Entries in Global Warming (5)


Gingrich Defends Shifting Statements on Climate Change

NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Mitt Romney may be the GOP presidential candidate that is most often criticized for flip-flopping, but as Newt Gingrich rises to challenge him at the top of the polls, the former House speaker may also be giving him a run for his money in claims of inconsistency.

When it comes to global warming, Gingrich’s position seems to have changed faster than the climate.

“I don’t know if he’s just being opportunistic or of he’s had a real change of heart, but it is a bit disconcerting,” said Jim DiPeso, the policy director for Republicans for Environmental Protection.

In the more than 30 years since Gingrich was first elected to the House, he has said both that there is sufficient evidence to prove the climate is changing, and also that there is no conclusive proof.  He supported a cap-and-trade program to limit carbon emissions and then later testified against it before a Congressional committee.

While in the House, Gingrich co-sponsored a bill that said climate change was “resulting from human activities,” but he later said he did not know if humans were to blame.

“There is no compelling evidence on either side to either rule it out or rule in it,” Gingrich’s spokesman R.C. Hammond said of the candidate’s position on global warming and the impact of man-made pollution.  “But at the end of the day he’s somebody who does care about the environment.”

DiPeso said the Republican “orthodox” position on climate change is that “you can’t deal with this issue because it will kill the economy.”

“It’s politically dangerous for prominent Republicans to acknowledge climate change is real and that human activity plays a prominent role,” he said.  ”It could be that Gingrich is just trying to play a political game and stick with the political orthodoxy to keep himself from being vulnerable to attacks.”

DiPeso added, “It’s not the first time he’s done that and it’s probably not going to be the last.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rick Perry Talks Global Warming, Galileo at GOP Debate

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(SIMI VALLEY, Calif.) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry clung to his skepticism of climate change science in Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate when he was asked if he believes man-made climate change is happening.

“The science is not settled on this.  The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense,” Perry said.  “Just because you have a group of scientists who stood up and said here is the fact.  Galileo got outvoted for a spell.”

Perry was referencing the Galileo affair of the 1600s when the scientist was accused of heresy for his scientific theories. Through his telescopic findings, Galileo offered support for heliocentrism, the scientific theory first developed by Copernicus that the sun is stationary and the planets revolved around it, but this was in direct conflict with scientific and philosophical theories of Aristotle and Ptolemy, who believed the Earth was the center of the universe, and the Catholic Church, which adhered to a literalist interpretation of Scripture, such as Psalm 104:5 which reads “the Lord set the earth on its foundations; it can never be moved.”

Galileo underwent a trial in 1633 for his book Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, which compared the theories of Copernicus and Ptolemy.  Galileo was convicted of "grave suspicion of heresy” and was sentenced to house arrest for the duration of his life.

In 2000, Pope John Paul II issued an apology for the mistakes committed by Catholics over the past 2,000 years.

Perry was ultimately asked what scientists or theories he found enlightening when educating himself on the issue of global warming, but he avoided identifying any scientists or theories by turning attention to Texas’ efforts in regulating clean air.

Perry's campaign communications director, Ray Sullivan, told ABC News after the debate to expect the Texas governor to continue talking about his skepticism on the issue.

“I think the governor answered consistent with his philosophy, consistent with what frankly a lot of Americans and a lot of Republicans believe -- that the climate it changing.  We’re not sure that it’s man-made.  In fact, there’s a lot of questions about whether it’s man-made,” Sullivan said.  “And we shouldn’t jeopardize the jobs and the economy and the future of this country on science that’s not proven.  That’s what the governor has said, said tonight and will continue to say going forward.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Jon Huntsman's Coded Swipe at Rick Perry on Climate Change

LIU JIN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- From the moment Rick Perry declared he would run for president, Jon Huntsman has doled out nothing but love for his fellow candidate, calling him "a good friend and a good man."

But that changed on Thursday when Huntsman took to Twitter, subtly calling out Perry’s views on global warming.

Huntsman tweeted: “To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”

The tweet comes on the heels of a comment made by Huntsman’s chief strategist, John Weaver, to the Washington Post about views Perry made clear in his book, Fed Up!.

"We’re not going to win a national election if we become the anti-science party,” Weaver said.  “The American people are looking for someone who lives in reality and is a truth teller because that’s the only way that the significant problems this country faces can be solved.  It appears that the only science that Mitt Romney believes in is the science of polling, and that science clearly was not a mandatory course for Governor Perry.”

In his book, Perry references “doctored data” in studies on climate change, writing: “They know that we have been experiencing a cooling trend, that the complexities of the global atmosphere have often eluded the most sophisticated scientists, and that draconian policies with dire economic effects based on so-called science may not stand the test of time.  Quite frankly, when science gets hijacked by the political Left, we should all be concerned.”

Perry made similar statements on the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Wednesday, when he said man-made climate change is "still a scientific theory."

On Thursday, Perry was asked in New Hampshire about his thoughts on evolution, by a boy and his mother.

"Here your mom was asking about evolution, and you know it's a theory that's out there, and it's got some gas in it.  In Texas we teach both creationsim and evolution in our public schools," Perry said.  "Because I figure you're smart enough to figure out which one is right."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Perry Calls Global Warming Unproven 'Scientific Theory’

Aaron M. Sprecher/Getty Images(BEDFORD, N.H.) -- At his first stop in the first primary state, Texas Gov. Rick Perry questioned the validity of scientific claims of global warming.

At a "Politics and Eggs" breakfast in Bedford, N.H., on Wednesday, Perry suggested that the issue of global warming has been manipulated by scientists eager to get money to continue their research projects.

"I do believe that the issue of global warming has been politicized. I think there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling in to their -- to their projects,” said Perry.  “And I think we're seeing almost weekly or even daily scientists who are coming forward and questioning the original idea that man made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. Yes, our climate's changed, [it's] been changing ever since the Earth was formed.”

Furthermore, noted Perry, “I don't think from my perspective that I want America to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven and from my perspective is more and more being put into question."

This is by no means a new position for the Texas Governor. In a speech to California Republicans back in September of 2007, the Austin American Statesman quoted Perry as saying: "Virtually every day another scientist leaves the global warming bandwagon...But you won't read about that in the press because they have already invested in one side of the story. I'm not saying we shouldn't be good stewards of our environment. We should. I am just saying when politics hijack science, it quells true scientific debate and can have dire consequences for our future."

In 2009, Perry sent a letter to EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson urging her to withdraw the EPA’s recent ruling on the danger of carbon dioxide, especially in light of the recent "Climategate" scandal, which revealed oft-quoted global warming data results had been manipulated and contrary findings destroyed in order to falsely show the earth has been increasingly warming.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


GOP's Global Warming Skeptics to Take House Chairs on Energy

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- All of the contenders in line to head the prestigious House committees responsible for setting America's energy and science policy are global warming skeptics, and that's causing scientists to worry that Republicans will use their new positions for political grandstanding at the expense of scientific advancement.

The Republicans, who will take over leadership of the House in January, have not yet announced who will chair the Energy and Commerce Committee or the Science and Technology Committee, but the short lists for both committees consist solely of congressmen who question the veracity of climate change.

Already, Republican Speaker-elect John Boehner of Ohio has fired an opening salvo against Democratic inroads on climate change policy, announcing last week that the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, a pet project of outgoing Speaker Nancy Pelosi, would be dismantled.

Boehner has said he wants to restore the independence and authority of the committee chairs.

The fight to chair the Energy and Commerce Committee is shaping up to be one of the most contentious.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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