Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), who once accused those fighting climate change of “environmental jihad,” has now compared such people, including his Democratic opponent Russ Feingold and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), to Josef Stalin and Hugo Chávez.
Speaking Tuesday on WRJN 1400 radio in Wisconsin, the longtime climate-change denier said liberals and progressives, like socialists and communists, “want to control everything.”
“The whole climate change debate gives ― and there are all kinds of quotes from adherents of and promoters of climate change ― the reason they’re doing it is it’s such a great opportunity to control, you know, pretty much, government, and control your lives,” he said. “I mean, again, I don’t know why they want to do it. There’s an arrogance of power there that they’re utopians, that they really think they can create heaven on Earth, and where it’s failed in the past, those people like Stalin and Chavez and the Castros, the nut cases in North Korea ― by the way, if you want equal results, go to North Korea, you have equal misery.”
“The arrogance of liberal progressives,” he added, “is that they’re just a lot smarter and better angels than the Stalins and the Chavezes and the Castros of the world, and if we give them all the control, and they control your life, they’re going to do a great job of it. Well, it just isn’t true.”
The Wisconsin Republican, who’s up for re-election in November, is a longtime denier of man’s role in global warming. He once said climate change was caused by “sunspot activity,” and likened President Barack Obama’s green energy proposals to the policies of the Soviet Union and Cuba.
In Tuesday’s interview, Johnson said the “climate hasn’t warmed in quite a few years, that is proven scientifically.” Which is why, he said, scientists have “changed the terminology from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change,’ because that covers everything. The climate has always changed, it always will.”
The reality, however, is that 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history, and 2016 is all but guaranteed to break heat records once again. An annual report released Tuesday led by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed that 2015 shattered seemingly every major climate record on the books.
Ariel Hayes, the Sierra Club’s deputy national political director, blasted Johnson in a statement Wednesday, saying what’s been “proven scientifically” is that Johnson “has absolutely no clue what he is talking about.”
“With 2016 on track to be the hottest year on record, Ron Johnson continues to ignore the crises facing families in Wisconsin and communities across the nation,” she said.
To Johnson’s statements about climate change, WRJN radio host Glenn Klein questioned: “So what you’re saying is that air conditioning isn’t on the level of a threat as the Islamic State?”
“No,” Johnson replied.
Listen to Johnson’s full interview on WRJN 1400 radio here. The climate change discussion begins at the 8:35 mark.