Climate Denial Fashionable for GOP Contenders This Fall

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It’s widely predicted that Democrats won’t fare so well this election season. I’m no election guru, so I’ll defer to others—see “Top 10 Senate Races to Worry About” and “Memo to Dems: A Miserable November Looms” for starters. Or, for an even more troubling post, see “How Bad Are the Next Few Years Going To Suck?” This, of course, is terrible news for anyone hoping Congress will pass major climate and energy legislation any time soon. How bad is it going to get?

Well, RL Miller at Daily Kos has been tracking what she calls the “Climate Zombies”—the GOP candidates for House and Senate who manage to be even worse on the issue than those currently in office. In short, climate change denial is back in a big way in the would-be congressional Class of 2011.

Ron Johnson, the formidable Republican challenger to Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wisc.), believes sunspots are causing the planet to warm. Joe Miller, the tea-party candidate who upset Lisa Murkowski last month in Alaska, doesn’t think the planet is actually warming in the first place. In New Hampshire, all six Republican primary candidates in the Senate race agree that it has not yet been proven that mankind is warming the planet.

The House is even more frightening. Here’s Ruth McClung, the Republican candidate challenging incumbent Raul Grijalva, weighing in on why she, too, blames the sun:

After researching the causes of temperature fluctuations on earth, I found the largest factor to be the sun. The earth’s orbit changes. Also the earth’s spin and axis change over time. When areas of the earth are closer to the sun, the temperature is hotter and when they are further away, cooler. The sun also has more activity at times and less at other times. They have been able to map out large changes in the earth’s temperature over time to the sun. Times with no polar ice caps have corresponded to times when we were closer to the sun. Ice ages have corresponded to times when we were further from the sun. We should not punish the people of the United States financially by legislating on pseudo-science that has not been proven.

RL Miller’s got more on candidates in other big races here. The League of Conservation Voters also put out a memo last week running down the members of what they call the “Flat Earth Society.”

Now, if conservative activists get their way, the biggest step the 112th Congress will take on energy is preserving your right to inefficient lighting. But upon further reflection, maybe it will be a good thing if that’s the worst they get around to doing.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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