Photo courtesy House Education and Labor Committee via FlickrCross-posted from Think Progress.
A comprehensive Wonk Room survey of the Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate finds that nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution. Remarkably, of the dozens of Republicans vying for the 37 Senate seats in the 2010 election, only one — Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware — supports strong climate action. Even former climate advocates Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) now toe the science-doubting party line. If Castle loses his primary to Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell, the GOP slate will be unanimous in opposition to a green economy.
Many of the Senate candidates are signatories of the Koch Industries’ Americans For Prosperity No Climate Tax pledge and the FreedomWorks Contract From America. The second plank of the Contract From America is to “Reject Cap & Trade: Stop costly new regulations that would increase unemployment, raise consumer prices, and weaken the nation’s global competitiveness with virtually no impact on global temperatures.” In reality, a carbon cap-and-trade market — by rewarding work instead of pollution — would increase jobs, lower electricity bills, restore American competitiveness, and forestall a climate catastrophe.
Overwhelmingly, the Republican candidates not only oppose action to limit global warming pollution, they question the validity of climate science. Here’s a sampling of the report [emphasis mine]:
Gov. John Boozman (Ark.)
Well I think that we’ve got perhaps climate change going on. The question is what’s causing it. Is man causing it, or, you know, is this a cycle that happens throughout the years, throughout the ages. And you can look back some of the previous times when there was no industrialization, you had these different ages, ice ages, and things warming and things. That’s the question.
Rep. Roy Blunt (Mo.):
There isn’t any real science to say we are altering the climate path of the earth.
Rep. Rob Portman (Ohio):
When you analyze all the data, there is a warming trend according to science. But the jury is out on the degree of how much is manmade.
To recap: 97 percent of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming, but 97 percent of GOP Senate candidates disagree.
See a comprehensive list of candidates’ climate comments at Wonk Room.