Herschel Walker’s Top 5 Absurd Climate Statements
In his bid for Georgia’s Senate seat, Herschel Walker has repeatedly denied climate science (along with evolution science, vaccine science…). Here are five of Walker’s most absurd arguments against climate action:
1: “What we need to do is keep having those gas-guzzling cars, ‘cause we got the good emissions under those cars.”
At a November 14 campaign event, Walker said, “If we was ready for the green agenda, I’d raise my hand right now. But we’re not ready right now. So don’t let them fool you like this is a new agenda. This is not a new agenda. We’re not prepared, we’re not ready right now. What we need to do is keep having those gas-guzzling cars, ’cause we got the good emissions under those cars.”
Transportation is the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and reducing the usage of gas-powered cars is essential to combat climate change. Not only is the U.S. in urgent need of a transition to 100% clean electricity, but it is ready and entirely in our reach through increased renewable energy investments. New electric vehicle and battery manufacturing facilities are opening up in Georgia, such as the Freyr Battery factory outside of Atlanta that will create hundreds of jobs.
2: “Since we don’t control the air, our good air decided to float over to China’s bad air, so when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move. So it moves over to our good air space.”
At a July campaign event, Walker argued that climate efforts were pointless because “China’s bad air” would simply move over into American airspace. He said, “Since we don’t control the air, our good air decided to float over to China’s bad air, so when China gets our good air, their bad air got to move. So it moves over to our good air space. Then now we got to clean that back up, while they’re messing ours up. […] So what we’re doing is just spending money. Until these other countries can get on board and clean what they got up, it ain’t going to help us to start cleaning our stuff up. We’re already doing it the right way.” Throughout his campaign, Walker has repeatedly discussed the “rotation” of air that the U.S. can’t “control” and blamed China and India for “bad air.”
The sources of air pollution in Georgia directly affect the health of local communities. Georgia ranked among the 5 worst states for air pollution, and Fulton and Henry counties received “F” grades for ozone levels in 2022.
3: “A Lot Of Money, It’s Going To Trees. Don’t We Have Enough Trees Around Here?”
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported that Walker called the Inflation Reduction Act “wasteful spending,” saying, “they continue to try to fool you that they are helping you out. But they’re not. Because a lot of money it’s going to trees. Don’t we have enough trees around here?”
The Inflation Reduction Act allocates $1.5 billion to the U.S. Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry Program, which plants trees in urban areas in an effort to deal with increased heat caused by climate change. Urban heat islands– areas where a lack of trees and vegetation prevent the area from cooling down– jeopardize more people in the U.S. each year than hurricanes, floods, tornadoes and lightning combined. Georgians in both Savannah and Atlanta are impacted by the urban heat island effect.
Walker also opposed the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law saying, “What has trees got to do with infrastructure? […] They’re talking about what will grow in the warmth. I can tell you, Green New Deal. I can promise you something, Russia, China and Iran are not talking about any Green New Deals. They’re talking about being a superpower.”
4: “The radical left came up with a bunch of lies to divide us like […] windmills make airplanes fly, tanks can run on solar, drilling oil in America causes global warming but drilling from dictators don’t.”
In his May victory speech for the GOP primary, Walker said, “The radical left came up with a bunch of lies to divide us, like men could get pregnant, babies are born racist, rioters are peaceful protesters, we don’t need the police, Putin caused this inflation, the borders are secured, windmills make airplanes fly, tanks can run on solar, drilling oil in America causes global warming but drilling oil from dictators don’t, Black voters don’t have IDs, and everyone could afford a $60,000 electric car.”
Electric vehicles are quickly becoming more affordable than gas-powered cars when accounting for maintenance and fuel costs, and government tax credits can help offset the upfront cost.
5: “We have some of the cleanest climate in the world, […] and we’re talking about climate change?”
At a private closed-door fundraiser in March, Walker said, “We have some of the cleanest climate in the world, we have some of the cleanest air and water in the world, and we’re talking about climate change?” He also argued at a July campaign event that “We in America have some of the cleanest air and cleanest water of anybody in the world,” but that under the Green New Deal the U.S. would spend “millions of billions of dollars cleaning our good air up.”
In 2022, the American Lung Association State of the Air found that more than 40% of Americans — over 137 million people — are living in places with failing grades for unhealthy levels of particle pollution or ozone. While the U.S. doesn’t rank among the worst countries for air pollution, it is far from the best and has worsened in recent years. Worldwide, the U.S. ranks 16th for air quality, 26th for clean drinking water, and 101st for climate mitigation.