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Stupid Goes Viral: The Last Stand of the Climate Zombies?

October 31st, 2010 · No Comments

R L Miller – building on tremendous work by Brad Johnson — has done a real service by seeking to track down every single Republican candidate for Federal Office to determine whether they

  • agree with the science and believe in action (Climate Hawk / Hero),
  • sort of agree with the science but don’t really do anything to enable action (Climate Peacock), or
  • simply reject the science (Climate Zombie).

The vast majority of Republican candidates are Climate Zombies — including 100% of the Senate candidates — and there are zero “climate heroes” among the R candidates for Federal Office.

In fact, in her work, RL Miller has found zero (0) R candidates who, in recent years, have become more serious about climate change while there are many examples of candidates / R politicians who have moved from calling for serious action on climate change to becoming zombies questioning the science (McCain is the leading, but far from only, example).

Politically — and otherwise — most Democratic Party politicians and progressive institutions have made a political mistake by not engaging with this systematic and virulent anti-science attitude They should (could) have Engaged the Climate Zombies! After all, science / scientists poll very positively among Americans — especially in comparison with Rs.  This is a prominent example where the Rs are simply divorced from reality and too many of us seem to have let them slide on this.

Quite seriously, imo, this mistake enables a serious threat to American security and Americans’ future prosperity as threatens my / our futures in a very fundamental fashion as  Anti-Science Syndrome suffering Haters Of a Livable Economic System threaten lives! ()

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?”

With this in mind, here is R L Miller’s summary post of her work on Climate Zombies in this election cycle

They roam the sands of the Golden State’s shoreline, 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 finish the series in California.  Although California is just as badly infected with Teh Stoopid as every other state, it’s also the birthplace of the resistance: Climate Hawks who confront the crisis head on.

Some related posts:

FOR ACTION: Act Blue for Climate Heroes

The Los Angeles Times reports this morning that Darrell Issa (CA-49) is already planning an all-out assault on climate science:

Several key Republican Congressmen — most notably Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), who could take over the chairmanship of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee — have said they plan to investigate climate scientists they contend manipulated data to prove the case that human activity is contributing to global warming.

California incumbents

Wally Herger (CA-02) believes that global warming is not happening because “we were concerned with global cooling” in the 1970s.  So does Dan Lungren (CA-03). Tom McClintock (CA-04) denies that climate change is occurring.  Devin Nunes (CA-19) attributes climate change to natural warming and cooling cycles. Dana Rohrbacher has found a “growing scientific consensus that climate change is not manmade, if in fact it is even occurring.”  Duncan Hunter (CA-52) ridicules the notion that climate change needs to be addressed by Congress because nobody really knows the cause.  I couldn’t find a specific quote from Ken Calvert (CA-44), but he’s well known to be a skeptic.

Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) and Gary Miller (CA-42) have signed the Americans For Prosperity/Koch “no climate tax” pledge. Buck McKeon (CA-25) uses the phrase “sound science” when discussing environmentalism. David Dreier (CA-26) accepted something called a “Friend of the American Motorist” award from Americans For Prosperity for supporting offshore drilling. I’m presuming that all deny climate science until proven otherwise.  John Campbell (CA-47) essentially acknowledges that climate change is occurring, but uses a cost-benefit analysis to conclude that no action should be taken; I’m marking him as “it’s complicated.”  Likewise, Mary Bono Mack (CA-45) was one of eight Republicans to vote for the House Waxman-Markey climate change bill in June 2009 but has since indicated that she was backtracking her support.

Elton Gallegly (CA-24) is a useless back-bencher who has said nothing specfically on climate science.  Ed Royce (CA-40) dislikes Waxman-Markey intensely, but likewise has not denied the science.  Brian Bilbray (CA-50) talks a good game on biofuels but takes oil company money; I’m marking him as an unknown.

California challengers

California is a deeply polarized state with gerrymandered districts, meaning that most challengers have little chance.  Very generally, the challengers fall into two classes: full fledged, moaning, shambling Climate Zombieism, or utterly quiet.

