Senator Mike Lee from Utah raised the bar on outrageously out-of-touch congressional presentations from the GOP today during the session held before the Senate’s procedural vote on the Green New Deal. Lee was opining on the “unserious” joint resolution introduced by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and Massachusetts senator Ed Markey, a framework for mobilizing the government to lengths not seen since FDR’s original New Deal in order to transform the economy and combat the devastating effects of climate change. Looking like an office presentation given by Michael Scott in front of a series of bizarre images on an easel—including one of Ronald Reagan on a velociraptor firing at Soviets—he said that instead of looking to the government, America should focus on supporting those who should really be tasked with fighting climate change: babies.
“The Green New Deal is not the solution to climate change,” Lee said in his speech on the Senate floor, captured by C-Span. “The solution to climate change won’t be found in political posturing or virtue signaling like this. It won’t be found in the federal government at all.” Addressing Vice President (and President of the Senate) Mike Pence, he said dramatically, “You know where the solution can be found, Mr. President? In churches, in wedding chapels, in maternity wards across this country and around the world. Mr. President, this is the real solution to climate change: babies.” Okay, sure, Mike.
In the logic of Lee, “climate change is an engineering problem,” which will be solved by putting more human beings on the planet who are capable of innovation—despite the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change describing, in the words of The New York Times, “a world of worsening food shortages and wildfires, and a mass die-off of coral reefs” that could occur as soon as 2040. “The problems of human imagination are not solved by more laws, they’re solved by more humans,” he said, gesturing to a stock photo of the world’s future climate-change mavericks, clad in diapers, and bringing to mind a version of Baby Geniuses that takes place during future water wars. Lee said: “More babies will mean more forward-looking adults,” on whom we can dump the greatest existential crisis of human history, one that was made much, much worse in just the last 30 years. Like in 2011, for example, when Lee voted to limit the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases. Or in 2017, when he urged Donald Trump to abandon the Paris Agreement.
In a last bid to offer up infants as the solution to global warming, Lee argued that “the courage needed to solve climate change is nothing compared to the courage needed to start a family. . . . The solution to climate change is not this unserious resolution. The solution to so many of our problems at all times and in all places is to fall in love, get married, and have some kids.” Lee’s focus on babies probably has nothing to do with the more than $200,000 in contributions Lee has taken from oil, gas, and coal interests in recent election cycles. Nothing at all.