Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) dismissed the concern over global warming, labeling it a "religion" and claiming efforts to address climate change are useless.
"It is not proven, it's not science," King said Tuesday, according to The Messenger of Fort Dodge, Iowa. "It's more of a religion than a science."
The congressman spoke at a Fort Dodge event sponsored by the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. King said he thought environmentalists should focus on the positive aspects of the earth heating up due to more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, instead of harping on the negatives.
"Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in [environmentalists'] analysis," King said. "There will be more photosynthesis going on if the earth gets warmer. And if sea levels go up four or six inches, I don't know if we'd know that."
King suggested that rising sea levels are not a good measurement of the consequences of global warming.
"We don't know where sea level is even, let alone be able to say that it's going to come up an inch globally because some polar ice caps might melt because there's CO2 suspended in the atmosphere," King said.
One new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that greenhouse gas emissions have already "locked in" four feet of future sea level rise, threatening residents of hundreds of U.S. coastal cities.
King is also worried about the national debt, saying he would investigate whether it had grown too large to be legal.
"We might find out in a month or two that [President Barack Obama has] already been borrowing more than he has the legal authority to do," King said. "It's a question to ask. I haven't confirmed it."