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Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Where does Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) stand on climate change? It depends on when you ask him.

In Tuesday’s Senate debate against incumbent Democrat Mark Udall, Gardner could not bring himself to declare whether or not humans are contributing to climate change. During a “yes or no questions” section of the debate, moderator Chuck Plunkett of the Denver Post asked, “Do you believe humans are contributing significantly to climate change?”

Gardner immediately launched into an explanation, ignoring the instructions to answer in one word. “Well I’ve said all along–” Gardner began. Even with further prompting from Plunkett, Gardner refused to answer with a “yes” or “no”, explaining, “Look, this is an important issue and I don’t think you can say yes or no.”

After flailing for a decisive answer on the matter, Gardner’s final response was, “I believe the climate is changing. I disagree to the extent that it’s been in the news that man is causing it.”

But just one day before, Gardner had stated that “there is no doubt that pollution contributes to the climate changing around us.” He then diverted attention away from his own views on climate change by attacking Udall.

“What I refuse to do is support a climate tax bill like Waxman/Markey put in place… We hear people talk about putting a price on carbon, but they won’t talk about how much that price of carbon is. Let’s just have an answer: What is the price? Is it $5 a month, is $10 a month, is it $20 a month? Senator Udall, am I not going high enough?” Gardner said.

The Waxman/Markey bill to which Gardner refers is from 2009, when Coloradan Elizabeth Markey voted in favor of energy legislation that would have reduced carbon emissions. Back then, Gardner said he did not believe humans were causing climate change the way that the media was portraying it. “I think the climate is changing, but I don’t believe humans are causing that change to the extent that’s been in the news,” Gardner explained, as quoted by Colorado’s 9news.

This year, Gardner was one of 24 Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee who voted down an amendment that would have affirmed the existence of climate change.

The debate on Tuesday highlighted Gardner’s indecision about how to best handle the issue. Locked in an especially tight race, Gardner could use any moderate votes he might be able to glean with a lenient view on climate change. Instead, he waffled and argued with Plunkett, pleading, “I don’t think we should shortchange serious issues with yes or no answers without being able to talk about them now.”

Plunkett responded that “these yes or no questions are meant to be answered yes or no, because they should come from a core belief that you would hold.”

When Plunkett asked Senator Udall the same question, Mark Udall barely paused before answering with a  simple “Yes.”

The Huffington Post Pollster aggregate model shows Gardner and Udall virtually tied at 46 percent.

Screenshot: Cory Gardner for Senate/YouTube

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  • Sand_Cat

    Just another ass.
    If the GOP wins the Senate this year, it’s hard to say the country doesn’t richly deserve the insanity likely to follow.

    • Whatmeworry

      yea is IQ is 40 points higher than Baraks

      • Russell Byrd

        Idiot quotient? In order to make up his mind, he has to have one first.

  • Claudius Templesmith

    It has been eight years since the last major hurricane struck the United States.

    • Russell Byrd

      Which signifies only that “it has been eight years since the last major hurricane struck the United States.” They are out there, we have just been lucky enough not to have been hit.

  • Trevor Carlson

    “I believe the climate is changing. I disagree to the extent that it’s been in the news that man is causing it.”

    One day before, Gardner had stated that “there is no doubt that pollution contributes to the climate changing around us.”

    -This is not an inconsistent viewpoint. It may not be consistent with the cannon of faith the political left believes but it is not wavering from a Yes to a No.

    Stating in the title “Gardner Can’t Make Up His Mind” doesn’t make it a fact and spinning every quote with pre/post text will only be believed by the people that don’t think and the people that already believe without questioning.

    By not answering a Yes or a No he is basically saying he doesn’t subscribe to the questions premise to begin with. How is that not clear? He’s a politician and climate change is not a topic he’s running on nor is it important to the majority of his constituents.

    • Russell Byrd

      This is one of the major issues of the day. Decisions made by present lawmakers could end this Nation for our children and grand-children. If this joker cannot make up his mind, then he needs to find another line of work.

