What is it with the Republican party’s refusal to accept the scientific consensus on man made climate change? (video)

Earlier this year Democrat Gov. Jerry Brown of California told ABC’s This Week 

“It is true that there’s virtually no Republican who accepts the [climate change] science that virtually is unanimous. I mean there is no scientific question. There’s just political denial for various reasons, best known to those people who are in denial.”

Due to copyright restrictions in order to watch the clip you need to type or copy and paste the passwordimincorrigible


©Comedy Central

Consequently, the fact checking organisation Politifact decided to examine this claim to see if it was true or false.

“Among current Republicans in Congress, a group of 278, we were able to find many examples of politicians questioning climate change science to some degree.

Most recently, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., made waves for denying a link between human activity and climate change.

…That’s in line with other prominent Republicans, such as House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.

Organizing for Action, a group that backs President Barack Obama, published a lengthy list of climate change deniers in Congress, with evidence to back each one.

Still others, like Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., have notably changed on the issue, even after co-authoring legislation to address the issue.

We found relatively few Republican members of Congress who accept the prevailing scientific conclusion that global warming is both real and man-made. Brown’s office didn’t return our request for comment, so we are unable to compare our evidence to any that he might have.

…That’s eight out of 278, or about 3 percent.



Are there others? It’s possible. Not every member of Congress has taken a clear stance on climate change, and we can’t read people’s minds. If we find more examples, we’ll update our list.

…Agreeing with climate change science also could be a political liability for Republicans. In 2010, South Carolina Rep. Bob Inglis lost a Republican primary to tea party challenger Trey Gowdy. Inglis blamed his loss, in part, over his belief in climate science.

…”There are many Republicans in Washington who accept, understand and agree with sound science regarding climate change, but it’s the way forward that is more difficult for my fellow conservatives,” Atkinson said. “We agree with fellow conservatives in opposing the president and the growth of government thru increased EPA regulations, which is precisely the worst way to reduce carbon emissions.”

The charged political climate makes finding clear positions on climate change from many Republicans tough to come by, say experts who follow the issue.

President Obama uses his 2015 state of the union address
to appeal to congress on climate change

“Most Republicans say the same thing behind closed doors: ‘Of course, I get that the climate is changing, of course I get that we need to do something — but I need to get reelected,’ ” Audubon Society President David Yarnold toldNational Journal in 2013. “Somehow they’re going to have to find a safe place on this.”

Our ruling

Brown said that “virtually no Republican” in Washington accepts climate change science. When it comes to on-the-record comments of members of Congress, Brown’s characterization is about right.

We found at least eight Republicans in Congress who publicly voiced support for the scientific consensus and many more conservative legislators who deny either a human link to the changing climate, or the fact that the climate is changing altogether.

A reason for caution, however, is comments from someone like Yarnold — who suggest GOP members of Congress acknowledge climate change science behind closed doors but avoid the talk in public for political reasons.

Mostly true

We rate Brown’s claim Mostly True.

Politifact: Jerry Brown says ‘virtually no Republican’ in Washington accepts climate change science 18 May 2014

“Climate change is happening, humans are the cause, and a shocking number — over 58 percent — of congressional Republicans refuse to accept it.

GOP climate denial caucus

163 elected representatives from the 113th Congress have taken over $58.8 million from the fossil fuel industry that is the driving force behind the carbon emissions that cause climate change. They deny what over 97 percent of climate scientists say is happening — current human activity creates the greenhouse gas emissions that trap heat within the atmosphere and cause climate change. And their constituents are paying the price, with Americans across the nation suffering 430 climate-related national disaster declarations since 2011.”

The Anti-Science Climate Denier Caucus: 113th Congress Edition 10 April 2014 thinkprogress.org


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