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01 October 2011

Repudiation: Republican Denial of Climate Change

Republican candidates are mostly in denial of climate change (see below).  It is unfortunately quite real, see this morning's New York Times article, Forests Across the World Dying Off as Climate Warms (link to MSNBC reprint).  There is new evidence included in the article that excessive carbon emissions from human activity are a direct cause of forest loss.  We need more, not fewer, trees for carbon sequestration.

The problem for many in denial is one of faith.  The definition of faith is belief in that which one cannot see.  Science, on the other hand, is the study and drawing of conclusions based on evidence that can be seen and measured.  These should not be in conflict.  For those who are religious and not blinded by their religion, science is the observation and study of God's creations.

So, let's look at where the Republicans stand (in Gallup Poll order):

Rick Perry.  Full denial.  An article in yesterday's Los Angeles Times says that he’s doubling down on his skepticism of climate-change science.

Mitt Romney.  Accepts science.  An article from June in Reuters indicates that Mr. Romney is an exception to the complete denial pack.  "I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that," he told a crowd of about 200 at a town hall meeting in Manchester, New Hampshire.

 Ron Paul.  Full denial.  It is unusual for any politician to be as consistent as Dr. Paul is on everything.  Here is a 2009 Youtube clip where he denies climate change on Fox News.  "It's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors."

Michele Bachmann.  Full denial.  A Youtube clip from a town hall meeting in August has Ms. Bachmann calling for "real science, not manufactured science."

Herman Cain.  Full denial.  Skeptical Science has a page of quotes from June.  These were from a New Hampshire radio show that can be heard in full on YouTube.

Newt Gingrich.  Denial after flip flop.  One might think that Mr. Gingrich accepts the science after a PSA with Nancy Pelosi from 2008 on YouTube.  But, he now claims, in an article on Michelle Malkin's blog, that this was a call for debate on the environment and climate change, not agreeing on anything else with Ms. Pelosi.

Rich Santorum.  Full denial.  A YouTube clip of an interview by Rush Limbaugh in June has Mr. Santorum calling human contribution to climate change "patently absurd" and "junk science".  This is the same Mr. Santorum who has a little Google problem (NSFW link).

Jon Huntsman.  Accepts science.  An article from June in the Salt Lake Tribune indicates that Mr. Huntsman is wishy-washy on what to do about climate change, but he is not in denial of it.

In contrast, on Sunday 25 September President Obama spoke against rejection of climate change science.  The difference is stunning.

4 October 2011 - - - Update

South Carolina Republican Bob Inglis writes in today's Bloomberg Businessweek an article that critques his fellow Republicans for failing to embrace science.  Well written.

10 October 2011, FollowUp 1.
11 October 2011, FollowUp 2.
17 October 2011, FollowUp 3.
21 October 2011, FollowUp 4.
27 October 2011, FollowUp 5.
30 November 2011, FollowUp 6.
29 January 2012, FollowUp 7.
15 February 2012, FollowUp 8.
18 February 2012, FollowUp 9.
2 March 2012, FollowUp 10.
11 March 2012, FollowUp 11.
4 June 2012, FollowUp 12.