Despite the fact that 97 percent of scientists agree that climate change is real, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) is insistent that it is “not science” and that environmentalists are missing the potential upsides.
At an event sponsored by the climate-denying, Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity on Wednesday, King reportedly told the audience that climate change “is not proven, it’s not science. It’s more of a religion than a science.” He also argued that an increase in carbon in the atmosphere might actually be a good thing:
He said that even if carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes the earth to warm, environmentalists only look at the bad from that, not the good.
“Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in (environmentalists’) analysis,” he said. “There will be more photosynthesis going on if the Earth gets warmer. … And if sea levels go up 4 or 6 inches, I don’t know if we’d know that.”
King is using two common climate denier tropes here: First, he is both rejecting that climate change is happening while arguing that climate change is a good thing. But also, King is the trying to make the case, as other deniers have, that massive CO2 emissions must be good for plant life, since uses CO2 to survive. In fact, just Wednesday, a study refuted that exact claim, showing that the earth has a limited ability to “self-correct” for the massive amounts of carbon humans are emitting. And, since King is not a scientist, he may be able to reject the idea of climate change out hand. And since his district sits squarely in the middle of the country, where sea level rise won’t matter, he is certainly safe to make the claim that it won’t. But it is already having real and lasting impacts along the coast of the country.
Video has emerged of some of King’s Wednesday remarks, in which the Congressman argues that the “good” of climate change is that “We’d probably raise a little more corn.”
I know that the temperature of this earth, if it went up there’d be more evaporation of the 70 percent of the earth that’s covered by water and so I know by Newton’s first law of physics, if it evaporates up, what goes up must come down, has got to come down in the form of rain, so if the earth is warm, it’ll rain more and more places.
“I spent a lot of my life cold, it felt pretty good to get warmed up,” King also said.