They prowl the tea party rallies of America's heartland, moaning for caaasshh.

Their stupid has gone viral.

Their supporters: "Some people say I’m extreme, but they said the John Birch Society was extreme, too."

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, Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, South Carolina, and West Virginia, with a highlight from Indiana's Ninth District.

The New York Times visits a Baron Hill - Todd Young candidates' forum in IN-09 to find that climate change doubt is an act of faith among the tea party:

...8 percent of Tea Party adherents volunteered that they did not believe global warming exists at all, while only 1 percent of other respondents agreed.  Those views in general align with those of the fossil fuel industries, which have for decades waged a concerted campaign to raise doubts about the science of global warming and to undermine policies devised to address it.

They have created and lavishly financed institutes to produce anti-global-warming studies, paid for rallies and Web sites to question the science, and generated scores of economic analyses that purport to show that policies to reduce emissions of climate-altering gases will have a devastating effect on jobs and the overall economy.


Incumbent Jack Kingston (GA-01) dislikes questionable science.  Incumbent Lynn Westmoreland (GA-03) isn't convinced that climate change is occurring. Incumbent Tom Price (GA-06) is shocked by recent revelations of errors and obfuscations in the settled science of global warming.  They pale compared to incumbent Paul Broun (GA-10), who flatly labels it a hoax.

An EPA petition to reconsider greenhouse gases (pdf), based on claims that "Climategate reveals the systematic manipulation of data as necessary to produce a pre-determined result," deserves special mention.  Most of the petitioners are Georgians, including Westmoreland, Price, Nathan Deal (formerly GA-09, now running for governor), and Phil Gingrey (GA-11).  As the petition is a direct attack on science, I'm considering all signatories to be Climate Zombies.  Separately, incumbent Senator Johnny Isakson demanded an inquiry into "climategate."

Candidate Fenn Little (GA-05) knows that the science does not support the premise of global warming. I'm considering candidates Mike Keown (GA-02), Austin Scott (GA-08), and Sarah Palin-endorsed Ray McKinney (GA-12) to be presumed deniers based on their signing of the Americans For Prosperity/Koch "no climate tax" pledge.  I'm also counting Rob Woodall (GA-07) as a probable denier based on the probably-intended-to-signal-sarcasm quote marks:

President Obama just doesn’t get it.  First he focused on energy taxes and "global warming."

I don't have any information on the climate science positions of candidates Liz Carter (GA-04), who appears networked into the usual hard right groups, or Mike Crane (GA-13), who may be active in a Confederate history group.

Semi-final score: eight confirmed, five presumed infected; two unknowns.


Candidate Dan Coats (IN-Sen) is among the many Republicans who confused this year's East Coast snowstorms with an end to warming.  He's signed the Americans For Prosperity/Koch "no climate tax" pledge.

Incumbents in this coal-dependent state deny climate science.  Dan Burton (IN-05) considers the science to be "undermined" by the manufactured "climategate" scandal. Mike Pence (IN-06) is equally critical.

Indiana's candidates are among the most vehement deniers I've seen since starting this tracking project. Mark Leyva (IN-01) rails against the "global warming HOAX" (capitalization in original).  Jackie Walorski (IN-02) finds gaping holes in climate science.  I don't have a specific statement on climate science by Marlin Stutzman (IN-03), but he's fascinated by a creation science museum.  Todd Rokita (IN-04) finds science debateable but is quite sure that data was manipulated by scientists.  Larry Bucshon (IN-08) knows that the data does not support the premise of carbon increasing temperature.  And Todd Young (IN-09), running in the district noted above, considers global warming a hoax with data put together by leftist ideologues with an agenda.  Stutzman, Rokita, Bucshon, and Young have all signed the AFP/Koch pledge.  

I don't have information on the attitude toward science of perennial no-chance candidate Marvin Scott (IN-07).

Semi-final score: eight confirmed climate zombies, one presumed, and one unknown.


