Get Energy Smart! NOW!

Blogging for a sustainable energy future.

Get Energy Smart!  NOW! header image 2

Stupid Goes Viral: The Climate Zombies of the New GOP

September 5th, 2010 · 5 Comments

R L Miller comes to the table with thoughtful, informed, insightful, and passionate writing. This guest post highlights the anti-science syndrome suffering hatred of a livable economic system that is prevalent in the new wave of Republican candidates for Congress. An utter disdain for science, openly using truthiness-laden talking points that are simply false. To paraphrase a famous question, “Have you no shame, political candidate, no shame at all?”

After researching the causes of temperature fluctuations on earth, I found the largest factor to be the sun. The earth’s orbit changes. Also the earth’s spin and axis change over time. When areas of the earth are closer to the sun, the temperature is hotter and when they are further away, cooler. The sun also has more activity at times and less at other times. They have been able to map out large changes in the earth’s temperature over time to the sun. Times with no polar ice caps have corresponded to times when we were closer to the sun. Ice ages have corresponded to times when we were further from the sun. We should not punish the people of the United States financially by legislating on pseudo-science that has not been proven.

That’s no ordinary tea partier.  That’s a candidate for Congress.  And she’s not alone.

Meet the Climate Zombies.

They’re mindless.

Their stupid is contagious.

And if they win, humanity loses.

A couple of weeks ago, the Wonk Room had a story: Every GOP NH Senate candidate is a global warming denier.  At a candidates’ forum in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, “all said man-made global warming hasn’t been proven.”

The epidemic next appeared in New Mexico, where all three Republican candidates for Congress, and the GOP candidate for governor, all denied the existence of man-made climate change.  The candidates for Congress gave waffling, but cool answers on a questionnaire, but subsequent digging revealed that all flatly deny the science.

Intrigued, I began to poke around other states.  Virtually all Republicans criticize what they call “cap and tax” as too expensive, but how many actually deny the reality of climate change science?  How many have been infected by Teh Stoopid?

A lot.  A real lot.

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

I started with two states whose candidates for Senator have made headlines for their statements on climate.

In Alaska, Joe Miller, running for Senate, attributes warming to “cyclical warming patterns.”  So does Don Young, incumbent Representative, which he derides as the “biggest scam since the Teapot Dome.”  Governor Sean Parnell, running for reelection, hasn’t said anything, although he dislikes polar bear protection.

In Wisconsin, Rep. Paul Ryan (WI-01) confuses climate and snowstorms; candidate Chad Lee (WI-02) dismisses “junk science”; candidate Dan Sebring (WI-04) speaks of “the fraud of cap and trade”; and Rep. Jim Sensebrenner (WI-05) praises “Climategate” for raising “legitimate questions.”  Only Rep. Tom Petri (WI-06) may be reasonable. (I don’t have information regarding climate-related positions of a number of Republicans running in WI-03, WI-07, and WI-08, and for WI-Gov, all facing a primary Sept. 14.)

Ron Johnson, Wisconsin’s GOP challenger to Senator Russ Feingold famously blames sunspots for climate change: “I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change,” Johnson said. “It’s not proven by any stretch of the imagination.”

What of other states?  eKos leader extraordinaire Patrickz checked out Oklahoma. John Sullivan (OK-01) complains about fraudulent data; James Lankford (OK-05) complains about the global warming myth; by contrast, Charles Thompson (OK-02), Frank Lucas (OK-03), and Tom Cole (OK-04) merely complain about the cost of cap and trade.  Mary Fallin (OK-Gov) thinks global warming is caused by nuclear attacks.  Tom Coburn (Ok-Sen) considers human-caused climate change to be malarkey.  By contrast, James Inhofe (OK-Sen) is a paradigm of reason.  One of these statements is false.

Does the virus only spread from Senate candidates?  I turned my attention, randomly, to Arizona. Sadly, the Grand Canyon State is completely overrun with Climate Zombies.

