Advocacy group Organizing for Action has been focused on calling out climate change deniers in Congress this year, mostly through social media and tools like its online Congressional map. On Tuesday, the group formed from President Obama’s re-election campaign took a more creative route to expose climate denial in Congress.
Local OFA volunteers handed out trophies beset with silver unicorns today (because, as Bold Nebraska tweeted, denying climate science is “like believing in unicorns”) to members of congress who have denied or dismissed the problem of climate change. The “Congressional Climate Denial Awards” were given out to some of the most vocal climate deniers in Congress, including Dana Rohrabacher (R- California), a senior member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, who told constituents at a town hall last week that climate change is a “total fraud.”
Of course, the members of Congress targeted by OFA weren’t keen on accepting the awards in person. In South Carolina, @OFA_SC tweeted that a “shamed staffer” accepted the trophy on behalf of Rep. Mick Mulvaney, and volunteers from Knoxville, Tennessee also handed a trophy meant for Rep. John Duncan off to an aide. Sen. Ted Cruz’s office (R-Texas) also sent an aide out to retrieve the award, and OFA’s Twitter account documented the group’s interaction with Sen. Marco Rubio’s office:
The trophies were part of OFA’s Action August, a month-long campaign that, through a series of local events, aims to organize Americans around climate change, immigration reform, health care and other issues. OFA set up Tuesday’s events with a tweet on Monday by Barack Obama: “@BarackObama Gravity exists. The Earth is round. Climate change is happening. #ScienceSaysSo.” The group aims to garner public support for President Obama’s recent plans to address climate change and pressure members of congress to do the same.
Also this week, the League of Conservation Voters began a $2 million advertising campaign which highlights the “extreme, anti-science views and policies” of four Republican members of Congress. The ads will air in the districts of Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Illinois), Rep. Dan Benishek (R-Michigan), and Rep. Mike Coffman, (R-Colorado). At least one Senator targeted by the ads took offense to them: Ron Johnson, who has said he “absolutely [does] not believe in the science of man-caused climate change,” wrote in a fundraising email to supporters that the LCV was an “extreme left group on an environmental jihad.”
Johnson is a member of the Center for American Progress Action Fund’s “Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus,” which gained a new member this month as Rep. Markwayne Mullin from the climate-battered state of Oklahoma said he hadn’t “seen the reports” that would make him believe climate change is happening. Fortunately for Rep. Mullin, the environmental group Sierra Club googled the reports for him.