Scott Brown has a new position on human-caused climate change: he doesn’t believe it’s real. At Saturday’s Republican primary debate for Senate in New Hampshire, all three candidates were asked if they believed “the theory of man-made climate change has been scientifically proven”. Former Senator Bob Smith said no. Brown said no. Only Jim Rubens, known for being the only Republican Senate candidate in the country who is running on his proposals to fight climate change, said “absolutely yes.” The progressive tracking organization American Bridge 21st Century posted video of the exchange.
In 2012, Scott Brown, then running for re-election to the Senate in Massachusetts, would only agree that climate change was “a combination between man-made and natural,” though he declined to discuss action that would reverse the process. That, in turn, was a change from his position in the 2009 race against Martha Coakley for Massachusetts’ Senate seat, when he said he wasn’t sure “is it man-made, or does it just happen naturally?” The fact that Brown is running for office in New Hampshire instead of Massachusetts could have something to do with his newfound outright denial, as being a total climate denier isn’t an acceptable position to Massachusetts voters. The partisan divide on people’s beliefs about climate change is wide in New Hampshire.
Jim Rubens stuck with his belief in climate change even after curiously signing a Koch Brothers pledge in June to oppose any serious federal action against to combat it. That pledge has played a major role in discouraging lawmakers from voting for climate action, but Rubens’ belief, at least, appears not to have been affected.
Since the the petrochemical billionaire Koch Brothers gave $50,400 to Scott Brown’s 2010 Senate run, he has enjoyed a close relationship with the fossil fuel industry. In 2011, Brown was caught on video begging David Koch for more money for his 2012 race. And the American Petroleum Institute ran ads in Brown’s favor in 2012, despite the “People’s Pledge” he made with his opponent Elizabeth Warren not to accept outside advertising. Brown donated money to charity after the ad ran, as required by the pledge.