Trent Franks (AZ-02) has yet to see clear and convincing evidence that global warming exists; Ben Quayle (AZ-03) states that the planet has warmed and cooled since the beginning of time; Janet Contreras (AZ-04) believes that the science has been called into serious question; Jeff Flake (AZ-06) identifies himself as a skeptic; and Ruth McClung (AZ-07) is tied with Wisconsin’s Johnson in the Stoopid Contest for her comment, above, regarding earth spin.  I don’t have quotes from Paul Gosar (AZ-01) or David Schweikert (AZ-05) yet, but the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity will be pouring money into their races.  Jesse Kelly (AZ-08) founded the Arizona Tea Party, so is presumed zombiefied.  Scorecard: five out of eight GOP candidates have gone on record as doubting the science, and the other three probably will.

Gov. Jan Brewer has been silent on the subject of climate, apparently because zombies can only be killed by becoming headless.

Is Senator John McCain transmogrifying into a Climate Zombie?  Long a self-proclaimed maverick who sponsored climate bills, he now tells the Arizona Republic that “there are dramatic environmental changes happening in the arctic region — whether one believes they are man-made or natural.”  Uh, Senator?  Suddenly the cause of change is in doubt?

In conclusion: We sampled four states with a total of 22 Representatives, 3 gubernatorial candidates (excluding WI), and 3 Senators up for reelection.  Four Representatives (OK-02, OK-03, OK-04,600px-Zmobie.svg[1]and WI-06) seem to accept the reality of climate science, if not the solution; two (AZ-01, AZ-05) have been silent to date; three (WI-03, WI-07, and WI-08) haven’t been selected yet; and thirteen express skepticism/hostility. Of the three candidates for governor, one is openly hostile and two are silent.  Of the three candidates for Senate, two are openly hostile and the third is John McCain.

Climate zombies are now the Republican party norm.

This past summer, climate peacocks like Lisa Murkowski succeeded in killing the Kerry-Lieberman bill by preening their sincerely held, beautifully articulated concerns about the horrors of climate while simultaneously refusing to find solutions.  Those peacocks are going the way of the polar bear.  Instead, climate zombies like Joe Miller mindlessly replicate.  If you listen carefully, you can hear them moan: “caaaash!” Or maybe they cry “kooooch!”

Tags: Global Warming · anti-science syndrome · climate delayers · environmental · global warming deniers · republican party

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Arizona winger // Sep 6, 2010 at 11:57 am

    David Schweikert pretty much has the race in Arizona’s CD5 wrapped up. He’s leading by 6 points in the latest poll, and the Democrats aren’t going to put much money into the race - http://www.espressopundit.com/2010/09/dnr.html
    Mitchell voted AGAINST cap and trade, so that’s not going to help distinguish him from Schweikert. Mitchell did vote for the bailouts and the healthcare bill though.

  • 2 An election about science? // Sep 9, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    [...] as Republicans (as opposed to 23 percent of the overall population). The increasing number of anti-science Republican politicians (for example, on climate change issues) will harden this [...]

  • 3 Stupid Goes Viral: Climate Zombies in IA, MO, UT, VT, and WA // Sep 9, 2010 at 7:50 pm

    [...] table with thoughtful, informed, insightful, and passionate writing. This guest post is the second (here is the first) of RL Miller’s highlighting the anti-science syndrome suffering hatred of a [...]

  • 4 The Republican Migration from Peacock to Zombie // Sep 13, 2010 at 11:35 am

    [...] Climate Zombies, as laid out by environmental blogger R.L. Miller, are people who stake out positions fundamentally at odds with science, stating bluntly material which is easily disprovable. They seem to rely on sound-bites from talking heads and pseudo-science rather than caring, it seems, whether their comments can stand up to any serious scrutiny. [...]

