According to a Thursday story in Politico, Michigan Democrat Gary Peters, a candidate for the United States Senate, has decided to go all in on the issue of climate change. He is campaigning on the notion that the problem is real and has to be dealt with. It is bold stance to take in a state known for its automobile industry. His Republican opponent, Terri Lynn Land, has a more nuanced view, admitting that the phenomenon exists but suggesting that it is not a problem that requires, say, a cap and trade regime.
The climate change issue may not be working for Peters. A recent poll showed that Peter’s lead over Land has slipped six points. He now leads her 45 percent to 39 percent with 16 percent undecided. That is a remarkable performance in Michigan, which is considered a deep blue state. It may reflect a general antipathy toward Democrats due to President Obama’s unpopularity.
The assertion that human produced carbon dioxide emissions have been changing the world’s climate, steadily raising temperatures, has taken on the aspect of a religious war rather than a scientific controversy. Despite assertions that the “science is settled” and that “97 percent of the scientific community agree that man caused global warming exists”, both dubious propositions, the theory of climate change remains in dispute. A recent conference in Los Vegas featured a number of scientists who are climate change skeptics.
This has resulted in a violent reaction on the part of climate change proponents. On one extreme is the demand by commentator Ed Schultz that climate change “deniers” be sent to reeducation camps. This would seem to be how scientific controversies were settled in the Middle Ages, though no one has yet suggested burning at the stake.
Whether fear of climate change, promoted by Peters, will win out over fear of what the EPA will do to jobs in Michigan, as suggested by Land, wins out in the end remains to be seen. Land is accusing Peters of being the captive of billionaire climate advocate Tom Steyer. Peters, for his part, is accusing Land of “being out of step” with the scientific evidence on climate change and that her skepticism is wedded to ideology.