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Utah Senator Mike Lee delivers remarks on climate change.

Utah Senator Mike Lee delivers remarks on climate change. (Photo: screenshot CSPAN)

'If This Guy Can Be Senator, You Can Do Anything': Progressives Mock Mike Lee's Climate Speech

"People like Mike Lee say ridiculous stuff on C-SPAN so that it will distract you with outrage from the real news."

Eoin Higgins

A Republican Senator tried to make light of the Green New Deal in a rambling floor speech that involved Ronald Reagan riding a dinosaur, the Sharknado, and Tauntauns. 

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) told the Senate Tuesday that the proposed environmental legislation was not worth treating with respect.

"After reading the Green New Deal, I am mostly afraid of not being able to get through this speech with a straight face," Lee said. "For, Mr. President, I rise today to consider the Green New Deal with the level of seriousness it deserves."

Lee then proceeded, with props, to mock the Green New Deal, calling the proposed legislation "ridiculous" and asserting it would eliminate cows and planes (proponents of the legislation, including the writers of the bill, say this is not true). 

"The Green New Deal is not a serious policy document because it is not a policy document at all," said Lee. "It's an aesthetic one."

Lee concluded his nearly 14 minute speech by calling for a solution for the climate crisis based in Americans having more children, which, in Lee's view, would lead to more markets, innovation, and, apparently, to an engineering solution to the environmental disaster of climate change. 

"More babies mean more forward-looking adults – the sort we need to tackle long-term, large scale problems," said Lee. "American babies, in particular, are likely going to be wealthier, better educated, and more conservation-minded than children raised in still-industrializing regions."

Lee's solution prompted a question from writer Jesse Spector. 

Progressives took issue with Lee's speech and mocked the delivery. Media Matters editor-at-large Parker Molloy pointed out that basing a belief system on religion was at least as silly as Lee believes the Green New Deal to be. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), who co-authored the proposed legislation with Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), hit back at Lee, calling him a cure to imposter solution. 

"If this guy can be Senator, you can do anything," said Ocasio-Cortez.

Environmental advocates should be aware of what Lee's doing, said writer and meteorologist Eric Holthaus. While it's funny to look at Lee's over the top antics, the senator is actually trying to distract from the reality of the coming climate disaster. 

"People like Mike Lee say ridiculous stuff on C-SPAN so that it will distract you with outrage from the real news," said Holthaus. "The Green New Deal is the most practical, humane, cost-effective way of tackling climate change yet presented and the Republicans have no serious answer to it."

Watch Lee's floor speech:


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