Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Republicans may not want to admit it, but when it comes to climate change, "the evidence is overwhelming,"  Bernie Sanders declared on Tuesday. (Photo: Erik J. Olson/flickr/cc)

Sanders Blasts Republicans for Corporate-Funded Climate Denialism

Meanwhile, GOP presidential candidates continue to take anti-science positions on global warming

Deirdre Fulton

Science-denying Republicans—intent on derailing local, national, and global attempts to avert a looming climate crisis—have their priorities all wrong, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said on Tuesday.

"I find it unacceptable that many of my Republican colleagues are more worried about campaign contributions they're getting from the Koch brothers and others in the fossil fuel industry than they are about preserving the planet for our children and grandchildren," Sen. Sanders (I-Vt.) said in a statement urging the U.S. to take the lead in stopping global warming.

The U.S. senator made his remarks just hours after President Barack Obama, upon leaving the COP21 climate summit taking place in Paris, called for certain aspects of a climate change agreement to be legally binding—a demand that is sure to raise the ire of Republicans in Congress and beyond. 

As the Guardian noted in its reporting on the president's press conference, "a majority of Republicans in Congress deny the existence of climate change or oppose action on it. In the run-up to Paris, and while Obama has been at the summit, Republicans in Congress have repeatedly threatened to block climate aid to developing countries."

Meanwhile, the newspaper reported separately on Tuesday, "Republican presidential candidates have poured scorn on Barack Obama for his comments at the Paris climate talks." 

Presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), for example, told a gathering in Iowa that Obama "apparently thinks having an SUV in your driveway is more dangerous than a bunch of terrorists trying to blow up the world." And Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, tweeted along similar lines, calling Obama "clueless" and mocking him as "meteorologist-in-chief."

Indeed, even Obama's call on Tuesday for the agreement to have some legally enforceable elements is a step back from what the European Union and developing countries have pushed for: a legally binding agreement, such as the Kyoto protocol. But such a treaty would be a non-starter in the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress.

Obama decried Republican climate denial in his press conference, noting that "there's a reason why you have the largest gathering of world leaders probably in human history here in Paris. Everybody else is taking climate change really seriously. They think it's a really big problem."

"It spans political parties," he continued. "I mean, you travel around Europe and you talk to leaders of governments and the opposition, and they are arguing about a whole bunch of things. One thing they're not arguing about is whether the science of climate change is real and whether or not we're going to have to do something about it."

Recent studies have shown how corporations, led by ExxonMobil and the Koch family foundations, drive such anti-science ideology through the creation of climate disinformation think tanks and dissemination of coordinated contrarian messaging in mainstream media and public discourse.

Still, with a new poll showing that 63 percent of Americans support the U.S. signing onto a binding international agreement to curb greenhouse gas emissions, one can only hope the tide is shifting.

"The evidence is overwhelming," Sanders declared. "Droughts, floods, and severe storms already are impacting the planet and the situation will only become worse in years to come."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

ACLU Demands 'Truly Systemic Overhaul' of US Civilian Harm Policies

"While a serious Defense Department focus on civilian harm is long overdue and welcome, it's unclear that this directive will be enough," says director of the legal group's National Security Project.

Jessica Corbett ·


'This Is Not Over': Alaska Supreme Court Rejects Youth Climate Case

"With the state continuing to undermine their health, safety, and futures," said the plaintiffs' lead counsel, "we will evaluate our next steps and will continue to fight for climate justice."

Jessica Corbett ·


Analysis Finds 'Staggering' Rise in Voter Suppression After GOP Restrictions in Georgia

"This is why we are fighting this new law in court," said one voting rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'Egregious': Pennsylvania Court Strikes Down Mail-In Voting Law

The ruling was stayed pending an appeal to the state's Supreme Court and as one voting advocate put it: "The fight's not over yet, folks."

Julia Conley ·


Big Win for Open Internet as Court Upholds California Net Neutrality Law

One legal advocate called the Ninth Circuit's opinion "a great decision and a major victory for internet users in California and nationwide."

Kenny Stancil ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo