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The New Climate Change Evangelists Are...Conservatives?!

Former Congressman Bob Inglis is trying to convince his party—yes, even Trump—to pay attention to climate science.

by Sarah Kramer
Feb 1 2017, 10:04pm

On an unseasonably warm night in January, a group of New Yorkers gathered in the back room of a hip bar in Manhattan's Meatpacking district for a screening  Merchants of Doubt, an excoriating documentary about fossil fuel industry-funded climate change denial.

That might not sound unusual for a Wednesday night in the progressive bastion of New York City. But there's a twist—the event is being held by and for conservatives talking about evidence-based solutions climate change. The science, for tonight, is not up for debate.

The meeting looks more like a corporate networking event than a photo of a Rust Belt rally. Suits and chic workwear outnumber Trump tees (official count: one); the crowd of what looks to me like a few dozen (I'm later told 80 people attended) skews young and diverse. A smattering of libertarians and curious liberals circulate.

"We're conservatives trying to show conservatives that there's an exciting answer [to climate change]," says Bob Inglis, a former US Representative from deep-red South Carolina. He served six terms in the House before losing his party's primary to Rep. Trey Gowdy, a Tea Party Republican who criticized Inglis' willingness to reach across the aisle.

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