- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 17, 2019

DENVER — Politicians often make it sound as if the world will end unless they’re elected, but Democratic Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff may be taking it literally.

Mr. Romanoff has come under fire for “fear-mongering” over his apocalyptic Senate ad that envisions temperatures of 127 degrees Fahrenheit — in Colorado Springs, where the mercury rarely reaches 100.

“The #ClimateCrisis poses a threat unlike any in human history. It’s a catastrophe of our own creation — but it doesn’t have to end this way,” said Mr. Romanoff on Facebook. “We can choose a different path.

The four-minute video posted Monday begins with a girl saying “I miss the sun” as she and her family hole up in a bunker lined with tin foil to hide from 127-degree heat in a location identified as Colorado Springs “in the not too distant future.”

Critics mocked the ad, calling it wildly unrealistic and scientifically inaccurate. The timing also wasn’t great, given the bitterly cold temperatures this week in some areas of Colorado, including a record-breaking -44 degrees in Park County.

“This ad is insane. Can someone check on Andrew Romanoff?” asked Republican Sen. Cory Gardner on Twitter.

The former Colorado House Speaker, Mr. Romanoff is running for the Democratic nod against former Gov. John Hickenlooper, an oil-and-gas supporter who was shown in the video touting the safety of hydraulic-fracturing fluid, saying, “You can drink it.”

Meanwhile, climate-change activists cheered the ad. The Sunrise Movement touted the video on social media and tweeted, “Our futures are at stake, we need to elect people who will treat this crisis like the emergency that it is.”

Bill McKibben, who heads the climate group 350.org, tweeted, “Pretty sure there’s never been a political campaign ad quite like this,” while the conservative Colorado Peak Politics site declared it “the definitive, worst political attack ad, ever.”

It may take more than a climate apocalypse for Mr. Romanoff to upset Mr. Hickenlooper, who enjoys a sizeable lead in the polls. A September survey by Public Policy Polling found him backed by 60% of Democratic voters, compared with 9% for Mr. Romanoff.

Since then, however, Mr. Romanoff has run to the left, picking up the support of the Sunrise Movement and zeroing in on what analysts view as Mr. Hickenlooper’s weak spot, his environmental record.

The ad includes a scene from the 2010 anti-fracking film “Gasland” showing a man lighting water from a sink on fire in Weld County. That scene has since been debunked, with regulators determining that the methane leakage was naturally occurring and not from fracking.

Roger A. Pielke Sr., University of Colorado atmospheric-science professor emeritus, said that the video’s “extreme claims are well outside of accepted science, including the IPCC,” referring to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

“As to 127F in Colorado Springs, such an absurd claim is being made by someone not understanding the atmospheric process,” said Mr. Pielke, the former Colorado State Climatologist, in an email.

The highest temperature ever recorded in Colorado Springs was 101 degrees in 2012.

“The kind of fear-mongering Andrew Romanoff tries to accomplish with this video contributes nothing to the debate on any issue,” said National Republican Senate Committee spokesperson Joanna Rodriguez. “His unabashed support for the Green New Deal and other progressive policies from Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez put Colorado jobs and economic growth at risk.”

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