GOP lawmakers have dismissed the recent United Nations report which issued dire warnings about the imminent consequences of climate change.
Several Republican senators said they had looked at the report but did not read it in much detail. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) report, released three days ago, warns that if carbon emissions are not cut the planet would become unlivable.
“I just got that, and I hadn’t gotten a chance to do a deep dive on it so I’m going to have to wait to comment,” Senator Shelley Moore Capito told The Hill.
Some even suggested the findings in the report were biased and dismissed it without much thought. “That’s the UN. That’s the group that was formed to sell this in the first place,” said one of the most vocal skeptics of climate change and former chairman of the Environment and Public Works Committee Senator James Inhofe. “They come from that prejudiced perspective,” he added.
Senator Mike Rounds also said he had not read the report, rather stressing that it was more important to take every possible step to maintain a strong economy. Scientist and conservatives have frequently found themselves at odds over the grave financial implications of having to scale back carbon emissions.
“We ought to be talking about the things that we can do and still maintain a strong economy because we’re not going to be able to address it unless we keep a strong economy,” Rounds said.
The report was compiled at the request of the countries that had negotiated the Paris climate agreement. It found that the emissions reductions these countries have pledged to under the agreement would not be enough to stop the effects of global warming.
President Donald Trump likewise expressed skepticism regarding the report, saying that he would like to see “who drew it…because I can give you reports that are fabulous, and I can give you reports that aren’t so good.”
Democrats, on the other hand, said the findings should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers worldwide, and criticized Republicans for refusing to acknowledge that. “It’s a stark, well-researched, impeccable piece of science. But nothing will move congressional Republicans other than voters punishing them,” said Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz.