Georgia Republican U.S. Sen. David Perdue says he realizes the climate is changing, but in a debate on Monday he stopped short of acknowledging that human activities are causing the changes.
Perdue also didn’t offer ways to address climate change, instead focusing on criticizing the proposal known as the Green New Deal.
“That is the greatest threat to Medicare and Social Security that we have in America today, is this outrageous spending plan the Democrats are trying to perpetrate in this election,” he said.
In Georgia, the sea level has gone up by about 10 inches in the past 80 years, and scientists say it will continue rising, likely at a faster rate as the ice caps melt and the oceans warm. Nighttime temperatures are also rising in the state.
Perdue says Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff supports the Green New Deal, which was a proposal put forth by progressives to address climate change.
But Ossoff hasn’t endorsed it, though he does support investing in infrastructure to cut emissions and boost renewable energy and the economy.
In the debate hosted by the Atlanta Press Club, Ossoff didn’t say how he’d pay for it.
“We can unite this country right now, at a moment when so many are out of work and struggling economically, behind a historic infrastructure plan with unprecedented investments in clean energy, to make Georgia the leading producer of renewable energy in the American Southeast,” he said.
Georgia has seen its solar power industry grow in recent years, while coal-fired power plants have been retired.
Libertarian candidate Shane Hazel said climate change should be left to locals to handle.
“Those people can reach out and touch their city council, their county commissioners, their sheriffs and people like that, and they can come up with better practices for those areas than bureaucrats in D.C.,” he said.
He also suggested cutting the size of the federal government as a place to start for cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
The Atlanta Press Club debate for Georgia’s other Senate seat is scheduled for Oct. 19.
MORE: Ossoff Criticizes Perdue Over Coronavirus Response; Republican Cries Socialism