They prowl the halls of Congress, 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, a look at two states whose GOP candidates haven't said much about climate science...or have they?
Rocky Mountain High Zombies:
The state Republican platform officially supports prudent, science-based environmental policies and oppose climate-change hysteria.
Ken Buck (CO-Sen) considers himself a skeptic: the world is warming, but it's not people's fault.
Is Dan Maes, running a lonely race for Governor of Colorado, a climate science denier? I'm counting him as one, given his notorious remarks on bicycles as a United Nations plot:
Maes said in a later interview that he once thought the mayor's efforts to promote cycling and other environmental initiatives were harmless and well-meaning. Now he realizes "that's exactly the attitude they want you to have."
"This is bigger than it looks like on the surface, and it could threaten our personal freedoms," Maes said.... "These aren't just warm, fuzzy ideas from the mayor. These are very specific strategies that are dictated to us by this United Nations program that mayors have signed on to."
Candidate Stephen Bailey (CO-02) flaunts his belief that climate change is a "massive fraud" on his website.
The rest of the state's GOP representatives and candidates haven't said anything (that I can find) on climate change science. However, an interesting pattern is developing. Representatives Lamborn (CO-05) and Coffman (CO-06), and candidates Mike Fallon (CO-01), Cory Gardner (CO-04), and Ryan Frazier (CO-07) have all signed something called the "No Climate Tax Pledge." Hmmm. More on that later. Meanwhile, Scott Tipton (CO-03) ran as a tea party favorite but is now backing off some of his more extreme albeit unrelated-to-climate positions.
Semi-final score: three confirmed Climate Zombies, five signers of the pledge, and one unknown tea partier.
Climate Zombies of North Carolina
Candidate Bill Randall (NC-13) brags: "My professional background is in Earth Science (Meteorology/Oceanography). This will enable me to debunk the so-called Climate Change, Global Warming and Cap & Trade legislation." Um, Mr. Randall? And Senator Richard Burr "is skeptical of recent reports showing a threat of rising sea levels in his home state." But the vast majority of North Carolina Republican incumbents and candidates have been silent on climate science.
The vast majority of North Carolina Republican incumbents and candidates share another trait. Virtually every one of them -- incumbents Walter Jones (NC-03), Virginia Foxx (NC-05), Howard Coble (NC-06), Sue Myrick (NC-09), and Patrick McHenry (NC-10), and candidates B.J. Lawson (NC-04), Ilario Pantano (NC-07), Harold Johnson (NC-08), and Jeff Miller -- has signed the Americans for Prosperity No Climate Tax. (I have no information on the climate-related positions of candidates Ashley Woolard (NC-01), Renee Ellmers (NC-02), or Scott Cumbie (NC-12).)
Semi-final score: two Climate Zombies, nine pledge signers, and three unknowns.
Let's take a closer look at the No Climate Tax pledge to "oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue." The pledge is a project of Americans For Prosperity; David Koch founded the Americans For Prosperity Foundation. AFP defensively whines that "our pledge has nothing to do with science," in response to ThinkProgress' use of the No Climate Tax pledge as evidence that a candidate denies science. Who's right, ThinkProgress or Americans For Prosperity?
The "No Climate Tax" pledge may simply be a pledge against taxes...or it may be a symptom of lurking, rabid Climate Zombie Stupid. AFP puts seeds in the ground, "Then the rainstorm comes, and the frogs come out of the mud—and they’re our candidates!" AFP is funded by the Koch brothers. The Koch brothers' foundations and thinktanks have been energetic in promoting the "climategate" scandal, have funded many sources of environmental skepticism, and David Koch is unconvinced that global warming has been caused by human activity. Every plague has a "Patient Zero": the initial patient in an outbreak. The Koch brothers, with their tangled web of foundations, think-tanks, and tea party groups, may be the Patient Zeroes of the Climate Zombie attack.