Only one of the 48 Republicans seeking a seat in the Senate has dared to stand on the side of climate science or support climate change legislation – and he was knocked out of the running yesterday.
The losing climate realist, Mike Castle, served nearly two decades as the state's lone member of Congress and was thought to be unbeatable in his home state of Delaware. But in a contest that turned on Castle's vote in favour of climate change policies last year, he lost to an uber-conservative Christine O'Donnell, who is pro-gun and anti-abortion, and says masturbation is a sin.
Believing that we must act now to mitigate the impact of global warming pollution, Castle supports US participation in international agreements and a cap and trade programme based on the best available science, which will deliver the kind of reform business and industry need to grow the economy, stabilise the climate, and create more diverse and secure sources of energy.
O'Donnell, in sharp contrast, denounced climate change legislation as a "job killer".
O'Donnell's upset is a big win for the conservative Tea Party Express and for Sarah Palin - who endorsed O'Donnell for her opposition to "Obama's cap-and-tax scheme".
But it is also a resounding message to any Republican in Congress - or Democrat from a conservative or oil and coal state - of the political costs of being seen to accept the science of global warming or support action on climate change in November's congressional elections and beyond.
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