Conspicuous Correlation between Climate Denial and Sedition

January 5, 2021

UPDATE:
Obviously these folks thought what they were doing was a sensible exercise in self promotion, and building their own brand, either as candidates, or perhaps as future Fox pundits. They are forever stained.

I’ve pointed out the strong correlation between climate denial and, for instance, racism, many times.
Same story with Misogyny, homophobia, and a host of other social pathologies.

Let’s just do a quick survey of climate science positions among the 12 Senators unwilling to accept the democratically conducted majority vote of the American people.

Ted Cruz, (R- Texas) of course, might be the Senate’s leading climate denier.

Ron Johnson,(R – Wisconsin):

James Lankford (R – Oklahoma)

Wiki:

Lankford rejects the scientific consensus on climate change, calling it a “myth.” In 2018, he strongly criticized the National Science Foundation for funding projects that seek to increase reporting on climate change in weathercasts, saying it “is not science—it is propagandizing.”

Steve Daines (R – Montana)

Wiki:

Daines rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. In 2019, he said, “to suggest that [climate change] human-caused is not a sound scientific conclusion.”

John Kennedy (R – Louisiana)

New Orleans Advocate:

State Treasurer John Kennedy, the campaign’s front-runner according to polls, said he believes that global temperatures are rising but said the evidence does not clearly explain why.

“The problem has to be addressed with market-based solutions rather than government,” Kennedy said, adding, “I support energy conservation, nuclear energy and encouraging technology to burn clean burning coal. I don’t support a cap and trade policy. I don’t support an energy tax. If it’s such a swell idea, let China go first.”

Marsha Blackburn (R – Tennessee)

Business Insider:

“Of course you can be a believer in clean air and clean water and realize that when you work at global warming or climate change, as it is now popularly called, that it is cyclical and you have to look at it in terms of centuries, not in terms of decades,” Blackburn said.

The congresswoman added: “And the science around that is not a settled science.”

Mike Braun (R – Indiana) turns out to be an outlier.

IndyStar:

The Republican is reaching across the aisle to team up with Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, to introduce Wednesday the first-ever bipartisan caucus dedicated to climate solutions in the Senate. 

“Someone had to start on our side of the aisle,” said Braun, a freshman lawmaker who touts himself as a lifelong conservationist. “If you are not accepting the basic chemistry and physics that putting carbon in the air creates a greenhouse gas effect, then this is not the right place to be.” 

“What we’re looking at is what we can do to mitigate climate change,” he added, “and find early common ground.” 

Cynthia Lummis (R – Wyoming)

Washington Examiner:

Lummis, a former cattle rancher and lawyer worth $14 million, said she is “on board” with the shift occurring among many Republicans in Congress. They acknowledge that climate change is a problem that the government should address by promoting private-sector innovation in clean technologies.

But Lummis is also aligned with her colleagues in taking exception to Democrats who say the issue is a “crisis” that requires immediate, aggressive action.

“Those who say climate change is an existential threat are completely mistaken,” Lummis said. “We do have time to address this. We should address it.”

She also insisted that fossil fuel use doesn’t need to be reduced to address climate change adequately, a view shared by most Republicans that is at odds with what climate scientists recommend.

Roger Marshall (R – Kansas)

KSN:

Congressman Roger Marshall expressed his support for the US pulling out of the Paris climate accord. The global effort allows each country to voluntarily set their own goals for combating climate change.

It’s a deal that Marshall says would kill jobs and raise the price of energy, and he’s not convinced that its mission of fighting climate change is worth it.

“I’m not sure that there is even climate change,” said Marshall. “I think it’s something that we should continue to study and make sure our ecology continues to improve.”

Bill Haggerty (R – Tennessee)

Teamhagerty.com:

Bill will do everything in his power to stop the Green New Deal and fight socialist attempts to ban fracking. He will support the exploration and development of fossil fuels. Bill will work to repeal renewable fuels standards and scale back excessive environmental regulations on the development of new resources

Tommy Tuberville (R – Alabama)

Montgomery Advertiser:

Republican Senate nominee Tommy Tuberville has largely downplayed the issue, and at least once said God caused climate change.