I have no information on the attitude toward climate science of challengers Mike Moloney (CA-12), Forest Baker (CA-13), Dave Chapman (CA-14), Scott Kirkland (CA-15), Dan Sahagun (CA-16), Jeff Taylor (CA-17), Merlin Froyd (CA-28), Stephen Smith (CA-31), Edward Schmerling (CA-32), James Andion (CA-33), Wayne Miller (CA-34), Mattie Fein (CA-36), or Van Tran (CA-47).

Loren Hanks (CA-01) believes that climate change is a hoax, as does Paul Smith (CA-05). Jim Judd hasn’t decided whether global warming exists. John Dennis (CA-08) considers climate change to be a manufactured crisis. Gerald Hashimoto (CA-09) believes that human civilization has zero effect on temperatures, as does Chuck Wilkerson (CA-30). David Harmer (CA-11), running in a close race, believes that global warming is more a religion than a science. Mike Berryhill (CA-18) calls it a farce. Jeff Denham (CA-19), running for an open seat, thinks that skeptics are on the right side of the issue. Andy Vidak doesn’t think that the science supports “the radical agenda of the extreme environmental movement.” Mark Reed (CA-27) relies on “climategate.” K. Bruce Brown (CA-35) distinguishes between pollution and “environmental hocus pocus.” Star Parker (CA-37) disagrees with the assumptions that warming has occurred and that warming is caused by fossil fuels. Robert Vaughn (CA-38) states, incoherently: “All of the claims of Climate Change/Global Warming is a crock.”  Scott Folkens (CA-43) says, equally incoherently, that “Al Gore and his global warming buddies has done more harm than good.” Last, Larry Andre (CA-39) complains about “climate alarmism” on his ResistNet page.

I’m presuming that tea party-backed candidates Rick Tubbs (CA-07), Gary Clift (CA-10), Tom Watson (CA-23), John Colbert (CA-29), Nick Popaditch (CA-51), and Michael Crimmins (CA-53) are infected with Teh Stoopid.

Meg Whitman, attempting to buy a governorship, hasn’t said anything specific on accepting or denying climate science.  Carly Fiorina, running for Senate, is a well known climate zombie.

Semi-final score: 26 confirmed, 10 presumed climate zombies; 17 unknowns; 2 “it’s complicated.”

California is the last state in this series.  Apocalyptic books from Nature’s End to World War Z feature humans making their last desperate stand against the Pacific Ocean.  A new coalition of people who care about clean energy and climate — David Roberts at Grist has named us climate hawks — has arisen to crush Proposition 23, the Texas oil companies’ bid to stop California’s greenhouse law from taking effect.  If there is any hope of stopping climate zombies from destroying the planet, it will start in the Golden State.

Climate zombies by the numbers:

Number of Republicans examined for this project: 503 (all candidates/incumbents running for House, Senate, and Governor in 50 states)

Number of Republicans who openly doubt, deny, or deride the science of climate change: 234

Number of Republicans who are presumed to doubt, deny, or deride the science of climate change, based on indicators such as signing of AFP/Koch “no climate tax” pledge, significant tea party backing, and the like: 153

Number who have made no public pronouncements regarding climate science (that I can find) at all: 98

Number whose opinion regarding climate science is best described as “it’s complicated,” including the 7 who voted for ACES in the House and are up for re-election: 15

Number who admit that climate change is real and caused by humans: 3

Number who flaunt their anti-science attitudes on their own websites: 82

Number of GOP state party platforms who deny climate science: at least 2 (Iowa, Maine); number of state legislatures who have passed anti-science resolutions: at least 2 (South Dakota, Utah)

Number who have indicated that they believe in climate science in the past, but have recently regressed to questioning science: 6

Number who have questioned science in the past, but have recently progressed to believing in climate science (i.e., have been cured): 0

Tags: anti-science syndrome · climate change · climate delayers · climate zombies · environmental · global warming deniers · government energy policy · guest post · political symbols · politics · republican party

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