New Jersey Senate candidate Rush Holt is doubling down on his belief that “millions will die” if nothing is done about global warming, adding that he believes millions have already died.
“I think it’s no exaggeration at all to say that millions will die. And in fact there’s pretty good evidence that millions already have died because of climate change,” Holt, a New Jersey congressman seeking to nab Democratic nomination for Senate, told the Star-Ledger editorial board.
Holt’s claim linking the death of millions to global warming came in an online-only campaign ad where he also called for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions.
“On climate change, either we take real action , or millions will die. The answer is a carbon tax, and I’m going to fight for it,” Holt said in the ad. “We can do this.”
The ad was ridiculed by Republican Senate candidate Steve Lonegan who called it “silly hysteria” and called into question the validity of the theory of man-made global warming.
“If you talk to the World Health Organization and International Health Groups, they’ll tell you because of diseases — it’s not just from storm damage, it’s other aspects of climate change affecting our oceans,” Holt told the Star-Ledger.
Holt’s ad comes after President Obama unveiled his plan to address global warming, including capping carbon emissions from coal-fired power plants, and as the Senate considers a carbon tax bill.
California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer and Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders introduced a bill earlier this year that would put a gradually rising tax on carbon emissions to help fund renewable energy projects.
“It can reverse greenhouse gas emissions in a significant way,” said Sanders. “It can create millions of jobs as we transform our energy system away from fossil fuel and into energy efficiency and such sustainably energies as wind, solar, geothermal and biomass.”
However, a carbon tax has been fiercely opposed by Republicans and it is unlikely Democrats in coal-reliant states would be willing to back such a proposal.
“It’s not just energy prices that would skyrocket from a carbon tax, the cost of nearly everything built in America would go up,” said Louisiana Republican Sen. David Vitter. “Let’s not lose sight of how big of a dud cap and trade was in 2009, or as it came to be known, cap and tax. This is really no different.”
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