GOP: Questioning Climate Science


Republican Candidates Question Climate Change Science

The Republican Party in the United States has now placed itself squarely in opposition to the conclusions of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and other scientific organizations around the world that climatic changes driven by human activities pose a serious environmental and societal threat.

Questioning the existence of anthropogenic climate change or its associated risks has now become a nearly universally embraced plank in the party platform in the upcoming state and national legislative and gubernatorial elections. The growing dismissal of climate change science by right-wing political candidates, elected officials, and media figures has even prompted a sternly worded editorial in the science journal Nature that found, “a growing anti-science streak on the American right that could have tangible societal and political impacts on many fronts.”

Below are a few recent public statements from GOP candidates in the upcoming election cycle.


We haven’t heard there’s man-made global warming.
– Joe Miller, AK Republican Senate candidate


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 at some of the previous times when there was no industrialization, you had these different ages, ice ages, and things warming and things. That’s really the question.
– John Boozman, AR Republican Senate candidate


U.S. Senate

Global warming is based on unsound scientific methodology. Cap-and-trade legislation is a knee-jerk reaction to a problem that doesn’t exists [sic]…
– J.D. Hayworth

Man made global warming has not been satisfactorily debated or proven…Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is used by plants and increases growth, which increases Oxygen levels. If we work to reduce CO2, we could have less Oxygen.
– Jim Deakin

U.S. House of Representatives

Global warming is not a proven fact. It is conjecture and our seasons and weather are more cyclical.
– Jon Jensen, District 1

I do not accept “global warming” as an anthropogenic phenomenon. Climate change has occurred throughout the history of our planet, and there is no conclusive evidence to the contrary at this time.
– Steve Mehta, District 1

Global warming is an unproven theory. The TERM global warming is not used for we in fact our [sic] COOLING. Same Ill-logic [sic] was used in 1974 when the next Ice Age was coming. Consensus science is an oxymorron [sic]. We can not vote gravity out of existence.
– Thomas Zaleski, District 1

We should not punish the people of the United States financially by legislating on pseudo-science that has not been proven.
– Ruth McClung, District 7


I think we should have the courage to examine the science on an ongoing basis.
– Carly Fiorina, CA Republican Senate candidate


While I think the earth is warming, I don’t think that man-made causes are the primary factor…I am one of those people that Al Gore refers to as a skeptic.
– Ken Buck, CO Republican Senate candidate


I think there’s evidence to the positive and to the contrary about global warming.
– Linda McMahon, CN Republican Senate candidate


I believe cap and trade is one of the most destructive pieces of legislation in American history. That will push us much more toward socialism than ever before, if not be the final nail in the coffin that makes America a socialist society.
– Christine O’Donnell, DE Republican Senate candidate


I don’t think there’s the scientific evidence to justify [man-made global warming].
– Marc Rubio, FL Republican Senate candidate

No. I have not been convinced [about climate change].
– Rick Scott, FL GOP nominee for governor


Science has shown us that there has been a gradual warming of the earth over the last 50 years. What is not as clear is whether the cause for this warming is man-made emissions, a cyclical warming of the planet, or a combination of both.
– Jonny Isakson, GA Republican Senate candidate


I oppose cap and trade (“tax”) legislation because of its false premise of global warming…
– Cam Cavasso, HI Republican Senate candidate


While there is no dispute over the fact that the Earth’s climate has changed many times over the planet’s history, the underlying cause of these climactic shifts is ultimately not well-understood and is a matter of vigorous debate.
– Mike Crapo, ID Republican Senate candidate


But there’s also an increasing number of scientists that have doubt about [greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change]. And so, not being a scientist, I don’t know exactly where to say only those things that are really quantifiable, and temperature has risen. But the scientific aspect that I’m still reserving judgment on is the extent to which it’s manmade or natural.
– Chuck Grassley, IA Republican Senate candidate


There is some question as to the validity of the science.
– Rand Paul, KY Republican Senate candidate


I do not think the science clearly supports the global warming theory.
David Vitter, LA Republican Senate candidate


