Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), who is engaged in a tough re-election fight against former Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), said Monday that he is not concerned about climate change because “civilization thrives” in warm climates.
During an interview on Wisconsin radio station WHBY highlighted by the Huffington Post, the Republican senator said the climate was warmer during the “rise of civilizations in Mexico and Greece.” He then pivoted to note that people enjoy living in places like Florida and Texas.
“How many people are moving up toward the Antarctica, or the Arctic? Most people move down to Texas and Florida, where it’s a little bit warmer,” he said.
Johnson acknowledged that the climate has changed and said that humans have an impact on the environment, but he suggested that combating global warming should not be a priority.
“Climate has always changed, always will. I’m just not an alarmist. We will adapt,” he said.
“Obviously, man affects the environment, and we should do everything we can to maintain a clean environment, but you need an affluent society. You need a strong economy to do it,” he later added. “Let’s not shoot ourselves in the foot with policies.”
Johnson has previously expressed skepticism about climate change, arguing in an August interview on the Glenn Klein Show on the WRJN radio show that the planet is not warming.
“First of all, the climate hasn’t warmed in quite a few years. I mean, that is proven scientifically. So, that’s why they’ve changed the terminology from global warming to climate change–that covers everything,” he said.