Sen. Mazie Hirono (D., Hawaii) on Tuesday called for liberal activists to believe in climate change as if it were a "religion."
Hirono said on Tuesday that liberals will need to show zeal for environmental issues if they are going to defeat President Donald Trump in 2020. At an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, Hirono told the audience to "Believe in climate change as though it's a religion, it's not, it's science."
"Get people out to vote, so that we can have people here who truly are committed to human rights, environmental rights," Hirono said at the event.
Hirono has been a vocal advocate of the Green New Deal introduced by Sen. Ed Markey (D., Mass.) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D., N.Y.). The Hawaii senator called it a "bold national framework" in February.
"Confronting the challenge of climate change requires a comprehensive approach to transforming our country in a way that prioritizes environmental health and wellness, while also expanding opportunity and creating good-paying jobs as we transition to a low carbon economy," Hirono said. "I welcome this bold national framework that tracks so closely to what Hawaii is already doing and what many of us have long advocated to enable communities, families, and individuals to thrive."
She also defended the Green New Deal against critics by calling it "common sense."
The Green New Deal combats climate change and creates jobs/a more sustainable economy. This isn't radical, this isn't socialism. It's common sense. The radical position? The GOP sticking their heads in the sand doing nothing to tackle climate change. https://t.co/3sAef1twgR
— Senator Mazie Hirono (@maziehirono) March 26, 2019
Hirono's comments come just months after she and Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) questioned whether judicial nominees who belong to Catholic groups are qualified to hold office. She defended her religious line of questioning even after the Senate rebuked her by passing a unanimous resolution.
Hirono isn't the only Democrat to use extreme rhetoric while discussing climate change. Ocasio-Cortez compared Green New Deal opponents to white opponents of the civil rights movement in April. She also characterized climate change as a "systemic threat to our country" on par with World War II or the Cold War.