Exactly. Al Gore must be laughing himself into a frenzy here. Cause he’s making millions on it.
– Paul LePage, ME Republican candidate for governor responding to host referring to global warming as flawed and made up


It’s interesting. I think the globe is always heating and cooling…It’s a natural way of ebb and flow. The thing that concerns me lately is some of the information I’ve heard about potential tampering with some of the information.
– Scott Brown, MA Republican Senate candidate


There isn’t any real science to say we are altering the climate path of the earth.
– Roy Blunt, MO Republican Senate candidate


[Carbon reduction legislation] is based on an unscientific hysteria over the man-caused global warming hoax.
– Sharron Angle, NV Republican Senate candidate

New Hampshire

I believe in climate change…Spring, summer, winter, fall.
– Dennis Lamare, NH Republican Senate candidate

New Mexico

There is disagreement in the science community concerning the causes of global warming.
– Susana Martinez, NM GOP nominee for governor

I don’t mean to be flippant about this, but only God knows where our climate is going.
– Jon Barela, NM GOP candidate for the 1st Congressional district

I think we ought to take a look at whatever the group is that measures all this, the IPCC, they don’t even believe the crap.
– Steve Pearce, NM GOP candidate for the 2nd Congressional district

The science is not settled regarding climate change, temperature records have been falsified, and the assumptions used in computer models have large degrees of error.
– Tom Mullins, NM GOP candidate for the 3rd Congressional district

New York

Those that have proposed global warming over the last few years have conducted an enormous charade.
– Gary Berntsen, NY Republican Senate candidate

I wish I could believe them. But I can’t believe anything that they say anymore and I’m convinced that much of what they were trying to do was a hoax.
– Jay Townsend, NY Republican Senate candidate

North Dakota

Well, the science shows that there’s warming. There’s different opinions of exactly what’s causing it.
– John Hoeven, ND Republican Senate candidate


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.
– Rob Portman, OH Republican Senate candidate


I am not the smartest man in the world…But I have been trained to read scientific documents, and [manmade climate change] is malarkey.
– Tom Coburn, OK Republican Senate candidate


I think we just don’t know what all the causes [of global warming] are. There’s sunspots. There’s natural cycles. There are so many variables….And it’s not unanimous by any means. There’s certainly a fair number who object to the claim that there is a consensus.
– Jim Huffman, OR Republican Senate candidate


There is much debate in the scientific community as to the precise sources of global warming.
– Pat Toomey, PA Republican Senate candidate

I don’t believe in man-made global warming
– Tim Burns, PA GOP candidate for the 12th Congressional district

Rhode Island

There is really not a scientific consensus on human-caused global warming at this point….I think the scientific community needs to develop a better consensus.
John Loughlin, RI GOP candidate for the 1st Congressional district

South Carolina

It’s going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries ‘uncle.’
– Jim DeMint, SC Republican Senate candidate


I believe the Earth is warming. There is still debate in the scientific community about the level of human impact on climate change…
– Dino Rossi, WA Republican Senate candidate

I do not trust the basic data.
– Clint Didier, WA Republican Senate candidate

[Climate researchers] are not scientists. They are people with a political agenda…[Global warming is] part of the natural cycle.
– Paul Akers, WA Republican Senate candidate

West Virginia

And if you have one volcano in the world that one volcano puts out more carbon dioxide than everything that man puts out…I don’t think [global warming is] a farce, but I think temperatures go up and I think temperatures go down. But does man have anything to do with it?
– John Raese, WV Republican Senate candidate


I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change…It’s not proven by any stretch of the imagination.
– Ron Johnson, WI Republican Senate candidate

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The Consensus

173 professional scientific organizations (and counting) around the world acknowledge the global impact of rising emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities

The Indicators

Climate Change Indicators Climate Change Indicators NASA GISS - Global Annual Mean Surface Air Temperature ChangeGlobal Temperature Sea level change from 1993 to the present day Global Sea Level Northern Hemisphere Sea Ice Anomaly, 1979-Present Arctic Ice Melt Glacial Retreat, 1980-2010 Glacial Retreat Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations, Mauna Loa Atmospheric CO2 Level
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