MNGOP attacks Dayton's support for clean energy in wake of UN climate change report

MNGOP gubernatorial candidates Kurt Zellers (left) and Dave Thompson don't buy the hype about climate change and the need for cleaner energy.
MNGOP gubernatorial candidates Kurt Zellers (left) and Dave Thompson don't buy the hype about climate change and the need for cleaner energy.

At the State Fair, Mark Dayton called for the state to move toward eliminating coal-burning power plants and said Minnesota ought to "be in the forefront of creating a cleaner environment."

SEE ALSO: Will Steger baffled by Tim Pawlenty's global warming flip flop

Nothing too out of the norm, right? But in the wake of new UN report that's raising questions about climate change, two Republicans who want to win their party's gubernatorial nomination are suggesting they plan to turn Dayton's support for clean energy into a campaign issue.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report found there has been a "pause" in global warming since the late 1990s. The report was leaked to the British press earlier this month. From the Telegraph:

A leaked report to the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) seen by the Mail on [September 6], has led some scientists to claim that the world is heading for a period of cooling that will not end until the middle of this century.

If correct, it would contradict computer forecasts of imminent catastrophic warming. The news comes several years after the BBC predicted that the arctic would be ice-free by 2013 [Arctic ice levels were up significantly this year].

Of course, the report also notes that a relatively short-term cooling period is consistent with medium- and long-term projections of calamitous climate change.

It's unclear whether Sen. Dave Thompson, R-Lakeville, or Rep. Kurt Zellers, R-Maple Grove, read about the study. But in comments made yesterday to the Central Minnesota Tea Party, the two MNGOP gubernatorial hopefuls sounded a lot like Jeff Dubay.

The following passage reads like it's from the Onion, but it's really from the St. Cloud Times:

Energy issues also were part of [yesterday's tea party event in St. Cloud]. Both candidates said greater use of carbon-emitting fuels such as coal and natural gas should be encouraged, in lieu of state support for renewable sources such as wind or solar power.

"It might make us feel good to pass windmill legislation, even though it's killing bald eagles," Zellers said.

Thompson said he doesn't believe that global warming is occurring.

An overwhelming majority of published climate scientists and researchers disagree. They say global warming is happening and that man-made carbon emissions almost certainly are contributing to it.

But Thompson said he's not convinced.

"Global warming is a political movement, not a scientific one," Thompson said.

Well, at the least, making climate change a central campaign issue can't go any worse for Minnesota Republicans than harping on the marriage amendment did last year, can it?

h/t -- Bluestem Prairie

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at [email protected]

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