petition demanding that Stewart stop denying climate science and start developing policies to secure our country against the urgent threat of climate change.

A group of Utah Forecast the Facts members, including former teacher Ryan Pleune and two local high school students, delivered the petition on April 2 to Stewart’s North Salt Lake City town hall meeting and called Stewart to account. Standing before his constituents, Stewart claimed his climate denial is a “moderate” position.

Watch it:

In this weekend’s op-ed, Stewart again defended his ignorance, calling the observed influence of global warming on extreme weather “outlandish” and “scientifically questionable”:

In addition, the emotion behind climate change has led to other scientifically questionable claims, some even asserting that events such as “drought, wildfires and storms like Sandy” are the direct result of climate change. Officials at NOAA, NASA and other agencies that are tasked to further our understanding of climate change have repeatedly rejected such outlandish connections.

While Stewart can claim credit for fabricating statistics about Democrats’ climate concerns, the other climate denial myths he packs into his emotional op-ed have been thoroughly debunked. For those counting, Stewart repeated the denier myths Skeptical Science has helpfully numbered as #2, #3, #5, #7, #12, #16, #41, #73, #85, #136, #139, #140, #153, #171, and #175.

Congressman Stewart’s reckless climate denial is putting all Americans at risk. You can help hold Congressman Stewart accountable to the scientific facts on climate change by signing the Forecast the Facts petition today.

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10 Responses to Rep. Chris Stewart Whopper: ‘Majority Of Democrats Recognize That The Science Regarding Climate Change Is Uncertain’

  1. john atcheson says:

    Stewart is an idiot, but his idiocy is not “hurting him at home.” The Salt Lake area is an island of sanity surrounded by conservative zealots and the Salt Lake Tribune is as liberal as it gets in the reddest state in America.

    Sadly, his stupidity is probably cheered by most of his constituents.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Climate Change Denying Congressman to Head Subcommittee on Climate Change
    Rep. Chris Stewart has written Glenn Beck-endorsed end times novels. Now he might be dealing with the real thing.

    As the new chairman of a key House subcommittee on the environment, Rep. Chris Stewart (R-Utah) will be one of the GOP’s leading actors when it comes to the Environmental Protection Agency and the growing threats from climate change. So with his first hearing as chairman on tap for Wednesday, what does the freshman Republican—and end times novelist—think about anthropogenic global warming?

    He’s not sure.

    In response to an inquiry from Mother Jones, Stewart’s office emailed a statement suggesting that more study was needed before he could safely say whether—as 97 percent of scientists believe—humans are responsible for rising global temperatures. And even if they are, he explained, that doesn’t mean we should act http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/03/chair-climate-change-subcommittee-jury-still-out-climate-change

  3. Magical thinking is the opposite of science. Magical thinkers who have responsibility to the public need to be shamed and voted out of office.

    Neil

    • Robert in New Orleans says:

      Sorry Mr. Neil,

      But magical thinking predominates in Utah’s “culture”. That is precisely why characters like Mr. Stewart can run for and win political office.

      I should know as I was born and raised in Utah.

  4. Mike Roddy says:

    As Cheney said about his people, “We make our own reality”. Truth is for suckers. It’s as if they were the ones doing all of the drugs back in the day.

  5. MarkF says:

    “A group of Utah Forecast the Facts members, including former teacher Ryan Pleune and two local high school students, delivered the petition on April 2 to Stewart’s North Salt Lake City town hall meeting and called Stewart to account”

    Thankyou to these people, for doing this, embarrassing and spotlighting these people, and thankyou to climateprogress for continue to cover students and real leaders like Ryan Pleune.

  6. MarkF says:

    Bad sentence by myself;

    in my comment, the second “these people” refers to Stewart.

  7. David Hart says:

    Project Steve is becoming more and more applicable to climate change. If you are not familiar with Project Steve: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Steve

    Indeed, NCSE is gradually merging climate denial and Creationism together.