Forum: Congressional Candidates Positions on Climate Change | 2016 Elections


NASA and the nation's leading scientific organizations say we are causing climate change. In addition to the country's top scientific institutions, the U.S. military, leading companies in the oil industry (such as Shell and British Petroleum), physicist Stephen Hawking, and pretty much all credible scientists say pollution is causing the planet to get warmer. In addition, hundreds of other countries on this planet have reached the same conclusions about climate change. Despite the already observable effects of climate change and the overwhelming consensus among credible organizations that say climate change already happening, a shockingly large portion of the population believes climate change is a 'hoax' or a 'liberal conspiracy'. Much of this ignorance is propagated by organizations with ties to fossil fuels, and it is unacceptable that some leaders in Congress are facilitating this spread of misinformation for political reasons.

Representatives for Illinois in the United States Congress have an important role in supporting efforts to solve climate change. Let's see where your representatives in Congress stand on this issue. You can enter a location to find your representative in the House.

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Mark Kirk, Senator for Illinois, is up for re-election in 2016. After an uncertain position early, he has turned climate change denier. He recently cited evidence that Greenland was once green as proof that humans are not causing climate change. Of course this type of seriously flawed logic is regularly propagated by climate change opponents. The idea is that because climate change happened before, humans cannot be causing the problem now. The problem with this argument is that scientists and climatologists predicted the changes we are seeing now years before they were observable, global warming is now observable and progressing, and scientists can associate the warming with higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere caused by humans burning of fossil fuels. Climate change can occur naturally, but it is flawed reasoning to suggest that because climate change occurred in the past, humans cannot be causing it now by burning fossil fuels. The opinions of climate change skeptics are being held in contrary to the opinions of real scientists who are committed to finding conclusions based on facts, science, and sound reasoning. It's sad to see Mark Kirk adopt ignorance and dismiss the conclusions of climate experts.

Tammy Duckworth is running against Mark Kirk in 2016. Duckworth has won the support of numerous environment groups, and has said, "As a new parent, I feel a particular responsibility to act in the face of overwhelming scientific consensus about global climate change, and you have my commitment that in the Senate I will continue to work with these groups and everyone else who accepts scientific reality and is committed to solving this existential threat."

House 2016

Illinois 1: Incumbent Bobby Rush is a supporter of climate change efforts. August Deuser is the Republican challenger, and climate change is not on his campaign agenda.

Illinois 2: Incumbent Robin Kelley is supports climate change efforts, saying, "Reliance on foreign fossil fuels is too expensive, exposes us to political and security risks associated with purchasing oil from unstable and undemocratic regimes, and fails to combat the negative impact of climate change." John Morrow is challenging as a Republican. Although we could not find an official statement on the subject, we did find some evidence that John Morrow supports curbing greenhouse gasses and believes humans are causing global warming.

Illinois 3: Incumbent Dan Lipinski is a supporter of efforts to combat climate change.

Illinois 4: Incumbent Luis GutiƩrrez is a supporter of efforts to combat climate change.

Illinois 5: Incumbent Mike Quigley is a supporter of climate change efforts.

Illinois 6: Peter Roskam made the President's list of climate change deniers, meaning he is blocking progress in Congress on the climate change problem. Peter Roskam considers the conclusions scientists have made on climate change to be "junk science". Amanda Howland is challenging in 2016, and has called out Peter Roskam for his denial on the climate change issue. Let's hope Illinois 6 votes for Amanda Howland.

Illinois 7: Incumbent Danny Davis indicates he supports efforts to combat climate change.

Illinois 8: Incumbent Tammy Duckworth is running for Senate. Running in her place is Raja Krishnamoorthi, who lists combatting climate change as an issue on his campaign website. Challenger Pete DiCianni does not seem to support efforts to combat climate change.

Illinois 9: Incumbent Jan Schakowsky is a supporter of climate change efforts. Joan McCarthy Lasonde is challenging as a Republican, without providing any evidence she is breaking with the party line against progress on climate change.

Illinois 10: Thank you, Bob Dold, for being a Republican with wisdom enough to recognize that the fights on climate change should not break along party lines. Bob Dold has sided with the scientific community and supports efforts to make progress on this issue. "Climate change is occurring and human contributions to this change are important to acknowledge and understand. Protecting the environment is not a partisan issue, which is why we must work together to find a sensible path forward that improves our planet for future generations," he said. Challenging him is Brad Schneider, also a supporter of efforts on climate change.

Illinois 11: Incumbent Bill Foster is a scientist and serves on the Science Committee, where he says he's fighting back against Republican efforts to cut research funding and muzzle climate change research. Bill Foster's campaign says his stance on global warming rests on these principles:

  • - The observed global warming is dangerous and real.
  • - At least half of the observed global warming is human-caused, so action is imperative.
  • - It is our responsibility to fix this problem in the way that does the least damage our economic growth in the U.S. and throughout the world.

Republican Tonia Khouri is challenging Bill Foster in Illinois 11; we were unable to find any indication she is breaking with the Republican party line against efforts on climate change.

Illinois 12: Mike Bost is representing Illinois 12 with a position against efforts on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and against making progress on climate change. He made the President's list of representatives blocking action in congress while denying the reality of climate change. C.J. Baricevic is the Democrat running against him in 2016, so let's hope the 12th district outs Mike Bost.

Illinois 13: Rodney Davis made the President's list of members of Congress who are blocking action on climate change. Rodney Davis has a record in congress that goes against pretty much everything environment, favoring big oil and fossil fuel and attempting to stamp out efforts towards progress on developing technology that could eventually replace our fossil fuel dependencies. Mark Wicklund is challenging in 2016 with an agenda that believes climate change is real and favors creating jobs for clean energy.

Illinois 14: Randy Hultgren represents with a completely ignorant view of climate change. Some of his quotes show a complete lack of comprehension of the problem of global warming. He made the President's list of members of congress who are blocking action on climate change based on his record and his complete misunderstanding on the issue. Jim Walz is challenging in 2016. Jim Walz understands climate change is real and he supports developing renewable energy and making progress towards solutions for climate change.

Illinois 15: John Shimkus is representing Illinois 15th district with an anti-environment position on climate change. He is on the President's list of climate change deniers, and is blocking progress in Congress on the issue.

Illinois 16: Adam Kinzinger represents the district with a moderate view on climate change, but his record does not support action on solving the problem. He seems willing to acknowledge global warming exists but is unwilling to support any regulations on the emissions of greenhouse gases that cause climate change other than further development of nuclear.

Illinois 17: Cheri Bustos votes pro-environment and supports efforts on climate change. She is being challenged by Republican Patrick Harlan, who does not list climate change as an issue in his campaign and provides no evidence of breaking with his party's stance against progress on the climate change issue.

Illinois 18: Darin LaHood represents Illinois 18 with a position against regulating greenhouse gas emissions and he makes no indications we can find that he supports any efforts on climate change.

See also: Disinformation on Climate Change is Staggering

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