Rep. King: Global warming ‘more of a religion than a science’

King, who has recently stoked controversy with his comments on immigration, also said that climate change could be a good thing.

“Everything that might result from a warmer planet is always bad in (environmentalists') analysis,” he said, according to The Messenger. “There will be more photosynthesis going on if the Earth gets warmer. ... And if sea levels go up 4 or 6 inches, I don't know if we'd know that.”

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He said sea level is not a precise measurement.

"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," he said.

King’s remarks are well outside the scientific mainstream.

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His comments arrive as a major scientific group, the American Geophysical Union (AGU), has significantly revised its position statement on climate change for the first time since 2007, increasing the urgency of its warning.

“Humanity is the major influence on the global climate change observed over the past 50 years. Rapid societal responses can significantly lessen negative outcomes,” the group said in its new position statement unveiled this week.

“Extensive, independent observations confirm the reality of global warming. These observations show large-scale increases in air and sea temperatures, sea level, and atmospheric water vapor; they document decreases in the extent of mountain glaciers, snow cover, permafrost, and Arctic sea ice. These changes are broadly consistent with long-understood physics and predictions of how the climate system is expected to respond to human-caused increases in greenhouse gases,” the AGU said.

The view is consistent with many other scientific professional societies and federal agencies that study climate change.