CREDIT: Scott Keyes
GAINESVILLE, Florida — Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) readily admits he’s “not smart enough” to determine the roots of climate change. He is, however, able to rule out one possible cause: humans.
The freshman congressman’s remarks came in an interview with ThinkProgress Monday following a town hall meeting. Asked about the spate of extreme weather, including weeks of punishing drought, that has gripped parts of Florida in recent years, Yoho dismissed the idea that it could be a symptom of manmade climate change.
“I think it’s a natural occurrence,” the Tea Party-aligned lawmaker said.
When asked whether he even believes climate scientists, Yoho was disdainful, calling climate change “an agenda-driven science” that’s “not right.”
KEYES: Droughts and extreme weather have been on the rise here in Florida. Do you think that’s something that’s attributable to manmade climate change?
YOHO: No. I think it’s a natural occurrence. I think we need to be good stewards of the resources we have and we need to get better, which we have, through technology and innovation.
KEYES: Do you think scientists are right on climate change or are they off-base on it?
YOHO: I think there’s an agenda-driven science. I can read stuff that says that the information was skewed. It’s not right. I’m a guy that’s worked out in the weather since I was 16. I can tell there’s climate change. The cause? I’m not smart enough for that.
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Yoho’s rejection of mainstream climate science, similar to the climate denial of many of his Republican House colleagues, had not been previously reported.
His obstinance on the issue could have disastrous consequences for Florida. In fact, A University of Florida study found that the rise in extreme weather caused by climate change could cost the state up to $345 billion by the end of the 21st century.