Climate change is a real thing, scientifically proven, and one of the most urgent crises of our time — but this is apparently quite hard for some people to wrap their heads around. People who want to be in charge of, like, entire countries. Not at all terrifying! Hahahaha sob.
And! They are LITERALLY all up for election this year. Phew. Here are the most egregious.
A Republican who serves in the House of Representatives for Nevada's 3rd District, Heck has
- voted against regulating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions eight times,
- which means that he voted to gut the EPA, giving polluters free rein to poison our air and water,
- voted to block the Department of Defense from using funds to research climate change,
- took money for his campaign from oil billionaires Charles and David Koch,
- voted to limit expanding solar energy in Nevada (which, hello, creates jobs),
- and denied climate change.
Also the League of Conservation Voters named him one of the Dirty Dozen for 2016. You know, nbd. Also also, he's running for Senate this year. Great!
Pat Toomey, the junior senator for Pennsylvania, has an appalling climate change record. In fact, Toomey's energy plan would make climate change worse. Aren't you supposed to work for the people, dude?
In addition to trying to accelerate climate change, Toomey has
- voted for the Keystone XL Pipeline,
- voted to block President Obama from entering into the Paris Climate Agreement, one of the most important foreign policy successes in recent decades,
voted against a national budget that includes a reserve fund to address climate change and would encourage use of clean energy, reduced emissions, and increased energy efficiency,
and voted to gut the EPA and against environmental protections that will prevent roughly 90,000 more asthma attacks and 1,700 more heart attacks.
The list could go on because Toomey has voted against the environment on almost every single pro-environmental legislation throughout his entire career. Yikes. He's running for re-election this year, too. Juuuust saying.
The Republican senator from Oklahoma has a long-running history of baffling climate change opinions, including but not limited to
- calling climate change "the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people," presumably because at the time (2003) we had not yet enjoyed the circus of a Trump presidential campaign,
- insisting that God controls the weather,
- supporting hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and the Keystone XL Pipeline,
- and throwing a snowball on the floor of the US Senate to "prove" climate change isn't real, because apparently snow existing precludes the reality of climate change or something?
Oh, and this dude is the chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Great.
Gov. McCrory is another Pat with terrible ideas about climate change (among, frankly, a lot of other things). You might know him as the guy behind North Carolina's discriminatory and transphobic bathroom bill. He doesn't think we should do all that much about climate change, because climate change is "in God's hands." Okay, sure.
He has recently slightly adjusted his stance to at least acknowledge that climate change is real, and North Carolina's greenhouse gas emissions are down (for now, at least — though he does want to increase use of fossil fuels), but he has also
- led a coalition of governors that supports drilling for oil on the Outer Continental Shelf despite serious hazards to wildlife and water,
- and, after his old employer (and campaign donor) Duke Energy contaminated drinking water, McCrory's administration offered Duke what government watchdogs called a "sweetheart deal" that didn't even require the company to clean up its own mess.
So, you know. Maybe a bit early to celebrate his green achievements. And, yep, you guessed it — he's up for re-election. Perhaps time for a new governor?
Speaking of Republicans who are doing a little better about the environment, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire has come around a bit in recent years (in 2015, for instance, she admitted to the reality of climate change and began reversing her policies). However, she
- is still in favor of the Keystone XL and even voted to fast-track approval for it,
- refuses to put a price on carbon, which the National Academy of Sciences says in needed to help us avoid the worst effects of climate change,
- and recently called Donald Trump a "role model," then said she "misspoke." OK, sure.
While not worst of the politicians on this list, Ayotte's policies moving forward need to be much cleaner and greener — basically the Hulk after a shower, but political.
Sen. Burr, a Republican, has represented North Carolina since 2005, and, in 2015, he admitted that climate change is a thing that is happening — but not that humans have contributed demonstrably to it or that we can alleviate or reverse it. Cool! (Sob.)
The most important thing you need to know about Burr — other than the fact that he, like everybody else on this list, would make climate change worse — is that in 2011 he introduced legislation to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency, which protects our air, water, and climate from pollution. And he voted against Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009. This act would protect millions of acres of wild land from drilling and fracking.
Honestly, dude. Get with the program.
Our potential vice president has a fabulous record with climate change. Just kidding! It's one of the worst of the bunch!
- called climate change a "myth" and also said it's been "resolved" (Can myths be resolved? According to Gov. Mike Pence, why yes, they can.),
- refused to comply with the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan,
- voted against limiting greenhouse gas emissions (...more than once),
- and supported the Keystone XL Pipeline.
And this is just what can be fit into a succinct set of bullets, y'all. It's okay, though, because Pence also has dangerous beliefs about a woman's right to choose, LGBT people as a whole, gun violence protection, economic issues, and virtually everything else. Yay.
Let's just do this one in Trump's own words, because nothing is more damning than the things he says himself.
"Obama's talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it's a hoax. It's a hoax. I mean, it's a money-making industry, okay? It's a hoax, a lot of it." — December 2015, Hilton Head, SC.
"NBC News just called it the great freeze — coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?" — Twitter, Jan 2015.
"Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax!" — Twitter, Jan 2014.
"Give me clean, beautiful and healthy air - not the same old climate change (global warming) bullshit! I am tired of hearing this nonsense." — Twitter, Jan 2014
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.” — Twitter, Nov 2012
"[Climate change] is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you could burn; they couldn’t care less.” — Fox & Friends, Jan 2016
You get the idea.
Of the issues Trump has taken an official position on, none of them are environmental, and he has given no official plan in any public appearances (though he has said he'd eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency). In fact, experts have analyzed his economic plan and deemed it likely to cause environmental disaster.
Phew. Okay. That was a lot of dry, moldy cheese puff dust to inhale. Here's a palate cleanser.
LOOK AT THEIR WRINKLES. They clearly love you and want you to succeed.
Anyway. Here's the thing: Half these people shouldn't even be trusted to keep a desk cactus alive, much less making decisions on behalf of the nation as a whole.
That's where we come in. NextGen Climate wants to help you stop Donald Trump and the rest of these buffoons, so we've developed a simple system to remind you when a local, state, or national election is coming. You can commit to vote today and sign up for these handy-dandy alerts. The more votes for climate action candidates we get, the less we have to deal with these dunces.
Paid for by NextGen Climate Action Committee and NextGen Climate Action Committee - NC; nextgenclimate.org; not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee.