Senator Ron Johnson gives bizarre history of Greenland to claim climate change isn’t real

Wisconsin Republican falls for 1000-year-old ruse as he claims early Greenland ‘explorers saw green’

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Tuesday 23 March 2021 18:37 GMT

Related video: In Wisconsin, Sen. Johnson’s Comments Trouble Democrats, Some GOP

Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson doubled down on his decade-old claim that climate change can't be real because of his assumption that Greenland must've been green “at some point”.

He told The New York Times on Thursday: “I could be wrong there, but that’s always been my assumption that, at some point in time, those early explorers saw green,” finally admitting: "I have no idea.”

In 2010, as Mr Johnson first campaigned for the Senate, he told Madison TV-station WKOW: “You know, there’s a reason Greenland was called Greenland. It was actually green at one point in time. And it’s been, you know, since, it’s a whole lot whiter now, so we’ve experienced climate change throughout geologic time.”

Mr Johnson may have fallen for a 1000-year-old ruse by Icelandic murderer Erik the Red who was exiled to the island and made up a misleading name to attract settlers, according to VisitGreenland.

While Greenland has been green, scientists say that was most likely the case around 2.5 million years ago, long before the area got its name.

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So Mr Johnson's assumption that "those early explorers saw green" is off the mark.

Some who go against the idea of man-made climate change despite its near-universal acceptance among scientists say that periods, where the earth is warming, is just part of a natural cycle. Former President Donald Trump, for instance, claimed that the climate “will change back again" as reported by The Washington Post.

Those using this rhetoric claim that as the earth has had ice ages before just as well as warm periods, the current rise in temperatures is nothing to worry about. But over past decades, energy from the sun has decreased not increased, meaning that if this argument had any merit, the earth would be getting colder, not warmer.

According to earth's orbital cycles, we're moving towards another ice age, not a period of warming, further rejecting the claims of climate sceptics.

Mr Johnson has on multiple occasions rejected the idea that the climate crisis is caused by human actions, despite the mountain of evidence behind it.

He told The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel in 2010: "I absolutely do not believe in the science of man-caused climate change. It's not proven by any stretch of the imagination."

He added: "It's far more likely that it's just sunspot activity or just something in the geologic aeons of time."

Mr Johnson also said in the interview that trying to mitigate the effects of climate change is "a fool's errand," adding: "I don't think we can do anything about controlling what our climate is."

He also spoke about the middle ages, saying it was a warm time and "it's not like there were tons of cars on the road," back then.

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