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Republican Takeover of Senate Will Spotlight Climate Denial

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorNovember 5, 2014 6:59 PM


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Now that the Republicans control Congress for the next two years, what's in store for U.S. climate politics? Well, Keystone is the first order of business, and then probably a whole lot of bombast and theater, which many will find unappetizing:

Most vocal climate change skeptic in the Senate now runs the Senate's environmental committee: Not good. — Matt Shipman (@ShipLives) November 5, 2014

Not good for science and sane politics, perhaps, but if you're a Democrat who cares about climate change and you are already looking ahead to 2016, there's a silver lining: You have the face of climate denialism in a top leadership spot, quoted often in the media, representing the Republican brand in Congress. And this is not your garden variety climate skepticism that nitpicks the science. We're talking all-in global conspiracy belief, infamously expressed, as The Hillrecently noted:

Inhofe has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax,” despite near universal agreement from the scientific community.

Indeed, as Phil Plait at Slatewrites, Inhofe "denies it [global warming] to levels that would make the frothiest conspiracy theorists shake their heads in wonder." If you're a money man like Tom Steyer hellbent on making climate change a wedge issue for Democrats, then you are happy to have Senator James Inhofe as the Republican face of climate change for the next two years. UPDATE: After the election, Time published a thorough piece on Inhofe's climate change views.

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