Josh Hawley (R – Missouri)

Ontheissues.org:

Q: Consider climate change a critical threat? Limit or tax greenhouse gas production?

Josh Hawley (R): No. Criticized Obama’s “job-killing `climate agenda'” and “climate change crusade.” Backed lawsuit against Obama Clean Power Plan.
Trump signed an executive order dismantling the plan his predecessor put into effect in 2015. The Clean Power Plan was meant to reduce CO2 emissions, which many climate scientists say contribute to man-made global warming, from power plants. Attorney General Josh Hawley sees it as a victory for Missouri.

So let’s call the ratio of deniers to science literate to undecided (if we’re generous with Lummis) is 10 – 1 – 1.

UPDATE:
Current Georgia Runnoff candidate Kelly Loeffler (who has joined the group above) has been cagey about her stand on climate, apparently, but she is otherwise on much the same page.

Salon:

Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., ran a paid Facebook ad last week that artificially darkened the skin color of her Democratic opponent, the Rev. Raphael Warnock, who is Black. In fact, the campaign used two of the same clips in their original form for another Facebook ad that ran the same day, but spent 10 times as much money boosting the version in which Warnock appeared darker.

For the record, a growing majority of the American people of both parties accept that climate change is happening, that human activity drives it, and that we need to do something about it.
Below, Republican pollster Frank Luntz:

UPDATED UPDATE:

The Wall Street Journal has a pungently worded piece on this fiasco from Editor-at-Large Gerard Baker:

But even those long familiar with spectacles of careerist expediency dressed up in faux-altruistic casuistry can only step back in awe when evidence of a new standard of cynical self-aggrandizement comes along. So it is this week with the spectacle of around 150 Republican members of Congress who will on Wednesday refuse to approve the presidential election results returned last month by the Electoral College.

The action, by more than half the Republican members of the House and almost a quarter of GOP senators, may rank among the most cynically contrived, morally contemptible, soul-corrupting acts of political degeneracy ever attempted.

6 Responses to “Conspicuous Correlation between Climate Denial and Sedition”


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  2. J4Zonian Says:

    If it’s such a swell idea, let China go first.”
    OK, there’s denying the facts and then there’s denying the facts that are currently pissing me off way more than denying the other facts. Lousyana’s John Kennedy, here’s what China, a much poorer country than the US and western Europe, has gone first in:

    China leads the world in solar panels produced, sold, and in use. 8 of the 10 biggest solar panel firms are Chinese. “In the space of 25 years, China will have gone from having virtually no solar panels to leading the world by a margin of more than 100%.”

    It leads the world in wind turbines built, sold, and in use. Despite the efforts of Scandinavian countries, (and Spain) in the field, the 2nd biggest wind turbine firm in the world is Chinese. China has more wind energy than nuke. It’s updated 80% of its grid to accommodate it.

    China leads the world in solar water heating with 70% of the world’s capacity in 2014, and in several grid technologies important in integrating clean safe renewable technology into electrical grids.

    It leads the world in EV production and use and battery production and use. Of the world’s roughly 450,000 EV buses, 98% are Chinese. (The US has fewer than 500.) The Chinese build a London-sized fleet of 9,500 new EV buses every 5 weeks. [6] It’s the poorest country with any high speed rail, but it has ⅔ of the world’s hsr miles and even more of its ridership. Starting with one 70 mile line for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, it’s built 17,000 more in the same 10 years it’s done all the rest of this, and reforested an area the size of France. It has more additional hsr miles planned for the next 5 years than all of Europe has now—5000.

    No country on Earth is doing this as fast as we need to, and there are a number of things most of us don’t like about China’s government. But the same is true about the US. Whatever one thinks about its government, and whatever right wing ideological horrific faults people project onto others, scapegoating and blaming them, China’s massive investment in all these technologies, starting decades ago, has brought clean safe renewables’ prices down more than any other country, making it possible for the rest of the world to deploy them. If China hadn’t done what it’s done in the last 30 years we would have zero chance of avoiding the end of civilization in our children’s lifetimes.

