It was another catastrophic weather year for the United States, with tens of millions of people across the country affected by floods, fires, drought, heat waves and tornadoes.
Climate scientists are unequivocal: time is running out to move away from fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal and power our cars, heat our homes and grow our food using renewable energy sources and sustainable farming practices. . Most voters agree: Two-thirds of Americans want the federal government to do more to tackle the climate crisis, according to a recent poll.
Despite this urgency, the climate crisis has not been front and center in the campaigns of Democrats or Republicans ahead of next week’s midterm elections, with inflation, abortion and immigration getting much more attention. candidates. Worrying for Joe Biden and the Democrats, who are expected to lose control of both chambers, 60% of voters know little or nothing about the historic climate bill (the Inflation Reduction Act) passed this summer. And 139 pro-fossil fuel members of the current (117th) Congress still refuse to acknowledge scientific evidence of man-made climate change, accounting for more than half of Republicans.
Ultimately, future climate policy will come down to a handful of key national and state races in which Republican candidates have downplayed or denied the seriousness of the climate challenges facing the United States and the planet.
The Guardian looked at what some of the candidates are saying (or lying) about the climate.
Senate: Herschel Walker (Republican) vs. Raphael Warnock (Democrat)
Walker: “Since we don’t control the air, our good air has decided to float towards China’s bad air, so when China receives our good air, its bad air must move. So it moves to our good airspace. Then, now, we need to clean up this backup. (July 9 campaign event)
Warnock: “We have to be kind to the Earth. It’s the only place we have, and we need to make sure we have a planet to leave our children. (debate of October 16)
Governor: Doug Mastriano (Republican) against Josh Shapiro (Democrat)
Mastriano: “It’s fake science. And it’s an academic racket. (radio interview 2018)
“It’s time we unlocked Pennsylvania’s energy potential. It’s time to roll back regulations, open up land and develop these resources without being infringed by so many Harrisburg surcharges or fees. (August 8 campaign event)
Shapiro: “We can’t afford to elect a conspiracy theorist to the governorship of Pennsylvania. He is too extreme. He is too dangerous. I believe in science. (August 19, Twitter)
Senate: JD Vance (Republican) vs. Tim Ryan (Democrat)
Vance: “The net result of environmental justice policy is to ship a lot of manufacturing jobs to the dirtiest economy in the world – which is China, and frankly India too .” (July 2021 primary debate)
Ryan: “I’ve been a proponent of natural gas since I’ve been in Congress and we have to get it right. We need to increase our natural gas production. (debate of October 11)
“The threat of global climate change is one of the most critical issues facing our nation and the world today.” (Congress website)
Senate: Ron Johnson (Republican) vs. Mandela Barnes (Democrat)
Johnson: “I don’t know about you guys, but I think climate change is, as Lord Monckton said, bullshit.” Lord Monckton is a right-wing British aristocrat known for his climate denial and homophobia.
“The climate has always changed and will always change, so I don’t deny climate change.” (debate of October 7)
Barnes: “What we have to do is reduce carbon emissions. What we also need to do is move toward a clean energy economy and make sure Wisconsin is in the driver’s seat. (debate of October 7)
House: Marjorie Taylor Greene (Republican) vs. Marcus Flowers (Democrat)
Greene: “People are freezing to death. This warming of the Earth, and the carbon, is actually healthy for us. It helps us feed people, it keeps them alive. (Radio interview, June 2022)
“We need to hold the Democrats accountable and defund all their climate garbage.” (Interview with Fox News, August 2022)
Flowers: “We could have a situation where we have millions of people all over our borders because of climate change. So I think we have to do everything we can to protect our environment. (January 2022 interview)
Senate: Mehmet Oz (Republican) vs. John Fetterman (Democrat)
Oz: “The ideology that carbon is bad, which in itself is a lie. Carbon dioxide, my friends, [is] 0.04% of our air. That’s not the problem. (March 2022 campaign event)
Fetterman: “Currently, hydraulic fracturing and other traditional types of fossil fuels are part of our energy portfolio. And as long as we continue to transition to green energy, that’s how I think that’s the way to go… Energy security is key, but climate change is also very critical. (October 2022 interview)
Senate: Rand Paul (Republican) vs. Charles Booker (Democrat)
Rand: “Despite alarmist climate predictions, humans will likely survive for hundreds of millions of years into the future. In the meantime, we should start creating atmospheres on suitable moons or planets. (January 2020 Twitter)
(Note from the Guardian: Dinosaurs lived just under 200 million years in total, and the longest time between unsolicited mass extinction events on Earth is less than 150 million years). ‘years.)
Booker: “These historic and unprecedented storms – with a 1,000-year flood hitting communities that have never been in a floodplain – these things are no accident…So we can’t deflect them , or call them a myth or a joke like Rand Paul would.(October TV talk show Paul didn’t show up at)