Speaking at the Center for American Progress last month, Phil Kerpen, the policy director for the right-wing astroturf group Americans for Prosperity (AFP), claimed that his organization doesn’t “engage the science” of global warming, but rather the economics of implementing measures to address it. However, appearing on CNN Monday night, AFP president Tim Phillips angrily challenged the scientific consensus on the threat of global warming pollution. The powerful tea party group helped sweep a wave of Republican climate deniers into Congress earlier this month, serving the economic interests of AFP’s founder David Koch, the right-wing billionaire pollution scion. In the CNN interview with Elliot Spitzer, Phillips argued that “Al Gore” and “the left” are guilty of “arrogance” for believing in global warming pollution:
SPITZER: Do you disagree conceptually there is such a thing as global warming that we have to worry about?
PHILLIPS: I think the science is far from settled. For anyone, including Al Gore, to say otherwise is arrogance. There are enough scientists out there and doctors out there saying hey wait a minute, let’s look at this thing more closely.” I’m not a scientist, I don’t pretend to be, but when I look and read, for the left to say, “Oh, the debate is settled.” Aren’t they the ones always wanting tolerance, open debate, dissent? They are quick to whack you down.
SPITZER: We’re tolerant. We think you are wrong.
Of course, practically every scientific organization in the world has sounded the alarm about the precipitous buildup of greenhouse pollution from companies like Koch Industries, which is bringing devastation to millions of people from Nashville to Pakistan.
Crossposted on the Wonk Room.