“I May Be a Republican. I’m Not an Idiot.”

<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/cat.mhtml?lang=en&search_source=search_form&search_tracking_id=T_jXiJgThSWyyxtQ0Y50Xw&version=llv1&anyorall=all&safesearch=1&searchterm=dunce+cap&search_group=&orient=&search_cat=&searchtermx=&photographer_name=&people_gender=&people_age=&people_ethnicity=&people_number=&commercial_ok=&color=&show_color_wheel=1#id=110245265&src=8Y4BDvvEKUKDWFgHSWO4BQ-1-6">Sandra Cunningham</a>/Shutterstock


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

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2019 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate