Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI), once in line for the second most powerful position in our country, still denies the overwhelming scientific evidence that climate change is a real global issue.
When asked by the moderator if he thought that human activity had anything to do with climate change, Ryan answered, “I don’t know the answer to that question, I don’t think science does, either.”
This was said during a debate between the gerrymandered favorite for re-election Rep. Paul Ryan from Wisconsin’s 1st Congressional District and his Democratic opponent, businessman Rob Zerben.
When the question went to Zerben, he opposed Rep. Paul’s view, and agreed with the consensus held by 97% of scientists that climate change is indeed man-made and is an important issue with real life consequences, both locally and globally. Zerben urged that the US needs to invest in renewable energy explaining, “This is an opportunity to invest a dime to save a dollar.”
However, Ryan believes that “The benefits do not outweigh the costs.”
It should be noted that Koch Industries are donors to Rep. Ryan’s campaign. Charles and David Koch are invested heavily in non-renewable energy such as oil, gas, refining, fracking, tar sands, chemicals, forest products, commodity speculation and oil derivatives. Energy companies receive large government subsidies totaling in the tens of billions to hundreds of billions globally. It’s really not hard to imagine why candidates who receive donations from the Koch brothers and other energy companies cannot seem to understand the science behind climate change.
The debate occurred just hours after the Pentagon released a report stating that climate change poses a huge threat to our national security. The report states, “There is substantial evidence to indicate that significant global warming will occur
during the 21st century,” continuing on to explain, “Recent research, however, suggests that there is a possibility that this gradual global warming could lead to a relatively abrupt slowing of the ocean’s thermohaline conveyor, which could lead to harsher winter weather conditions, sharply reduced soil moisture, and more intense winds in certain regions that currently provide a significant fraction of the world’s food production.” The document goes on to explain that without properly preparing for these conditions we could be facing a national catastrophe.
The conversation needs to turn to, not if climate change is man-made, but instead, what is the US going to do about it.
The clock is ticking, and Americans need candidates who are willing to tackle this issue realistically and fast. The only way this can be achieved is by voting for candidates who do recognize climate change as a real issue. To see where your representatives stand on the issues, click here.