In Colorado, a state with a recent history of severe drought, epic wildfires and historic floods, the Republican candidate for governor is not backing down from his stance denying the role of humans in driving climate change.
In a debate with incumbent Democrat John Hickenlooper Tuesday night, GOP nominee Bob Beauprez was asked whether humans are contributing significantly to climate change and whether we can reverse it. No and No, answered Beauprez.
Five years after he characterized those who are concerned about climate change as religious zealots, Beauprez said “powers bigger than us” are in control of Earth’s fate.
“But are we going to end or alter the path that Earth’s evolution is going to take? I don’t think so,” Beauprez said in the debate hosted by the Denver Post. “I think the Earth’s already figured that out and powers bigger than us have figured that out.”
Hickenlooper, for his part, said humans are contributing to climate change that to reverse it will take “a concerted effort, not just on the part of the United States, but worldwide.” Of course, 97 percent of climate scientists agree that human activity is driving recent global warming.
Beauprez, a former congressman who was trounced in his last gubernatorial try in 2006, is locked in a tight race with his Democratic opponent, with some recent polls giving him a narrow lead. That, despite what the Denver Post’s conservative editorial page editor calls Beauprez’ “tendency in recent years to voice support for the fringe issue du jour on the right.”
In a book he wrote in 2009, Beauprez included a chapter titled “Let Science Guide Environmental Policy.” It included this less than scientific passage on climate change:
The hysteria surrounding the question of global warming has been something to behold. Mankind is certainly prone to following false prophets and jumping on the bandwagon du jour. It is not at all unfair to liken the global warming fervor to a religious revival or a spiritual experience, with the word being spread by the true believers with similar evangelical enthusiasm.
Beauprez has also protested against proposed new rules to limit carbon pollution from coal-fired power plants. In late July, he attended a rally at the state capital protesting the EPA rules, saying they would devastate western Colorado communities.
“These rules would turn a town like Craig, a town like Delta into ghost towns,” Beauprez told the crowd.
Hickenlooper meanwhile has made Colorado the first state in the nation to regulate methane emissions from oil and gas drilling operations. The push to curb methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, is a key component of the state’s effort to tackle the increasingly visible pollution along the Colorado’s Front Range.
Voting by mail in Colorado begins in two weeks.