FORT GARLAND, Colorado — Man-made climate change may be helping to devastate the western half of the country with droughts and wildfires, but acknowledging its existence is problematic because it would “divide America,” according to a leading Tea Party congressman.
In an interview with ThinkProgress, Scott Tipton (R-CO) conceded that climate change exists, but argued that it’s caused by natural climate cycles rather than humans. “Here in the state of Colorado as our tree rings demonstrate, we’ve had droughts long before there were very many people here,” the Tea Party freshman argued. Acknowledging that humans can affect the climate is futile because it would “divide America,” said Tipton.
KEYES: The drought’s obviously been a huge issue not only in Colorado but the western half of the country. Is this something that you think is evidence of human-caused climate change or is this something that’s just normal weather?
TIPTON: Is there climate change? I live in the shadow of some of the greatest climate change the world has ever seen. It’s called the Rocky Mountains. When the glaciers went back.
KEYES: Human-caused climate change.
TIPTON: I think we need to be very cautious in trying again to divide America. You’re either for or against. Let’s do things responsibly. Let’s make sure we’ve got great technology now that we’re able to take advantage of. Do we have cycles that we’ve gone through? The rings on the trees tell us so. That does not absolve us of the responsibility of just being responsible and making good, common-sense decisions. Here in the state of Colorado as our tree rings demonstrate, we’ve had droughts long before there were very many people here.
Listen to it:
SoundCloud WidgetEdit descriptionw.soundcloud.comThe Centennial State has acutely felt the impact of human-caused climate change this year. Global warming makes every drought and heat wave worse. The most destructive wildfire in Colorado history occurred earlier this year, fueled in part by an the worst drought in a decade and one of the warmest periods in state history.
Congressmen like Tipton argue that these are simply natural weather patterns, ignoring nearly all scientific evidence to the contrary, at their state and country’s peril.