Bob Inglis is a former U.S. congressman from South Carolina who once said, “Climate change is only in Al Gore’s imagination.” But then a comment from his son during a re-election campaign more than a decade ago made him rethink his position.

Inglis: “My son, he was voting for the first time in ’04, and he said, ‘Dad I’ll vote for you but you’re going to clean up your act on the environment.’ That was step one of a 3-step metamorphosis for me.”

Step two was seeing evidence of climate change with his own eyes during a trip to Antarctica.

Inglis: “Step 3 was being inspired by an Aussie climate scientist who shares my world view who told me about conservation changes he was making in his life in order to love God and love people – people we’ll never know because they’ll come along long after us. And I found that very inspiring.”

Today, Inglis believes that it’s possible to use market-based solutions, a traditionally conservative approach to problem-solving, to address climate change. His idea begins with eliminating energy subsidies and placing a carbon tax on all types of fuels.

Inglis: “And if we do that, then the free enterprise system can deliver innovation faster than government mandates or regulations could ever imagine. And so it really is as simple as fixing that economic distortion and then watching the free enterprise system do its magic.”

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
Photo: Copyright protected.

More Resources
Bob Inglis blog
Schlossberg and Inglis op-ed: Courage on climate: The JFK Award (
John F.Kennedy Library Foundation

Bud Ward

Bud Ward was editor of Yale Climate Connections from 2007-2022. He started his environmental journalism career in 1974. He later served as assistant director of the U.S. Congress's National Commission...