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Tipsheet

Sen. Mike Lee Mocks 'Ridiculous' Green New Deal, Argues the 'Real Solution to Climate Change is Babies'

AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said he wanted to treat the Democrats’ Green New Deal resolution with “the level of seriousness it deserves” in a speech on the Senate floor Tuesday that featured a picture of former President Ronald Reagan firing a machine gun while riding on the back of a dinosaur, Star Wars characters, and the film “Sharknado.”

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On a more serious note, Sen. Lee argued that the solution to climate change was for Americans to have more babies.

“More babies mean more forward-looking adults – the sort we need to tackle long-term, large scale problems,” he argued. “American babies, in particular, are likely going to be wealthier, better educated, and more conservation-minded than children raised in still-industrializing regions.”

Lee began his speech by jokingly proposing the use of tauntans from Star Wars to help Alaskans get around if air travel is eliminated, as the Green New Deal had initially suggested.

The current text of the ambitious resolution, introduced by freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), proposes “overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible,” and “upgrading all existing buildings in the United States and building new buildings to achieve maximum energy efficiency, water efficiency, safety, affordability, comfort, and durability.”

It also calls for providing all people in the U.S. with “high-quality health care” and “economic security.”

“No Utahn needs to hear pious lectures about the gravity of climate change from politicians from other states,” Lee quipped in his speech. “For it was only 2016 – as viewers of the SyFy Network will remember – when climate change hit home in Utah, when our state was struck not simply by a tornado, Mr. President, but a tornado … with sharks in it!”

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However, Lee went on to emphasize that the real solution to climate change can be found “in churches, wedding chapels, and maternity wards across the country and around the world.”

"Problems of human imagination are not solved by more laws, but by more humans!" he argued. "More people mean bigger markets for innovation.” 

He quoted economist Tyler Cowen who wrote earlier this month that “by having more children, you are making your nation more populous – thus boosting its capacity to solve [climate change].”

“The solution to climate change is not this unserious resolution, but the serious business of human flourishing – the solution to so many of our problems, at all times and in all places: fall in love, get married, and have some kids,” Lee concluded.

Lee’s advice stands in stark contrast to comments Rep. Ocasio-Cortez made last month in which she argued that it was “legitimate” to question whether or not people should even have kids due to the seriousness of the climate change crisis.

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Rep. Ocasio-Cortez responded to Lee’s speech in a tweet Tuesday afternoon.

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