MNGOP Rep. Gruenhagen on climate change: "It's just a complete United Nations fraud" [VIDEO]
Gruenhagen logic: There's been no warming trend over the last 16 years (according to CPAC), therefore climate change is a myth.
Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, is anti-gay and gets his "facts" from materials distributed at the Conservative Political Action Conference. Other than that, we're sure he's exactly the sort of elected leader Minnesota needs.
During a recent rant on the House floor, Gruenhagen characterized climate change as "just a complete United Nations fraud and lie" and "utter nonsense." He went on to suggest there isn't any environmental problem the free hand of the unfettered capitalist marketplace isn't capable of solving on its own.
Here's a transcript of part of Gruenhagen's speech, followed by the raw video:
Ultimately the underlying philosophy that supports all this is the so-called man-made global warming or climate change theory. And the fact is, members, there's more and more evidence coming in that it's just a complete United Nations fraud and lie, okay? The latest facts from CPAC show that in the last 16 years, there's been no global warming. The last 16 years, members...
So members, I'd recommend that you keep breathing, okay? Because, you know, man-made global warming believes that exhaling causes global warming. I mean, the more you study it the more utter nonsense you see it is...
The fact is, members, we're driving up our energy costs. Now, is alternative energy wrong? Not necessarily. How do you know when you're doing it right? When alternative energy brings down the cost of electricity, then you know you're doing it right. Guess what? When the technology is there to bring electricity costs [down], you're not going to have to pass a government mandate. The private market will bring it to the econony, and we'll see lower energy costs and alternative energy...
Every time government get involved in the private sector you can expect two results -- the price of everything goes up and it becomes very inefficient and wasteful.
For just a little bit of context about how extreme and discredited Gruenhagen's views are, consider some information from NASA's website. First, here's a graph depicting the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere over the last 400,000 years -- a timeframe that's just a bit more statistically significant than Gruenhagen's 16 years (click to enlarge):
National Climatic Data Center via NASA
And here are a few more widely accepted facts from NASA about climate change:
Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters (6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade, however, is nearly double that of the last century...
All three major global surface temperature reconstructions show that Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of this warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the past 12 years. Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperatures continue to increase...
The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is very likely human-induced and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented in the past 1,300 years.
As NASA notes, "Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists agree that climate-warming trends over the past century are very likely due to human activities, and most of the leading scientific organizations worldwide have issued public statements endorsing this position."
So who are you going to believe -- Gruenhagen and CPAC or the scientific community?
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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