Sadly, according to Think Progress, over half of Republican governors in the U.S. are climate science-deniers. Because of them, and the climate-science deniers in Congress, people who should be leading the charge for reducing carbon emissions, weaning us off of fossil fuels, and more, are instead fighting tooth and nail against the policies we need to reduce our impact on the world’s climate.
Not surprisingly, the states requiring the most federal disaster aid also sent climate science-deniers to Congress. In FY 2011 and 2012, the federal government spent $62 billion for disaster relief, according to the Center for American Progress, and private individuals and insurance companies also spent billions in disaster relief and recovery.
Most scientists agree that man-made climate change is happening now. Part of that is increasingly severe weather, including tornadoes, hurricanes, and droughts (and the resulting wildfires) that we’re seeing these days. The CAP reports that the 10 states that received the most aid from climate-related weather events also sent 47 climate science-deniers to Congress in 2012.
These states are primarily agricultural states in the Great Plains, otherwise known as Tornado Alley. The only other weather, or weather-related event, that occurs with as much regularity as the spring and summer tornadoes along Tornado Alley are the wildfires in the west and Alaska.
The Plains states also bear a heavy burden from many winter storms that form over the Rockies during the colder months, and droughts and other weather events that destroy crops. Weather is not climate, but the climate affects the weather.
Think Progress listed just a few of the governors — and their positions — about climate change. For instance, Governor Rick Perry of Texas has said repeatedly said that he sees more and more scientists coming forward to question man-made climate change. He’s one of the people who sued the EPA to block regulations from taking place.
Governor Mike Pence of Indiana said that he doesn’t know if man-made climate change is a settled issue. He said, according to Think Progress:
“I don’t know that that is a resolved issue in science today…just a few years ago we were talking about global warming. We haven’t seen a lot of warming lately. I remember back in the 70’s we were talking about the coming ice age.”
They were talking about a coming ice age, yes, but climate science and man-made climate change have grown in scope and knowledge since the ’70s. What Pence is basically saying is, “The science changes too much, therefore it’s untrustworthy, and we should do nothing because of that.” These people seem to not like science, in part, because it changes too much for their tastes.
The Guardian reported in 2010 that our Tea Party politicians sadly, received a lot of their funding from the world’s biggest polluters. These are polluters who have the money to fund research into clean energy and corner that market, but instead use politicians to help fight that—and climate science—tooth and nail. That article says that 80% of campaign donations from a number of European companies went to Senate candidates that blocked, or helped block, climate change legislation.
States that receive federal aid for natural disasters really ought to know better. Unfortunately, they seem to want to stay beholden to their polluting benefactors, rather than embrace the truth about how climate change directly affects them.