Just how many climate change deniers plan to run for Senate in Colorado? At the moment, the answer is at least seven Republicans vying for Sen. Mark Udall’s (D-CO) seat. Six of the candidates came out at a Tuesday debate saying they do not believe that global warming is a real thing. Reports indicate Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) will join the race, too. He was not at the debate, but is another known climate denier.
During a rapid-fire round of the Denver Post debate, the candidates were given a chance to answer yes or no on whether they believed the planet was being impacted by “man-made global warming.” Each candidate, including Ken Buck, Amy Stephens, and Owen Hill, gave an immediate and emphatic “no” as the moderators moved down the line.
Watch the clip:
Climate science isn’t up for debate anywhere except in conservative Republican politics, where the fossil fuel industry counts among the GOP’s biggest donors. Only 19 percent of Coloradans side with the candidates, while a clear majority — 70 percent — agree global warming is happening.
By comparison, Udall not only acknowledges climate science, he calls the issue “one of the most significant challenges of our time.”
“Melting arctic ice and rising sea levels will require our armed forces to defend new frontiers and incite additional uncertainty and instability abroad,” Udall, who serves on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement in November. “Global warming is one of the most significant challenges of our time. Secretary Hagel’s comments today rightly highlight the threat it poses to our national security. Melting Arctic ice and rising sea levels will require our armed forces to defend new frontiers and incite additional uncertainty and instability abroad.”
Whether or not lawmakers acknowledge something needs to be done, Colorado is reeling from the extreme weather consequences of climate change. An analysis from the Center for American Progress found that the federal government spent $621 million in taxpayer dollars helping Colorado recover from nine extreme weather events in 2011-2012. Colorado’s “biblical” flooding last fall was a disturbing preview of the long-term trend toward more destructive storms.