A bill has been introduced in the Montana state legislature to declare global warming a “natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it,” and that it is “beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana.” State Rep. Joe Read (R-MT), a farmer and emergency firefighter who unseated a Democratic incumbent in 2010, introduced HB 549 “to ensure economic development in Montana”:
The legislature finds that to ensure economic development in Montana and the appropriate management of Montana’s natural resources it is necessary to adopt a public policy regarding global warming.
(2) The legislature finds:
(a) global warming is beneficial to the welfare and business climate of Montana;
(b) reasonable amounts of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere have no verifiable impacts on the environment; and
(c) global warming is a natural occurrence and human activity has not accelerated it.
In an exclusive interview with the ThinkProgress Wonk Room, the 55-year-old first-time legislator explained why he filed this bill to outlaw science, which even he admitted was a “radical” act. Read did not consult any climate scientists — including Montana’s own experts, who warn of drought, infestation, wildfires and “large economic impacts” — in the drafting of this bill. Instead he relied on his own experience and understanding of the issues at play. He told us:
If you follow the money, the science has been pushed toward where the money is coming from. The money is coming from the federal government. I believe global science is an ideal, not a true science.