by Emily Southard, Campaign Manager for Forecast the Facts
Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) has doubled down on his climate change denial in response to pressure from constituents and the local media. In a Salt Lake Tribune op-ed this Saturday, the newly appointed chair of a key climate science committee delivered a litany of climate denial tropes, concluding with the “political fact” that “the majority of Democrats” are climate deniers like himself:
Finally, let’s consider this political fact. In 2009, despite having control of the entire elected government, President Obama and the Democrats in Washington chose not to pass climate change legislation. And why not? Because even the majority of Democrats recognize that the science regarding climate change is uncertain, the suggested remedies would likely not work, and would be devastating to working families.
Stewart’s “political fact” is not only irrelevant to the scientific fact of human-caused global warming, it is also simply false. A Gallup poll released last week found that 78 percent of Democrats accept the overwhelming scientific understanding that human activities are the cause of climate change.
Only a few months into the job, Stewart’s rejection of science is hurting him at home. The Salt Lake Tribune castigated the new congressman for “ignoring the costs of drought, wildfires and storms like Sandy” when he claimed that the cure to climate pollution is worse than the threat. Scientists at NOAA, NASA and other agencies that are now under Stewart’s jurisdiction have repeatedly found that fiercer droughts, wildfires, and storms are the result of climate change.