      • Trevor Carlson

        Are you one of his likely constituents? If not, then how can you say that climate change is one of the major issues of the day? That is your assumption based on the summation of what you believe. Others may not agree or may believe something else entirely. The basis of the question that was asked of Gardner is flawed due to that assumption.

        I thought the left was supposed to be the compassionate ones that were respectful of others and diversity of thought…. LOL.

        I don’t know much about Gardner nor am I a likely voter for or against him but I will stand up for his right to rejecting the premise of a biased question.

    • Sand_Cat

      Actually, it is the right that has turned opposition to this and other scientific issues into a “Cannon[sic] of faith.” Sounds like you’re a faithful follower.

      • Trevor Carlson

        How do you believe that it is actually the RIGHT that has turned “climate change” into an argument based on faith?

        The right is all over the map on what should or should not be done about all the scientific studies looking for evidence of climate change. If science were truly unbiased there would be money applied to study all possible hypotheses to answer all the questions relating to a particular issue. That isn’t how modern science works though. Modern science has become a political tool to advance the agenda of whoever doles out the money for research grants and what they want to study.

        There really hasn’t been a lot of money put towards trying to understand what is the ideal climate. Critical free-thinkers know that the earths climate has always been changing. The major contributing factor to what forces the climate has always been the sun and it’s output. For man to make a dent in the solar forcing of the climate is laughable when you look at the energy it would take to do so.

        Let’s just go down the “climate change is bad” rabbit hole… that assumes that our normally cyclical and changing climate should become more static. A static climate would indicate equilibrium had been reached. (most likely a very hot or very cold equilibrium) Even if we were to try to engineer such an equilibrium it would be very difficult., if we did manage to force such a state, there would be much loss of life because the deep sea currents would need to be shut down. This would kill much life in the oceans and dampen the trade winds. Weather would be impacted and the increasingly overcast skies would cover much of the earth. The greenhouse effect would begin to runaway even as plant growth slowed from lower light levels. However, even this state would NOT be equilibrium as it would clearly instigate a global cooling phase that would begin to reverse only once cloud cover reduced enough to allow more solar forcing. Eventually the melting would kickstart the deep sea currents and we’d be back to a changing planet.

        Without a goal how can we ever hope to achieve it? If we are to go down the path of geo-engineering on a global scale, when should we stop? Whose hand is on the thermostat? If we are simply trying to minimize the effect humans have on the planet with no regard for the quality of life for all life on the planet then that’s just crazy talk. There is no logic in doing that for the good of anyone or anything. That would be neither wise nor compassionate to anyone including our children. Such arguments are based on “facts” that there are too many people on this earth for the earth to sustain us all.

        If we as an intelligent beings cannot innovate, relocate, reproduce, and adapt faster than the slow changing of the climate, we do not deserve to live and our genetic heritage should be wiped out. If you subscribe to the theory of evolution, this should be self-evident. So far, the mortality rate of being born on this earth is 100%. Trying to change that is noble but will likely lead to absolute corruption.

        • Sand_Cat

          I don’t “believe” the RIGHT has turned global warming into a canon of religious faith. I KNOW it, all your rationalization and bullshit notwithstanding.
          It’s obvious from all your crap about “modern science” being a political tool, the standard right wing horseshit, phrased to sound a little better than the actual worldwide “conspiracy” of scientists – except those heavily subsidized by the fossil-fuel and other polluting industries, of course – to destroy the American economy, or whatever other insane goal the particular lunatic attempts to stick on it.
          The very fact that those arguing from the right accept and present mutually-contradictory “explanations” – e.g., warming is not happening, and that it’s caused by sun cycles or some other “natural” process – at the same time is evidence of the willful ignorance the right applies to all problems which cannot be “solved” by tax cuts for billionaires, punitive measures against the poor and minorities, war, or mass incarceration of said poor and minorities (or preaching of a “gospel” unrecognizable to its purported author and subject).