GOP Climate Change Skeptic Becomes A True Believer After Sandy

April 25, 2014 2:20 p.m.

In a rare move, a sitting Republican congressman is publicly accepting the scientific consensus of man-made climate change, breaking with the vast majority of his party to join the vast majority of climate scientists.

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY) reveals his change of heart in an interview with MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes airing Sunday on the Showtime documentary series “Years Of Living Dangerously,” the transcript of which was provided in advance to TPM.

“[T]he mass majority of respected scientists say that it’s conclusive, the evidence is clear. So I don’t think the jury is out,” Grimm says.

The congressman has served in the House since 2011, representing a swing district that includes parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island, which was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy.

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“I mean there’s no question that, um, you know, the oceans have risen, right? And the climate change part is, is a real part of it,” the congressman says. “The problem that we’re gonna have right now — there’s no oxygen left in the room in Washington for another big debate, that’s the reality.”

The stance directly contradicts Grimm’s position in 2010, during the Republican primary, when he said he’s “skeptical” of climate change science and that the “jury is obviously out on it.”

“I have been one of the guys who have been skeptical of global warming from the beginning. The jury is obviously still out on it,” Grimm said at the time. “We see nothing but conflicting reports from scientists across the globe. I’m not sure, I’m not a scientist.”

In the “Years Of Living Dangerously” interview, Grimm doubted that Americans would act to combat climate change, saying the issue is “much bigger than me. I don’t think that humans in America, Americans, have the will to do it.”

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