John Kasich (OH-Gov) tells Fox News that global warming is cyclical and the focus of a debate as ferocious as a T.Rex.  

The Man Who Would Be Speaker, John Boehner (OH-08), thinks it's almost comical to call carbon dioxide dangerous.  Pat Tiberi (OH-12) doesn't think there's a consensus among scientists on whether global warming has been proven.  I'm presuming incumbents Jean Schmidt (OH-02), Jim Jordan (OH-04), and Bob Latta (OH-05) to deny climate science based on their signing of the AFP/Koch pledge. I'm also presuming that incumbent Steve LaTourette (OH-14) denies climate science because his website repeatedly mentions preferring sound science to current EPA regulations; "sound science" is often a euphemism for "industry-written science."

Candidate Steve Chabot (OH-01) considers global warming/climate change to be "religion," no matter what the facts are.  Candidate Peter Corrigan (OH-10) responds to VoteSmart's questionnaire on environmental issues: "Must prove climate change is man-made."  Candidate Tom Ganley (OH-13) has a bizarre, rambling Facebook post regarding third world leaders trying to seize money under the guise of climate control.  Candidate Steve Stivers flatly disagrees with the statement that man-made global warming is scientific fact.  Channels his inner Yoda, does candidate Jim Graham (OH-17) to declare: "Global Warming/Cap and Trade: Total fraud and everything related to it is." Candidate Bob Gibbs (OH-18) concludes from "climategate" that "science has not been able to document what is happening and if human activity is causing a problem or not." I'm considering candidates Bill Johnson (OH-06, endorsed by Sarah Palin), Rich Iott (OH-09, may or may not be endorsed by Eva Braun's ghost?), and Jim Renacci (OH-16) as presumed deniers based on the fact that they signed the AFP/Koch petition.  

I have no information on the attitude toward climate science of incumbents Mike Turner (OH-03) or Steve Austria (OH-07). Thomas Pekarek (OH-11) appears to be a sacrificial lamb with no web presence.

Semi-final score: nine confirmed and seven presumed deniers, three unknowns, no sane people.

South Carolina

Candidate Trey Gowdy (SC-04) has an inadvertently revealing comment when he states that "global warming has not been proven to the satisfaction of the constituents I seek to serve."  Never mind whether it's settled science; never mind leadership; he only seeks to reflect his constituents' views.  Candidate Mike Mulvaney (SC-05) decries "questionable science."  Incumbent Joe "You lie!" Wilson (SC-02) and candidate Tim Scott (SC-01) have signed the AFP/Koch pledge.  I'm also presuming that tea party-backed Jeff Duncan (SC-03) is a denier, and don't have any information on Jim Pratt (SC-06).

Incumbent Senator Jim DeMint tweets:

It's going to keep snowing in DC until Al Gore cries "uncle"

Is gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley a denier?  On a Conservation Voters of South Carolina (pdf) questionnaire, she was asked this question: "With every major scientific body and our own Defense Department recognizing that climate change exists and is a threat to our national security and economy, what will you do as Governor to protect our way of life in the face of this threat?"  She responded to many questions elsewhere on the questionnaire, but to this question, answered:

Semi-final score: three confirmed, four presumed deniers and one unknown.

West Virginia

This may come as a shock: every Republican candidate for House and Senate in this coal-dependent state denies human-caused climate change.  Candidate David McKinley (WV-01) is waiting for something he calls "valid science" to convince him there's a problem, while candidate Spike Maynard (WV-03) already knows that existing science includes junk science and outright fraud.  Both have signed the AFP/Koch pledge.  Incumbent Shelly Moore Capito (WV-02) doesn't exactly want to deny global warming on the record, but isn't convinced that human-caused warming is altering the planet's climate in ways that could be dangerous.  John Raese (WV-Sen) is one of this year's most outspoken candidates on the myth of global warming.

Semi final score: Climate Zombies 4, Humanity 0.  

Be afraid.  Be very afraid.

Originally posted to RLMiller on Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 02:31 PM PDT.

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