Mitt Flips on Climate Change (Is Anyone Surprised?)

Less than two weeks after I wrote a post praising Mitt Romney (and Jon Huntsman) for their admirable stances supporting science’s position on climate change, Romney changed his position! In June, Romney stated the following to an audience in New Hampshire, affirming the existence of global warming:

I don’t speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world’s getting warmer. I can’t prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don’t know how much our contribution is to that, because I know that there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past but I believe we contribute to that. And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.

Now in October, Romney has reversed himself, stating the following:

My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.

At this point, Mitt Romney has flip-flopped on practically every major issue. He absolutely cannot be trusted. As a progressive, I question the sincerity of some of the ‘red meat’ conservative positions he’s taken since becoming a GOP presidential candidate. It seems obvious that he’s saying things that Republican primary voters want to hear. And since he’s in a tough primary fight with several radical conservatives including Rick Perry and Michele Bachman, he’s got to change his tune in order to remain viable. So as a Democrat, I would much rather have Romney be the GOP nominee because I believe he would do much less damage to our country than Herman Cain, Michelle Bachman, or Rick Perry would do. Romney would probably not be as right-wing as president as he pretends to be as a candidate.

4 Replies to “Mitt Flips on Climate Change (Is Anyone Surprised?)”

  1. Ok I don't see how that is a flip-flop?

    He has a personal belief that the world is getting warmer – Me too.

    He believes that human's contribute to it – Me too.

    He thinks it is important to reduce emissions of pollutants – Me too.

    He never said he had proof or did a study or knew for sure. He just personally believes it.

    Then…2 weeks later…

    He doesn't think we know what's causing the climate change on this planet – We don't. (He believes it's humans but he/we don't know?)

    Because it's all kind of up in the air he doesn't want to waste trillions and trillions of dollars trying to reduce CO2 emissions – I have to say I agree.

    Not most peoples first priority at this time to spend trillions of dollars on. Just my take.

  2. Hi Cherie- Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment! I do like hearing other perspectives and engaging in constructive political dialogue. You definitely make some good points.

    On Mitt Romney and climate change, I just reviewed the video clip where Romney answered a question from an audience member at a Q&A-type; meeting about climate change and made the statement that "we don't know" what is causing global warming. And he did not draw that distinction between "believe" and "know" that you mentioned. (I linked the video clip in this post above- if you'd like to view it.) While surely one can claim to believe, but not know, that climate change is caused by human activity, Romney's two statements make very important contradictions.

    As you pointed out, Romney said it was important to reduce pollutants (a statement we all can support), but he also said it was important to reduce "greenhouse gases" (a specific kind of pollutant) that contribute to "global warming. " In his more recent statement, Romney said he didn't think we should implement the cap and trade program that would reduce greenhouse gas. If Romney truly believes what he said at the earlier event, that we should reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and if he doesn't like the proposed cap and trade program, then shouldn't he present an alternative emission reduction plan that he would support as President?

    Furthermore, it is disingenuous and very misleading for Romney, as a presidential candidate, to say at one event that he believes that global warming is caused by human activity and that we need to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, and at another to say we don't know what is causing global warming. It hurts his credibility, since people don't know which statement to believe. It makes it look like he is purposefully saying different things to different audiences– telling people what they want to hear rather than what he truly believes.

  3. (As a side note, the property of CO2 as a greenhouse, meaning- a heat-trapping gas, is not in dispute by any climate scientists. In fact, CO2 heat-trapping property has been known for nearly 100 years. And the fact that global warming is occurring and is largely caused by human activity is also not in dispute among the global climate scientific community. Last year, I created a post where I linked the statements of virtually every relevant and authoritative national scientific organization in the U.S., in which scientists in those bodies affirmed that greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver of the recent climate change. Here's the link to that post with the statements from these science organizations: http://mormonprogressive.blogspot.com/2010/07/climate-change-is-happening.html)

    (As an additional side note, the idea of using a cap and trade program as a way of reducing pollutants while harnessing market forces is one developed by Republicans. I mentioned this briefly in my "Kudos to Huntsman and Romney" post (http://mormonprogressive.blogspot.com/2011/10/kudos-to-jon-huntsman-and-mitt-romney.html). And I believe that Republicans, particularly those in the George H. W. Bush administration, deserve tremendous credit for it. As I mentioned in that post, Bush Sr effectively ended the acid rain problem that had afflicted the northeastern U.S. for decades and stopped the ozone depletion problem by implementing cap and trade on emissions of sulfur and chlorofluorocarbons, respectively. That successful cap and trade model, developed by Republicans, is what Democrats have proposed for some greenhouse gases. When discussing costs, what Romney and many others leave out is the cost of inaction. Global warming harms our ecosystems and our economy in many ways that, if they haven't already, will end up being far more costly than a cap and trade program on CO2 emissions.)

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