Minnesota House members were put on the spot Wednesday as they were asked whether they believe humans are a key cause of climate change.
Fifty Republican representatives rejected the notion, after being asked to vote for and against the following sentence: "The legislature finds and declares that greenhouse gas emissions resulting from human activities are a key cause of climate change."
Only four GOPers voted in favor: Reps. Pat Garafalo (Farmington), Tony Jurgens (Cottage Grove), Dean Urdahl (Grove City), and Nolan West (Blaine), while five more did not vote.
All 75 Democrats voted in favor of the amendment.
Rep. Frank Hornstein (D–Minneapolis) added the amendment to a wider omnibus bill covering jobs and economic development, energy and climate, and telecommunications policy and finance bill.
And while it's likely there was a bit of politicking going on, Rep. Hornstein's amendment didn't have any financial or policy-based implications for House members, who were simply asked to vote on how they view human involvement in climate change.
As the Pioneer Press notes, there were those who didn't just vote against the measure, but actively decried the notion that human pollution is significantly contributing to climate change.
The newspaper notes that Rep. Eric Lucero (R–Dayton) gave a speech in which he said "human activities are not the cause of climate change," adding that the Earth has gone through periods of heating and cooling before and describing human-caused climate change as "fake."
The vast majority of climate scientists and the likes of NASA and the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration agree that human activities are contributing to the greenhouse effect that is trapping heat inside the Earth's atmosphere.
The U.S. government itself released a report in November that said the Earth's climate was changing "faster than at any point in the history of modern civilization, primarily as a result of human activities.”
'The severity of future impacts will depend largely on actions taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt to the changes that will occur," it added.