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Listen to Sen. Cory Gardner’s Unbelievable Climate Conspiracy Theory

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Sen. Cory Gardner.Caroline Brehman/Zuma

This piece was originally published in HuffPost and appears here as part of our Climate Desk Partnership.

Facing an uphill battle for reelection in a state where two-thirds of registered voters polled last month said they favored a Senate candidate who promised “aggressive action” on climate change, Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner (R) has billed himself as a “national leader” on climate issues and run three separate ads casting himself as a pragmatic environmentalist.

But in a 2017 audiotape HuffPost obtained, Gardner squirms out of questions about what is causing climate change, instead leaning into conspiratorial thinking that efforts to curb carbon emissions are part of a larger plan to “control the economy.”

“There are people who want to control the economy as a result of their belief about the environment,” Gardner said in a previously unpublished interview with a local newspaper columnist in his native Yuma County in rural eastern Colorado. “Absolutely, there are.”

Throughout their 17-minute phone call, Gregory Hill, a novelist who writes a column for the 136-year-old weekly Yuma Pioneer, fired off an unsparing barrage of questions that the senator tried to deflect from a position on climate change that is out of sync with scientific reality and the political consensus among Centennial State voters.

“I certainly think that the climate is changing,” Gardner said.

“I’ve heard you say that before,” Hill responded. “But here’s my question: Is it changing as a consequence of the human introduction of carbon........

© Mother Jones

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