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by  |  16-Jan-2017 08:18

In 2004, when Inglis sought to claim his old South Carolina seat after a six-year hiatus from the U. Capitol, his son, who had just turned 18, beseeched him to reconsider his climate-change denial.

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It was the sort of idea that might have found interest among voters in San Francisco or Seattle.

Less so among those in the Fourth Congressional District of South Carolina, which he calls “the reddest district in the reddest state in America.” There, at the time, he says, “It was almost necessary to say, ‘I don’t believe in climate change, and you shouldn’t either.’”He set out to try to change minds among the voters who put him in office.“I knew I was taking a risk when I stepped out of line and said that, ‘Climate change is real. “But if you’re not willing to risk your seat in Congress, there’s very little reason to be there.

Download video for media use During the first six years Bob Inglis served in Congress, in the 1990s, he was a party-line Republican who scoffed at those who claimed the Earth’s climate was changing as a result of human activity.“If Al Gore was for it, I knew I should be against it,” he says, referring to the vice president at the time, who has been an outspoken environmental activist.

“I focused on climate change only to dismiss it” as an issue that merited attention.

This is one of the episodes in the second season of Upstanders, a collection of short stories that asks what it means to have courage in today’s America.

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