Rep. Inglis: Voters saw me on 'Satan's side' of climate change debate

Rep. Bob Inglis, the defeated South Carolina Republican who is attacking climate skepticism in the GOP ranks, says his belief in global warming put him on “Satan’s side” in some voters' eyes.

The outgoing lawmaker — who lost his GOP primary in a challenge from the right — told ClimateWire that his views damaged him politically in his district, which is in the northwest part of his state.

Inglis said several of his positions led to his primary defeat at the hands Rep.-elect Trey Gowdy, who went on to win the general election. But his belief in global warming had the most effect, he said.

“The most enduring heresy was just saying that climate change was real,” Inglis said in the ClimateWire account. “That was the one that was most damaging, I'm convinced.”

“For many conservatives, it became the marker that you had crossed to Satan's side — that you had left God and gone to Satan’s side on climate change,” he added, “because many evangelical Christians in our district would say that it's up to God to determine the length of Earth, and therefore, you are invading the province of God.” 

“I think within the Republican conference there is a group that is inclined to place value in the science, and therefore to act on it. It's a minority in the conference. The majority, I think, view is it's not real, we don't need to do anything about it, it will harm our economy,” Inglis said.