Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett attends an awards banquet at Heinz Field on April, 18, 2013 in Pittsburgh.
Gene J. Puskar/AP

GOP: OK, climate change is real. But so what?


By this stage, Republican climate change denialism has almost lost its power to shock. Almost.

Gov. Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania—also known as the nation’s least popular governor—recently nominated Chris Abruzzo to run the state’s Department of Environmental Protection. Just to avoid any confusion, that means Abruzzo would be the guy in charge of protecting Pennsylvania’s environment (he’s already the acting secretary) .

At a state Senate hearing Thursday morning, Abruzzo was asked about his views on climate change. Here’s what he said:

I’ve not read any scientific studies that would lead me to conclude there are adverse impacts to human beings, animals, or plant life at this small level of climate change.

State Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat, called the comment “mind-blowing.”

But it’s reflective of a growing trend in denialism. As the evidence that it’s happening becomes indisputable, more and more deniers are adopting the Abruzzo view: OK, it’s happening, but it’s nothing to worry about.

Here’s what Maine’s Republican governor, Paul LePage said Thursday:

Everybody looks at the negative effects of global warming, but with the ice melting, the Northern Passage [a sea route in the Arctice Circle connecting the Atlantic and Pacific] has opened up. So maybe, instead of being at the end of the pipeline, we’re now at the beginning of a new pipeline.

Yeah, why is everyone always focusing on the negative?