In Colorado, A Climate Denier Re-Run

Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/DAVID ZALUBOWSKI
Colorado Republican gubernatorial candidate Bob Beauprez. CREDIT: AP PHOTO/DAVID ZALUBOWSKI

Just two weeks before a critical Colorado Senate election in 2010, Republican candidate and Tea Party favorite Ken Buck gave a warm embrace to leading climate change denier Sen. James Inhofe and his assertion that climate change is “the greatest hoax.”

As Climate Progress noted at the time, Buck appeared with Inhofe on the campaign trail in Colorado, telling the crowd, “Sen. Inhofe was the first person to stand up and say this global warming is the greatest hoax that has been perpetrated. The evidence just keeps supporting his view, and more and more people’s view, of what’s going on.”

Marginally ahead in the polls at the time he wrapped his arms around Inhofe, Buck shortly thereafter lost to Sen. Michael Bennet.

Could history repeat itself in Colorado this year, in a governor’s race that will be decided just over a year after the state was hit by catastrophic flooding and rainfall that was described as “Biblical” in proportion and the most destructive wildfire in state history?


Maybe so. Thanks to Colorado Pols, we have GOP gubernatorial candidate and former U.S. Representative Bob Beauprez’s views on climate change — and they appear to mirror those of Buck.

In his 2009 book “A Return to Values,” Beauprez called climate change “at best a grossly overhyped issue and at worst a complete hoax foisted on most of the world.”

Beauprez, who was crushed in the 2006 gubernatorial race by Democrat Bill Ritter, went on to denounce climate change “hysteria” and compare those who believe in it as religious zealots:

The hysteria surrounding the question of global warming has been something to behold. Mankind is certainly prone to following false prophets and jumping on the bandwagon du jour. It is not at all unfair to liken the global warming fervor to a religious revival or a spiritual experience, with the word being spread by the true believers with similar evangelical enthusiasm.

The title of that chapter in Beauprez’s 2009 book? “Let Science Guide Environmental Policy.”

And Beauprez isn’t alone this election year. Last month, all six Republicans vying to take on Sen. Mark Udall in Colorado’s high-profile Senate race were quick to deny that the planet is being impacted by “man-made global warming.” Since then Rep. Cory Gardner (R) — another known climate denier — entered the race and reduced the Republican field.


While the state’s Republicans may be in agreement with one another, their anti-climate stance is at odds not just with 97 percent of mainstream science, but with the majority of the state’s residents. 2013 polling by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication found that most Coloradans — 70 percent — believe global warming is happening and three in four said the issue of global warming is very or somewhat important to them personally. Further, more than half of Coloradans said that more should be done about global warming at all levels of government. 66 percent said their local government should be better preparing for the impacts of climate change, and 61 percent said the same for the state level.