Like Christine O’Donnell and other know-nothing Tea Party candidates, Chris Dudley — the Republican nominee for Oregon’s governor — doesn’t know and doesn’t care if global warming is caused by fossil fuel pollution. Toeing the party line, Dudley opposes the Western Climate Initiative global warming agreement as a “cap-tax-trade” system that would “do damage to the economy and job creation.” He even bashed a weatherization initiative as a boondoggle. “Climate change is probably caused by a variety of factors,” Dudley said in a September interview with the Oregonian, “but that debate is beside the point.” In a gubernatorial debate on September 30, Dudley finally admitted he doesn’t know if pollution is causing global warming:
My thought on global warming is this: that global warming exists, man contributes to it, how much, I don’t know. I don’t know how much is man made and how much is natural.
In contrast, Democratic candidate John Kitzhaber is clear: “I do believe climate change is human-caused, and it poses an enormous threat to our country and to our nation.” While Dudley has been silent, Kitzhaber has issued a strategic roadmap for green economic empowerment in Oregon.
The National Journal’s Ron Brownstein writes:
The GOP is stampeding toward an absolutist rejection of climate science that appears unmatched among major political parties around the globe, even conservative ones. . . . Indeed, it is difficult to identify another major political party in any democracy as thoroughly dismissive of climate science as is the GOP here.