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Stupid Goes Viral: “To stop climate change, vote GOP.”

October 26th, 2010 · 1 Comment

R L Miller comes to the table with thoughtful, informed, insightful, and passionate writing. This guest post is part of a series highlighting 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?”

They pay lip service to the Statue of Liberty, moaning for caaasshh.

Their stupid has gone viral.

And if they win, humanity loses.

I’m tracking Climate Zombies: every Republican candidate for House, Senate, and Governor who doubts, denies, or derides the science of climate change. Today, I look at deep blue states of the Northeast, only to find that their red candidates and incumbents are infected with Teh Stoopid.

NOTE: Related posts include:

FOR ACTION: Act Blue for Climate Heroes

NPR’s headline now reads, sedately: GOP victory may be defeat for climate change policy, but over the weekend it was more accurately tweeted as To Get Rid Of Climate Change, Vote GOP. If only it were that easy….


Both of Connecticut’s high-profile races feature climate zombies.  Tom Foley, running for governor, doesn’t yet know what the problem is (e.g., sea level rise) and believes that the time to act is not now.  Linda McMahon, running for Senate, believes that the science is still evolving and that humans emit carbon into the atmosphere.

Candidates vying for House of Representatives seats in the Nutmeg State are scant improvement.  Ann Brickley (CT-01) believes that the cause of warming is unclear.  Dan Debicella (CT-04) and Sam Caligiuri (CT-05) have taken the Americans For Prosperity/Koch “no climate tax” pledge, so are presumed to be infected despite AFP’s protest-too-much that “we’re not arguing the science of climate change.” I don’t have any information on Janet Peckinpaugh (CT-02) or Jerry Labriola (CT-03).

Semi-final score: three admitted and two presumed climate zombies, two unknowns.


Bill Gunn (MA-01) rejects the notion that global warming is scientific fact.  Marty Lamb (MA-03) isn’t convinced of human-made global warming.  Gerry Dembrowski (MA-07) flatly denies that climate is changing.  Jeff Perry (MA-10) hasn’t reached a conclusion, although he’s signed the AFP/Koch pledge.

Sean Bielat (MA-04) has an ambiguous statement on his website regarding some who don’t believe the climate is changing vs. many who do (my emphases); I’m marking him as a probable zombie based on that.  Likewise, Jon Golnik says that climate change is a real problem, but opposes unproven technology and has signed the AFP/Koch pledge.  Bill Hudak (MA-06) has both signed the AFP/Koch pledge and is a birther, so is presumed to be out of touch with reality.  I don’t have any information on Tom Wesley (MA-02) or Vernon Harrison (MA-09), and the Republicans aren’t fielding a candidate in MA-08.

Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Baker ducked the climate issue as long as he could, claiming that he “wasn’t smart enough” to answer the question.  (Recently, he’s admitted that it is happening but not that it’s caused by humans.)

Semi-final score: five rabid and four presumed climate zombies, two unknowns.

New Hampshire

I began this series with a brief note on the six GOP candidates running in a New Hampshire primary, none of who believed in global warming.  The candidates have been winnowed to one, the series nears its end, and — surprise! — Kelly Ayotte still thinks evidence of warming is inconclusive.  Charlie Bass (NH-02) has a waffling stance, which sounds good until poked, probed, and italicized by me: “The overwhelming scientific evidence points to the existence of global climate change. A debate continues about the sources of this climate change, and it should continue within the scientific community.” Ayotte, Bass, and candidate Frank Guinta (NH-01) have all signed the AFP/Koch pledge.  Gubernatorial candidate John Stephen hasn’t signed the pledge but Think Progress reports his campaign is supported by Koch.

Semi-final score: two confirmed, two presumed climate zombies.

New York

Bad news: gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino calls global warming a “farce.”  Good news: his chances of being elected are slim-to-none.  Bad news: Jay Townsend, running against Senator Charles Schumer, thinks that much of global warming science is a hoax.  Meh news: Joe DioGuardi, running against Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, believes that global warming exists.

New York only has two Republican incumbents in Congress.  Pete King (NY-03) has been too busy mosque-bashing to express an opinion on climate science.  Chris Lee (NY-26) considers reduction of greenhouse gases to be a worthy goal, although disliking cap-and-trade.  Republicans have nominated what appear to be token candidates in NY-05 through NY-08, NY-10, NY-11, NY-15, and NY-16, none of whom have said anything about global warming science, and haven’t nominated a candidate in NY-12 at all.  Although Robert Turner (NY-09) otherwise belongs in that token crowd, he’s signed the AFP/Koch pledge so is counted as a presumed denier rather than an unknown.  I don’t have any information on legitimate candidate Richard Hanna (NY-24)’s climate science opinions.

The deniers: John Gomez (NY-02) believes that emissions causing warming are “unsubstantiated claims.”  Mike Grimm (NY-13) has been skeptical on global warming since the beginning.  Anthony Mele (NY-17) believes that global warming is in dispute because of faulty manufactured data.  Nan Hayworth (NY-19) opines that “recent controversies regarding the scientific evidence of global warming indicate that we must regard any claims with skepticism.” Theodore Danz (NY-21) calls the theory of warming a “manufactured item.” Ann Buerkle (NY-25) says that the “jury is still out” on global warming when not calling it a myth.

The presumed deniers: Randy Altschuler signed the AFP/Koch pledge, but is accused by a rightwing blog of being a green wolf because he runs a recycling business (the horror!).  Francis Becker (NY-04) believes that “‘Cap and Trade’ is the last bullet in the Liberal arsenal to complete their plan for total control of our Country”; technically, he’s not denying science, but he does sound far enough gone around the bend to be infected with Teh Stoopid.  David Brumberg (NY-14) admits that warming is real but criticizes Democrats for being overly dramatic about how real it is.  Christopher Gibson (NY-20) understands the need to curb the growing effects of global warming, but he’s signed the AFP/Koch pledge; likewise, George Phillips (NY-22) agrees that we have to be concerned about CO2 emissions, but has signed the pledge.  Leonard Roberto (NY-27) has signed the pledge and has a website featuring links to various news items questioning climate science.  Matt Doheny (NY-23), Jill Rowland (NY-28), and Tom Reed (NY-29) have all signed the AFP/Koch pledge.

How far out of touch with reality does a candidate have to be, before being denied a spot on the Republican party ticket?  Jim Russell (NY-18) hasn’t said anything about climate science, but he has written a paper with Nazi overtones favoring eugenics.  The party is taking him to court for espousing theories discarded over sixty years ago.  Let’s hope that the Republican party accepts climate science in less time.

Semi-final score: eight confirmed deniers, ten presumed deniers, eleven unknowns, two (Lee and DioGuardi) who admit that global warming is real, and zero sane people who admit that global warming is real and human-caused.

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Tags: climate zombies · guest post · republican party

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