  • 5 Tom Crawford // Sep 16, 2010 at 4:07 am

    For readers: This is an impressively arrogant comment which is quite directly wrong and indirectly misleading. Please read through comments to understand this.

    For Tom: This site takes issues of fact and truthfulness quite seriously. Errors will be corrected and acknowledged. In this case, however, you have made a mistake of fact that you should acknowledge.

    You are right - stupid goes viral - but it is your stupidity, not that of Ruth McClung.

    What is interesting is that Tom is challenging a specific quotation (incorrectly) and not the overall thesis. There is no question that Ruth McClung falls within the domain of deniers of humanity’s impact on climate change and no question that she would oppose actions to mitigate climate change. The material that Tom points us to below substantiates that.

    You and a lot of other liberal websites, and now even The New Republic, quote Ruth McClung with the exact same quote. That quote however is not from her at all, unless you or someone took some liberty of adding and rearranging some words.

    As linked to in this post, the Ruth McClung statement that opens this post comes from AZ.CENTRAL.COM’s 2020 candidate questionaire section. This quotation comes specifically from the page Ruth McClung (REP) - Congress - District: 7.

    Ruth McClung does have an op-ed she has posted on her site on the subject of global warming,

    Have to say that that “OPED” is scary in terms of how many anti-science syndrome symptoms are displayed in so few paragraphs. Sadly, the gut-level truthiness of these statements will get past unquestioning and unthinking readers, where the words seem to make sense even while they are at odds with real world data and scientific understandings. McClung clearly places ideological spin above truthfulness.

    and no where in it does she say:
    “After researching the causes of temperature fluctuations on earth, I found the largest factor to be the sun….”

    Yes, Tom, she does not have that specific line on your campaign page amid her confused and misleading screed. Now, first, of course it is weird that you would suggest that that “OPED” does anything to truly counter the essence — rather than the specific words — of leading this discussion with Ruth as a Climate Zombie poster child since it simply does not stand up to any sort of objective analysis of its truthfulness.

    In any event, Tom, here is the material from that questionaire as of 6:43 am, 16 September:

    To what extent, if any, does global warming pose a threat to lives, property and the economy?

    Climate change has existed throughout history. We have seen through archeological evidence that temperature swings are natural. The question that remains; “Is man causing large perturbations in the climate?”

    After researching the causes of temperature fluctuations on earth, I found the largest factor to be the sun. The earth’s orbit changes. Also the earth’s spin and axis change over time. When areas of the earth are closer to the sun, the temperature is hotter and when they are further away, cooler. The sun also has more activity at times and less at other times. They have been able to map out large changes in the earth’s temperature over time to the sun. Times with no polar ice caps have corresponded to times when we were closer to the sun. Ice ages have corresponded to times when we were further from the sun.

    We should not punish the people of the United States financially by legislating on pseudo-science that has not been proven. Policies like cap-and-trade can have major detrimental impacts on our economy and on national security.

    Another danger with the political hype about global warming is the environmental issues that are ignored. We should be concentrating on environmental issues such as clean water, less pollution and less waste.

    Hmmm … note the bold … in case you are having a problem: the exact quotation is there.

    And, well, Ruth’s material is spinning truthiness into utter deceit - that pot calling the kettle black with her “pseudo-science line”. Yes, for example, solar radiation is key (after all, what is that GHG gasses are capturing?) But, the data is quite clear: solar radiation / variance in solar activity simply cannot explain the warming that has occurred globally over the past decades and that we are seeing today. In fact, based on solar radiation alone, we should be in somewhat of a cooling trend. But, Tom, I suspect that you already know this.

    In fact, I googled the phrase and all I found was liberal sites cutting her down with this pseudo quote.

    Wow … Tom … I am impressed, you used “de Google”. Sadly, however, you either were unable or chose not to simply click the provided links which sent you to the questionaire.

    Do your homework and read her op-ed before you misquote her.

    Tom — Do your homework before you go around and berating people for presenting accurate information.

Leave a Comment