“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

Fight disinformation: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter and follow the news that matters.


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

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

A BETTER WAY TO DO THIS?

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and we can't afford to come up short. But when a reader recently asked how being a nonprofit makes Mother Jones different from other news organizations, we realized we needed to lay this out better: Because "in absolutely every way" is essentially the answer.

So we tried to explain why your year-end donations are so essential, and we'd like your help refining our pitch about what make Mother Jones valuable and worth reading to you.

We'd also like your support of our journalism with a year-end donation if you can right now—all online gifts will be doubled until we hit our $350,000 goal thanks to an incredibly generous donor's matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly 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