The state that stands to suffer the most from human-caused climate change has elected leaders who want to stop efforts to avoid its inundation (see “Sea levels may rise 3 times faster than IPCC estimated, could hit 6 feet by 2100“). That’s true of the Governor and presidential hopeful (see “Jindal tries to block climate change regulation“). And It’s true of GOP Sen. Vitter who tried to block climate change response centers.
In their final debate on Thursday night, Vitter and his challenger Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-LA) grappled with global warming, which threatens Louisiana with destruction through sea level rise, strengthened storms, heat waves, and drought. Brad Johnson has the story and the video the reveals the sharp contrast between these two candidates on the issue that should be of greatest importance to Louisiana voters.
“It is not a healthy world,” Melancon said, “and we need to look towards trying to fix this problem.” He concluded, “[a]t the rate we’re going and what we’re doing to it, I am fearful that we won’t leave much of a legacy for our children and grandchildren.” Vitter, by contrast, has long questioned the science in his fealty to Louisiana’s oil industry. “I do not think the science clearly supports global warming theory,” he said:
MELANCON: I believe that after going to Antarctica and seeing the science that is being conducted, and not totally understanding all of it because it’s quite complex, but we have a problem with this world that we live in. It is not a healthy world, and we need to look towards trying to fix this problem. I’m not a doomsday person, but there is a place for us to get green, not tomorrow, over time. But we need to bring a combination of fossil fuels and green to bear so this world we leave will be healthy for all the generations to come. At the rate we’re going and what we’re doing to it, I am fearful that we won’t leave much of a legacy for our children and grandchildren.
Q: Mr. Vitter?
VITTER: This is another honest disagreement between us. I do not think the science clearly supports global warming theory. So I would not support any of that sort of cap and tax legislation.
Like many other Republican science deniers, Vitter is a signatory of the Americans for Prosperity “No Climate Tax” pledge. He has received $527,984 from the oil & gas industry this cycle, including $41,750 from Koch Industries, AFP’s backers.
— Brad Johnson, in a ThinkProgress cross-post (with additions by JR in italics)