WASHINGTON – Republicans rocked Capitol Hill today when a party spokesperson announced that the GOP has reversed its stance on man-made climate change.
“Climate change is real, it’s man-made and it’s serious,” Patrice Cole, spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, told reporters in a private conference this morning.
The announcement signals a major shift in the Republican platform, which until this point has staunchly opposed the theory that carbon emissions are warming the planet, despite almost unanimous scientific consensus.
One of the GOP’s most vocal deniers of man-made climate change, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), was uncharacteristically contrite this morning when reached for comment. “I just couldn’t believe it,” said the Senator over the phone. “But they emailed me the graphs and, well, my face went redder than a lobster in a cherry tree.”
In the past, Inhofe has called global warming the “second-largest hoax ever played on the American people, after the separation of church and state.” The Senator even wrote a book on the topic, in which he called out climate change proponents for their “arrogance” in believing that man can change the climate.
“It seems silly now, doesn’t it?” said Inhofe, referring to a now infamous Senate hearing in which he threw a snowball to prove that global warming doesn’t exist.
Sen. Inhofe chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee.
“We were reading the graphs upside down,” said Inhofe, laughing. “I mean, it’s just like searching the whole house for your glasses and then finding them on your face. It’s a relief, in a way, but boy all that wasted time…”
Patrice Cole confirmed to reporters this morning that Republicans’ reversal on the issue stems largely from the discovery that they were reading climate reports upside down.
“Sen. McConnell was growing increasingly frustrated,” said Cole. “Over 97 percent of scientists tell us that the Earth is getting unnaturally warmer and that carbon emissions are causing it, but every graph they sent us said just the opposite. Or so we thought.”
Fifteen of the sixteen hottest years on record have all occurred during the 21st century, with 2014 and then 2015 breaking temperature records across the planet. Record hot summers occur almost yearly, whereas the Earth has not experienced a record cold winter since 1909.
According to Cole, it wasn’t until Senator John McCain (R-AZ) pointed out that wildfires are growing in frequency and duration that the discrepancy was discovered.
“He was furious,” an unnamed McCain aid told Planet Experts. “We were doing the budget and he just stormed in screaming, ‘Why is this getting so damn expensive?’ Fire departments across the west were just racking up costs like crazy.” Indeed, two years ago, California exhausted its fire budget just three months into the fiscal year. “It just didn’t make sense, so we said we’d look into it.”
That’s when an intern for Ted Cruz (R-TX) turned a graph around. The Senator was “flabbergasted,” said one official.
Cruz has questioned scientists repeatedly on satellite data that he claims shows no planetary warming over the last 18 years. Early last year, the Senator even waggled his finger at NASA for spending so much of their budget on studying the Earth.
“Suddenly, everything made sense,” said Dawn Johanssen, a senior staffer for Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL). “The Senator was geuninely concerned over Miami. They’re losing their homes, you know? But we knew sea level rise wasn’t real, so we figured maybe some radicals were bringing water into the city through Cuba.”
Ocean encroachment is costing Miami millions of dollars already, and experts say the city will be permanently flooded by 2100.
“I guess that seems kind of silly now,” said Johanssen. “Most Cubans are nice people.”
In this morning’s press conference, Ms. Cole warned that Americans must now worry about climate change being shipped overseas to China. “We’ve run the numbers,” she told reporters. “China’s manufacturing most of the emissions on the planet. America is the greatest nation in the world, but we have to admit we’ve fallen behind.”
Cole said McConnell and the GOP are currently working on a plan to bring the climate change jobs back to the U.S. “We need lower taxes and more business incentives,” she said. “We always do, now more than ever.”
McConnell’s website has already launched a campaign to oppose the President’s Clean Power Plan on the basis that it’s damaging American industry. “We can be the world leader in climate change,” reads the site. “Together, America can push atmospheric carbon saturation to 450 ppm.”
The goal of the initiative is to bring summertime to America permanently. Ted Cruz, establishment frontrunner in the Republican presidential campaign, is even retooling his campaign to reflect the shift. Officials in the Cruz campaign say they’re throwing out their old slogan, “Reigniting the Promise of America,” and replacing it with, “It’s Summer in America Again, and Again, and Again.”