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Why This Louisiana Candidate For U.S. House Might be the Nation's Ultimate Climate Denier

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Why This Louisiana Candidate For U.S. House Might be the Nation's Ultimate Climate Denier

If the latest campaign video from Lenar Whitney is any indication, we're headed for one wild election season.

Because of their message, you never know when climate deniers will make a statement or produce a video you simply can't believe is real. However, Whitney, a Republican Louisiana state representative running the U.S. House of Representatives, has created an unparalleled video that should place her atop any list of climate deniers.

She claims climate change is "the greatest deception in the history of mankind" in this nearly five-minute clip that makes Marco Rubio and John Boehner look like the greenest advocates you've ever seen.

When Whitney talks about global warming being nothing more than a hoax and political tactic, her defiance is palpable. Her tone is beyond incredulous when considering the idea that the energy industry has done anything to harm the planet.

"Any 10-year-old can invalidate [the idea of climate change] with one of the simplest scientific devices known to man—a thermometer," the House hopeful manages to say with a straight face and thermometer in hand.

She goes on to explain how oil and natural gas could help the U.S. reach absolute energy security and independence. However, her apparent lack of concern for the cost our planet, water, health and future generations will have to pay to reach her goals signify the reason so many environmentalists are pushing for a response to climate change in the first place.

"The earth has done nothing but get colder each year,” Whitney proclaims.

You should believe her, too. She's got a thermometer, you know.

 

A plume of smoke from wildfires burning in the Angeles National Forest is seen from downtown Los Angeles on Aug. 29, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

California is bracing for rare January wildfires this week amid damaging Santa Ana winds coupled with unusually hot and dry winter weather.

High winds, gusting up to 80- to 90 miles per hour in some parts of the state, are expected to last through Wednesday evening. Nearly the entire state has been in a drought for months, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor, which, alongside summerlike temperatures, has left vegetation dry and flammable.

Utilities Southern California Edison and PG&E, which serves the central and northern portions of the state, warned it may preemptively shut off power to hundreds of thousands of customers to reduce the risk of electrical fires sparked by trees and branches falling on live power lines. The rare January fire conditions come on the heels of the worst wildfire season ever recorded in California, as climate change exacerbates the factors causing fires to be more frequent and severe.

California is also experiencing the most severe surge of COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, with hospitals and ICUs over capacity and a stay-at-home order in place. Wildfire smoke can increase the risk of adverse health effects due to COVID, and evacuations forcing people to crowd into shelters could further spread the virus.

As reported by AccuWeather:

In the atmosphere, air flows from high to low pressure. The setup into Wednesday is like having two giant atmospheric fans working as a team with one pulling and the other pushing the air in the same direction.
Normally, mountains to the north and east of Los Angeles would protect the downtown which sits in a basin. However, with the assistance of the offshore storm, there will be areas of gusty winds even in the L.A. Basin. The winds may get strong enough in parts of the basin to break tree limbs and lead to sporadic power outages and sparks that could ignite fires.
"Typically, Santa Ana winds stay out of downtown Los Angeles and the L.A. Basin, but this time, conditions may set up just right to bring 30- to 40-mph wind gusts even in those typically calm condition areas," said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Mike Doll.

For a deeper dive:

AP, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Washington Post, Weather Channel, AccuWeather, New York Times, Slideshow: New York Times; Climate Signals Background: Wildfires, 2020 Western wildfire season

For more climate change and clean energy news, you can follow Climate Nexus on Twitter and Facebook, sign up for daily Hot News, and visit their news site, Nexus Media News.

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