Ron Johnson is Mr. Science among GOP | WisCommunity

Ron Johnson is Mr. Science among GOP

It's high time someone (besides lapdog ) speaks up for poor Ron Johnson, who's been getting a bad rap the last few days. Johnson has been getting a lot of flak since the Journal Sentinel on an interview with him about global warming:

A global warming skeptic, Johnson said extreme weather phenomena were better explained by sunspots than an overload of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, as many scientists believe.

“I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change,” Johnson said. “It’s not proven by any stretch of the imagination.”

Johnson, in an interview last month, described believers in manmade causes of climate change as “crazy” and the theory as “lunacy.”

“It’s far more likely that it’s just sunspot activity or just something in the geologic eons of time,” he said.

Excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere “gets sucked down by trees and helps the trees grow,” said Johnson.

Average Earth temperatures were relatively warm during the Middle Ages, Johnson said, and “it’s not like there were tons of cars on the road.”

He said he disagreed with any government spending to try to address global warming. A strong economy is the best way to preserve a good environment, Johnson said.

Trying to fix global warming is “a fool’s errand,” Johnson said. “I don’t think we can do anything about controlling what our climate is.”

What his critics fail to recognize is that those statements make him somewhat of a mainstream moderate among Wisconsin Repubicans.

At least Johnson doesn't deny there is such a thing as global warming. He just thinks it's caused by sunspots, not human activity, and that we simply need to grow more trees. Or something like that.

In fact, he said in an earlier interview:

We live in Wisconsin, I'm glad there's global warming. We'd be standing on top of a 200-foot thick glacier ...

State Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend) doesn't believe in global warming. He the state's Clean Energy Committee to stop work, because, he says, the last two years have had below average temperatures for Wisconsin.

At a hearing on the Clean Energy Jobs Act, Grothman, declaring that the last two years had been colder in Wisconsin, asked witnesses how many years in a row it would have to get cooler before they gave up this silly global warming idea.

Another GOP legislator, State Rep. Jim Ott, said, at a January hearing on a cold day at the Capitol:

"The reason to fight global warming is to make it colder. How much colder would you like it to be?"

Ott, a former TV weatherman, is used to comparing short term changes, like whether it's warmer today than yesterday. That's not how to measure climate change.

Meanwhile, the anti-government zealots at are circulating a “No Climate Tax Pledge.” Politicians agree to oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in state or local government revenue. Among the signers: Grothman, Ott, State Rep. Leah Vukmir and would-be governor Scott Walker.

So quit picking on Ron Johnson. On climate change, even blinded by sunspots, he's a moderate Republican.


August 18, 2010 - 9:02am