WASHINGTON, April 26 (UPI) -- A group formed to back President Barack Obama's political agenda has begun a campaign to challenge U.S. lawmakers who reject the science behind climate change.
Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, were targeted in a video pointing out lawmakers the group says deny global warming is caused by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.
"Right now, way too many lawmakers in Washington flat-out refuse to face the facts when it comes to climate change," Organizing for Action Executive Director Jon Carson said in an email to supporters, including many left over from Obama's re-election campaign.
"We're never going to make real progress on this issue unless members of Congress get serious. Instead, some of them have made a habit of publicly mocking it," he said. "We thought it was time to call them out for denying what's basic science."
The 2 1/2-minute video by the grassroots group that grew out of Obama's campaign organization seeks to embarrass Republicans who reject the science on climate change, Carson said.
Among lawmakers, it shows House Energy and Commerce Committee member Bill Cassidy, R-La., saying warming could come from "a shift in the axis."
It shows Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif., acknowledging on the House floor polar ice caps are melting, but saying "we see [it] over and over again" in Earth's history.
"Yeah, they're melting on Mars too!" he declares, emphasizing the point with his finger.
No Democrats are featured in the video.
None of the targeted Republicans had an immediate comment.
The video is accompanied by a petition.
GOP aides point out some Republicans deny climate change, while others dispute the burning of fossil fuels is warming the atmosphere. Still others accept climate science but oppose broad government measures to avoid catastrophic climate change, the aides say.
Obama singled out climate change as one of his priorities at his inauguration Jan. 20 and in his State of the Union address Feb. 12.
But since then, the president has not offered significant policy proposals.
"If we want to make progress on climate change, we need everyone in Congress on board for a solution," said Carson, a former Obama administration official. "It's our job to show them there's a price to pay for being a climate denier."