"I May Be a Republican. I'm Not an Idiot."

| Tue Apr. 9, 2013 1:14 PM PDT

Lancaster, California is the state's 30th largest city, with a population of more than 150,000. Its Republican mayor, class-action attorney and alleged "unstoppable control freak" R. Rex Parris, has big plans for solar and clean energy. Lancaster requires virtually all new homes to either install solar panels or be built in subdivisions that generate a kilowatt of solar energy per house. The mandate is the first of its kind in the United States.

When asked by New York Times reporter Felicity Barringer if he views global warming as an imminent threat, Parris replied "absolutely." He continued: "I may be a Republican. I'm not an idiot."

Parris may be going out on a political limb, but science is on his side. Only about 0.17 percent of peer-reviewed papers on the subject actually question the science behind global warming or whether carbon emissions are causing it.

Parris has been on the solar-energy warpath for a while. In a ClimateWire story published last month, he is quoted as describing climate change as the biggest threat to the planet: "There isn't any greater crisis facing the world today. We're going to see the displacement of millions and millions of people. Whether we can survive the wars that that's going to cause is an open question."

"[Our mandate] serves as a model," he later told E&E News. "Here I am in an extremely conservative area, and there was almost no push-back."

h/t Taegan Goddard

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