    While China leads the world away from catastrophe and into the economy of the 21st century, US Republicans have given everything away: US manufacturing, US credibility and leadership, any pretense at US democracy. They’ve given away the long lead time we had to solve the crisis with conventional means; squandered it lying to the public and only admitting what they were forced to—not by reality, which they seem to take sadistic delight in ignoring, but by polls—fear of losing power being their main motivation. They’re still operating decades behind the progression of the chaos they’ve caused, only now offering what might have worked if started forcefully half a century ago. Like Philip II of Spain, they’ve taken an empire at the height of its wealth, power and influence and set it on an almost irrevocable course to being a 3rd world country, if it survives at all.
    People who collaborate in any way, whether by denying, despairing, not caring, or contributing, are apparently so devastated by guilt and shame they can’t help projecting everything onto others, in this case the country that’s done the most in the world to prevent cataclysm.

    Details and citations at https://grist.org/energy/the-cost-of-germany-going-off-nuclear-power-thousands-of-lives/#comment-4754449246

    • J4Zonian Says:

      An addendum:

      China doesn’t just have the second largest wind company in the world; 6 of the biggest 10 are Chinese.

      CO2 remains in the atmosphere for several hundred to a thousand years, so cumulative emissions matter. The US and Europe have been getting rich from those emissions and associated land use changes for centuries; the US has accumulated 3 times China’s per capita wealth and 5 times India’s. With 10% of the population, the US and EU have emitted 40% of the GHGs while China and India, with a combined one third of the world’s population, are responsible for 16% of the GHGs.

      “China already has the most solar and wind power capacity in the world, having installed nearly two times as many solar panels and three times as much wind power in 2016 as the United States.” [Other years before and since are similar.] [1]

      China is the world’s largest investor in renewable energy. It committed $88.2 billion in 2016 to renewables, compared with the U.S. investment of $58.8 billion, and in January 2017, it announced plans to invest $360 billion through 2020 and create 13 million clean energy jobs.

      Trump Reverses Progress on Climate While China Marches Ahead
      April 10, 2017
      [1] https://www.nrdc.org/experts/alvin-lin/trump-reverses-progress-climate-while-china-marches-ahead

      Republican Lies On Climate Change & Paris, as Told by…
      https://www.nrdc.org/trump-lies?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=story1&utm_campaign=email

  3. Glen Koehler Says:

    Thank you J4Zonian. Spot on. I wish this was on front page of every newspaper and you got an interview on a reformed Fox. What is wrong with these politicians? Do they not have souls? They must love their grandkids, right? I just can’t fathom the depths of this stupidity, or is it evil?

    • jimbills Says:

      Stupidity more than evil.

      What happens is that people create echo chambers and the internet allows purer echo chambers than could have existed several decades ago. Most (not all) of these people believe what they are saying, because they see the same things constantly in their Facebook feeds and other news sources and it’s being reinforced to them by their friends that agree with them.

      These people actually believe the election was stolen from Trump. They hear all the conspiracy theories, but they are getting them from their trusted sources, and so they accept them without much questioning.

      I think Trump even believes the election was stolen from him. He surrounds himself with sycophants that only tell him what he wants to hear, and his psyche is so fragile that he can’t accept that he lost.

      To anyone not in their echo chamber, they’ve created a ‘stolen election’ conspiracy themselves and because of that are justifying actually stealing the election.

      Politicians like Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz are more Machiavellian (evil), though. They are intelligent enough to know what’s what, but they’re using the current situation for their own political advantage.

      I thought the Democrats had zero chance of winning both Senate seats today. They might pull it off, depending on how many of these people boycott the election, already believing it’s ‘fake’.

  4. J4Zonian Says:

    Mike Braun’s imitation of the House Bipartisan Climate Solutions Avoidance Caucus will no doubt do the same in the Senate: link the far right with the extreme far right in refusing to consider anything that will come close to solving the climate crisis, or any other problem, except the political problem for conservative duopoly politicians who want to be able to tell sane voters they want to solve it while everyone who matters to them, iow their wealthy donors, knows they’re doing nothing except delaying the solutions. Expect to hear the same crap: “innovation”, code for market religion procrastinatory do-nothingism; and the more literal “market solutions” which have so far proven only to solve the political and profit problems of the fossil fuel corporations and the politicians they own.

    So not an outlier so much as an outright liar.

    And so on.


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