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On climate, GOP can't help itself

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.)
Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.)Associated Press

In late June, shortly after President Obama unveiled his fairly ambitious agenda to combat the climate crisis, House Republicans came up with a game plan: ignore the speech, ignore global warming, and generally ignore science altogether.

Politicoreported two days after the president's speech, "Just as top Republicans have called for their party to rebrand itself by avoiding rhetoric that alienates minorities, young voters and women, key GOP lawmakers are trying to stay out of the long-running debate about whether global warming is real -- a discussion that has often included biblical references or claims that scientists are committing a giant hoax."

How's that working out?

Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) said Friday that he does not believe humans are responsible for climate change, according to The Purdue Exponent.

"I think it's arrogant that we think as people that we can somehow change the climate of the whole earth when science is telling us that there's a cycle to all this," Rokita said in an interview with the college paper after a town hall meeting in Lebanon, Ind. "And that cycle was occurring before the industrial revolution and I suspect will occur way into the future."

Also yesterday, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) told the Tulsa Regional Chamber of Commerce, "I am a global warming denier. I don't deny that." Pointing to his background as a medical doctor, the far-right senator added that he believes Earth is headed for a "mini-ice age."

This comes two weeks after Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) said he rejects "this whole Al Gore thing of climate change," adding, "Our climate will continue to change because of the way God formed the Earth." The week before that, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.), the vice chair of the House Science Committee, argued that "global warming is a total fraud" created by those who want "global government to control all of our lives." A few days prior, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) described the entirety of climate science as "more of a religion than a science."

First, the conservative line on the climate crisis is dangerously incoherent, isn't it?

And second, this is what happens when GOP lawmakers "try to stay out of the long-running debate about whether global warming is real"?