Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence waits for the start of the third U.S. presidential debate at the Thomas & Mack Center on Oct. 19, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nev. 
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty

Pence: People care about the climate crisis ‘for some reason’


The fact that Mike Pence doesn’t accept climate science isn’t surprising. The fact that the vice president endorsed Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accords was obviously predictable, too.

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What’s absolutely amazing, however, is Pence’s apparently sincere confusion as to why anyone would care about the environmental crisis facing humanity.

In an interview with “Fox and Friends” Friday, a day after President Donald Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement on climate change, Pence expressed bewilderment at the “long been a goal of the liberal left in this country” to advance a “climate change agenda.”

“For some reason or another, this issue of climate change has emerged as a paramount issue for the left in this country and around the world,” Pence said.

I don’t think he was kidding. The far-right vice president realizes that some people – here and around the world – take this issue seriously, but he apparently has no idea why.

Let that sink in for a moment: this is the state of the debate in 2017. With a looming catastrophe on the horizon, and in the face of overwhelming scientific evidence, Mike Pence doesn’t even know enough about the issue to understand why we’re having this fight.

He added this morning, “It’s long been a goal of the liberal left in this country to advance a climate change agenda.”

Yes. Exactly. That’s entirely true. Looking past the curious redundancy of Pence’s phrasing, the more “the liberal left” has learned about the issue, the more most progressives have made a serious effort to “advance a climate change agenda.” There are occasional exceptions – Jill Stein said Trump would be a better environmental steward than Hillary Clinton, and some of her supporters helped put Trump in office – but the vast majority of the left is on roughly the same page on the issue.

And yet, there’s the blissfully ignorant vice president, who doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about.

Climate Change, Global Warming and Mike Pence

Pence: People care about the climate crisis 'for some reason'