Media omission: on radio, Coffman says “radical environmentalists” control much of climate-change research grants

Responding for the first time to a League of Conservation Voters’ ad portraying him as an “ostrich,” with his head in the sand, for denying that humans are contributing to global warming, Rep. Mike Coffman told Denver radio-host Mike Rosen Wed. that “a lot” of the research grants on global warming won’t go to scientists unless they submit to the “orthodoxy of climate change by the radical environmentalists.”

Coffman: And one thing that I certainly read from viable sources is that a lot of the research that’s being done—when you put your application in to get a grant, if you don’t submit to the, you know, orthodoxy of climate change by the radical environmentalists, you’re not going to get a grant.

Listen to Rep. Mike Coffman responding on KOA radio Denver on 08-21-13 to LCV ostrich ad

Rosen didn’t ask Coffman for the specific “viable sources” Coffman read on climate-change research grants, or whether Coffman thinks the National Science Foundation, for example, a major provider of climate-change research, is in the pocket of radical environmentalists.

To his credit though, Rosen asked Coffman at the beginning of the interview, “How come you’re not doing anything publicly to defend yourself?” But Coffman ignored the question, choosing instead to attack the League of Conservation Voters, which paid for the ad.

Coffman went on to contradict his previous statement, quoted in the ad, that it’s “subject to debate” whether humans are causing global warming at all.

Perhaps tweaking his position in response to polls showing him to be endangered in his new district, Colffman told Rosen:

Coffman:  My view is that it’s naturally occurring, number one. But certainly man-made activity influences it at the margins, and I think it’s debatable how much that is. But certainly, you know, we know that carbon emissions are bad, and we ought to do everything responsible to bring them down  in a balanced approach between environmental concerns and economic concerns.

Rosen failed to ask why Coffman had changed position slightly on global warming, now saying there’s human influence “at the margins,” or whether he’d misspoken on the radio show. Rosen didn’t ask, after Coffman said “carbon emissions are bad,” why Coffman voted for a measure just last year that would have prevented the EPA from regulating carbon emissions.

In response to Coffman’s comments on the radio, League of Conservation Voters’ spokesman Jeff Gohringer emailed me: “Clearly Congressman Coffman is choosing to double down on his extreme views, and is now apparently going so far as to call into question the credibility of scientists.”

Coffman concluded the interview by saying, “I hope that [the LCV ad] certainly mobilizes conservatives across the state of Colorado and across the country to get involved in the campaign.”

It was supremely ironic that Coffman invited outside money into Colorado to support him, after he’d just criticized the influence of out-of-state money, but Rosen didn’t burp out any sound of surprise.

Neither did Rosen ask whether Coffman is worried that his extreme position on global warming won’t mobilize out-of-state conservatives but instead will affect soccer-mom environmentalists whose kids play at the Aurora Sports Park.

Rosen said on-air that he and Coffman are “friends,” and Rosen admitted that he’s “biased” toward Coffman. It showed in this interview; that’s for sure. I’d like to think Rosen could do better.

View the League of Conservation Voters ad here. LCV released a second ad today.

Follow Jason Salzman on Twitter @bigmediablog.

Listen to Rep. Mike Coffman responding on KOA radio Denver on 08-21-13 to LCV ostrich ad

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