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McCain drinks the Kool-Aid [iced tea?] and becomes a climate conspiracy theorist

The main (though not only) reason the climate and clean energy jobs bill died this year was that anti-science, pro-pollution ideologues killed it. Until Senate rules change, any such bill would have required at least three Senate Republican votes and probably five.

In a semi-rational world, heck, even a semi-hemi-demi-rational world, that was imaginable, but not on on planet Eaarth. Who could have imagined that just 18 months after campaigning for President on a platform of climate action, the strongest conservative voice in the Senate for action on global warming would demagogue and campaign against policies that were weaker than the ones he had spent years advocating?

But McCain hasn’t merely drunk the flip-flop inducing Kool-Aid served by those who oppose even modest, centrist, business-friendly, Republican designed climate strategies (see “Republicans demagogue against market-oriented climate measures they once supported”).

Now he has sipped from the frosty, globally-cooled beverage made from the water of the river Lethe and served by the Tea Party climate zombies and the rest of the anti-science, pro-pollution crowd. Brad Johnson just re-posted this video from McCain campaigning in New Hampshire with Senate candidate (and fellow denier) Kelly Ayotte.

Watch it and weep for homo ‘sapiens’ sapiens:

Here is the rest of Brad’s Wonk Room post:

Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), once a champion of strong action to fight global warming pollution, has joined the rest of the Republican Senate caucus in questioning the overwhelming science. From 2003 to 2007, McCain pressed for Congress to pass comprehensive cap-and-trade legislation to ratchet down greenhouse gas pollution, because, he said, global warming is “such a threat to our planet and our future and our children.” Now, like every other GOP candidate for the U.S. Senate this year, he opposes the climate policy he once supported. In a little-noted appearance stumping for Senate candidate (and fellow denier) Kelly Ayotte in Nashua, NH, this March, McCain gave credence to the outlandish Climategate smear campaign against climate science:

“I think it’s an inexact science, and there has been more and more questioning about some of the conclusions that were reached concerning climate change. And I believe that everybody in the world deserves correct answers whether the scientific conclusions were flawed by outside influences. There’s great questions about it that need to be resolved.”

McCain went on to argue, in video captured by Gather.com contributor David Anderson, that it’s only possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with nuclear power, his personal, scientifically unfounded obsession.

In 2007, McCain said of global warming: “unequivocally I believe that it’s real.” He also accurately predicted that global warming means “much more violent weather patterns that are going to””and then of course that increases the disasters that befall countries like Bangladesh.” Sadly, now that Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh have faced catastrophic floods of an unprecedented scale during the hottest year ever recorded, McCain is a global warming skeptic. The Straight Talk Express has derailed into the Tea Party abyss.

(HT New Hampshire Primary)

We have re-entered an anti-science Dark Ages, abetted by a status quo media that is turning off what little light it once illuminated science with (see With science journalism “basically going out of existence,” how should climate scientists deal with well-funded, anti-science disinformation campaign? and Journalism professor Jay Rosen on why climate science reporting is so bad).

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It is the moral obligation of scientists and environmentalists and progressives to shine whatever light we can on the scientific issue that will ultimately determine the health and well-being of our children and many billions of people in the coming century and beyond (see NOAA stunner: Climate change “largely irreversible for 1000 years,” with permanent Dust Bowls in Southwest and around the globe).

UPDATE: This graphic shows what Arizona will look like if the Tea-Party-led Republican Party has its way. It’s from a terrific March presentation, Climate scientist Katherine Hayhoe has a figure of what staying on the business as usual emissions path (A1F1 or 1000 ppm) would mean (derived from the NOAA-led report):

Not a place many folks are going to be living in:

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