R. Rex Parris, the Republican mayor of Lancaster, Calif. is both a strong advocate for solar power and a firm believer in the challenge posed by climate change.
He recently told The New York Times that climate change is "absolutely" a threat, saying, "I may be a Republican. I'm not an idiot."
Parris has overseen significant solar development in Lancaster in recent years, with the city of just over 155,000 leading California in installed solar power capacity. He told the Times, "We want to be the first city that produces more electricity from solar energy than we consume on a daily basis."
An update to the city's building code that goes into effect in 2014 will require all new single-family homes in Lancaster to "include a 1.0 kW solar system at bare minimum," reported Mother Nature Network.
Parris' comment on climate change comes as recent Gallup polling found that only a slight majority of Republicans responded affirmatively when asked if "scientists believe global warming is occurring."
Despite this, only 0.17 percent of peer-reviewed scientific articles on climate change or global warming in the past 20 years "clearly reject global warming or endorse a cause other than CO2 emissions for observed warming," according to DeSmogBlog.