In a debate this past Saturday night, Democratic candidate Bob Conley — who is challenging incumbent Republican Lindsey Graham — firmly proclaimed his denial of global warming science. Asked if global warming is real, this is how Conley answered:
CONLEY: It really is the arrogance of man to think that we are having any effect. I’m an engineer. So I understand that we don’t have constant things in the physical world. We have a lot of fluctuations.
And when we see, looking back how we have had fluctuations in temperature over time. And when we see how when I was a child we were told whether it was global cooling. We’ve been told in recent years well there’s global warming. Well then last year was the coldest — the coolest record in the recent trend. It’s something. I don’t think we ought to be making really haphazard statements of policy or trying to change policies on this side.
Conley also claimed we need to look beyond what “special interests here in the United States” are saying, and instead consider what “academics are publishing in Europe and elsewhere.” Watch it (beginning at 48:00):
Of course, the reality is that the international scientific consensus, as embodied by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, has assessed that there is a 90 percent certainty that human activity contributes to global temperature increases. Even a White House climate report has acknowledged this fact.
Conley’s ill-informed comments echo those of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK), who argued in a recent debate that “we’re now going through a cooling spell.” Last year was not the “coolest” in a recent trend, as Conley claimed. As an engineer, Conley may want to take a look at the data that NASA reports:
The year 2007 tied for second warmest in the period of instrumental data, behind the record warmth of 2005, in the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) analysis. 2007 tied 1998, which had leapt a remarkable 0.2°C above the prior record with the help of the “El Niño of the century”.
For his part, Lindsey Graham said, “I do believe man-made emissions are hurting the planet. I believe global warming is somewhat man-made.” It will be very difficult to solve the issue of global warming if you don’t understand its root causes.
A TP reader notes that Conley was very recently a Republican. “Conley supported Republican Ron Paul in the January GOP presidential primary and was a member of the Horry County Republican executive committee before seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination for Graham’s seat.”