The Mississippi senator was unabashed about taking what appeared to be the most extreme position in the Senate, at least that day, amid polls showing that a majority of Americans believe climate change is accelerating because of carbon emissions from power plants, vehicles and other human sources.
“My record is very clear on this issue, and I will not change my position based on a political show vote,” Wicker said in a statement to McClatchy. “Scientific research is advanced by asking questions and allowing for multiple viewpoints. With so much at stake – our economy, our livelihoods, and our environment – we should be tolerant of differences of opinion.”
Wicker is no country bumpkin. A lawyer and the son of a circuit judge, he speaks eloquently and makes his arguments in measured tones, not out of pique.
Still, Wicker’s vote on Wednesday seemed almost a show of defiance just a day after Obama stood in front of the Congress during his State of the Union Address Tuesday night emphasizing that government scientists had declared 2014 the warmest year on record and the 18th straight year in which average global temperatures had risen.