Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) appears to have completely reversed his views on climate change as he fights to be reelected to a district hit hard by Hurricane Sandy.
Grimm tells MSNBC's Chris Hayes that his views have evolved in an excerpt from Showtime's “Years of Living Dangerously” series:
CHRIS HAYES: Last time you and I spoke, you said the jury was still out on climate science. Do you still feel that way?
MICHAEL GRIMM: After speaking with Bob Inglis, it made me do some of my own research, you know, I looked at some of the stuff that he sent over, my staff looked at. But the mass majority of respected scientists say that it’s conclusive, the evidence is clear. So I don't think the jury is out.
CHRIS HAYES: The basic story of -- we’re putting carbon in the atmosphere, the planet’s getting warmer, that’s gonna make the sea levels rise -- like, the basic story of that, you pretty much agree with, right?
MICHAEL GRIMM: Sure, I mean there’s no question that, um, you know, the oceans have risen, right? And the climate change part is, is a real part of it. The problem that we're gonna have right now -- there's no oxygen left in the room in Washington for another big debate, that’s the reality.
Grimm's comments to Hayes come just four years after he said at a candidate debate that "the jury is obviously still out" in response to a question about whether he believed climate change is "real."
“I have been one of the guys who have been skeptical of global warming from the beginning," Grimm said at the debate. "The jury is obviously still out on it. We see nothing but conflicting reports from across the globe. I’m not sure, I’m not a scientist.”
The second-term congressman represents New York's 11th District, including Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. He is a top target for Democrats this election cycle, so his new comments on climate change may be part and parcel with his recent support for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act.
Grimm received a dose of negative attention in January after he physically threatened a reporter at the Capitol. He also gets an unflattering mention in Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) new book as an example of a tea party candidate who benefitted for much of his life from government, but doesn't believe in government.