Davidson: ISIS more of a threat than climate change

U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, speaks to constituents on Wednesday in Oxford. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

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U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, speaks to constituents on Wednesday in Oxford. MICHAEL D. PITMAN/STAFF

A pair of biologists and Miami University professors were among the dozens who expressed concerns that Congressman Warren Davidson didn’t truly understand the issue of climate change.

The Pentagon has called climate change a credible threat to the country’s national security, but Davidson, R-Troy, speaking at a Q&A Wednesday in Oxford said ISIS is more of a threat to national security than climate change.

Explore MILITARY GENERALS: Climate change poses security threat

Davidson’s comment “And while I’m not indifferent to climate change, I’m not saying it’s a total falsity and I’m not saying it’s a certainty,” elicited a chorus of “boos” from the audience of about 75 people.

“You asked my position, that’s my position,” Davidson said.

The “real science” behind climate change, Davidson said, is “in dispute.”

That prompted a loud outburst, with the majority of the audience saying, “No it’s not.”

He responded: “Okay, fundamentally, they’re talking about a problem that is outside the time line of when our country goes bankrupt. Our country will be out of money.”

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Oxford residents Michelle Boone and Nancy Solomon, both who are biologists and Miami University professors said it felt like Davidson was ignoring facts.

“He says he’s a data guy, but he denies the reality of climate change. So that’s very concerning,” Boone said. “I don’t believe he’s a data guy. You don’t get to cherry-pick data in science.”

“He proposes to be a math guy, but he clearly doesn’t believe certain numbers,” Solomon said.

Davidson spokesman Alexei Woltornist said this was a “common trope from the left.”

“If you do not agree with their big government proposals, then you are a ‘denier.’ The reality is Elon Musk and Tesla have done more to ultimately lower carbon emissions than any government bureaucrat,” he said. “Regardless of anybody’s opinion on climate change, the facts are clear. The free market and innovation are the answer.”

The discussion on climate change was in response to a question asking his thoughts on the conservative plan for combating climate change brought forward by former secretaries of state Jim Baker and George Shultz.

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Their plan calls for a gradual increase in the carbon tax that could raise $200 billion to $300 billion a year then redistribute tax proceeds back to consumers in they call “carbon dividends.”

Carbon taxes are designed to drive down consumption of fossil fuels.

Davidson said he’d be “happy to look at it,” but doubted it would change his mind that ISIS was a bigger threat than climate change.

“When I read the plan, fundamentally, am I going to say this is the biggest threat to America? I can tell you that it would have to be insanely compelling to say that I agree,” he said.

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