Conservative Media Establish Climate Science Denial Litmus Test

››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

Conservative media outlets are reprimanding three prominent Republicans who recently acknowledged what scientists have been saying for years -- that human activities are contributing to global climate change.

Romney, Huntsman, Christie Acknowledge Climate Change Problem

Mitt Romney: "I Believe The World Is Getting Warmer, And I Believe That Humans Have Contributed to That." From a June 3 Reuters report:

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney broke with Republican orthodoxy on Friday by saying he believes that humans are responsible, at least to some extent, for climate change.

"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.

"It's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors." [Reuters, 6/3/11]

Chris Christie: "It's Time To Defer To The Experts." From Gov. Chris Christie's (R-NJ) May 26 statement announcing New Jersey's withdrawal from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative;

In the past I've always said that climate change is real and it's impacting our state. There's undeniable data that CO2 levels and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing. This decade average temperatures have been rising, temperature changes are affecting weather patterns and our climate. In order to best deal with climate change we have to understand its causes. That was the root of the question that I was asking at the time of my town hall meetings and it's gotten a lot of attention. So in the last number of months since that time I've taken some time to develop a better understanding of the role that humans play in global warming and what impact human activity has on our climate. The last few months I've sat down with experts both inside the government and outside the administration in academia and other places, to discuss the issue in depth. I've also done some reading on my own on the topic as well. I'm certainly not a scientist which is the first problem.

So, I can't claim to fully understand all of this. Certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90% of the world's scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role it's time to defer to the experts. Climate science is complex though and we're just beginning to have a fuller understanding of humans' role in all of this. But we know enough to know that we are at least a part of the problem. So looking forward, we need to work to put policies in place that act at reducing those contributing factors. [New Jersey Office of the Governor, 5/26/11]

Jon Huntsman: "All I Know Is 90 Percent Of The Scientists Say Climate Change Is Occurring." From a May 16 Time interview with Jon Huntsman, Ambassador to China and former governor of Utah:

You also believe in climate change, right?

This is an issue that ought to be answered by the scientific community; I'm not a meteorologist. All I know is 90 percent of the scientists say climate change is occurring. If 90 percent of the oncological community said something was causing cancer we'd listen to them. I respect science and the professionals behind the science so I tend to think it's better left to the science community - though we can debate what that means for the energy and transportation sectors. [Time, 5/16/11]

Conservative Media Respond Derisively

Steve Milloy: "Christie Revealed A Serious Lapse In Political Instinct And Judgment." In a June 3 Washington Times op-ed, Steve Milloy, publisher of JunkScience.com, criticized Christie and asserted, "Is global warming science a litmus test? In 2012 America, yes." He added:

What would Al Gore do? Could that really be New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's thought process? The GOP's darling and "please-run-for-president-now" governor earned national attention last week for pulling New Jersey out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the cap-and-trade program set up by Northeast states.

But in doing so, Mr. Christie revealed a serious lapse in political instinct and judgment that should cause Republicans to ask whether he and others like him are ready for the White House.

In his announcement, Mr. Christie also stated, "I'm certainly not a scientist, which is the first problem. So I can't claim to fully understand all of this, certainly not after just a few months of study. But when you have over 90 percent of the world's scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role, it's time to defer to the experts."

Here's the problem: While it's no unpardonable sin to be underinformed about the global warming controversy - although it does make one wonder where Mr. Christie has been all these years as even the average grade-schooler has been well-immersed in the controversy - Mr. Christie's instinct was to buy into Mr. Gore's bogus mantra that a consensus of scientists says humans are giving the planet a fever via carbon-dioxide emissions.

[...]

If the next president is not onboard with the real (versus the Al Gore-type) science of climate change, then it's not likely he will be able to force through the sorts of changes at the EPA that reality warrants and that America desperately needs. [Washington Times, 6/2/11]

Milloy: Romney's Comments "Raise Serious Questions About His Candidacy." From a June 3 JunkScience.com post:

In a 2008 GOP presidential debate, Romney was critical of unilateral/local emissions cuts, noting it was called "global warming" not "California warming." But today's comments raise serious questions about his candidacy.

Note to GOP presidential candidates: If you embrace climate alarmism to appease the alarmists, then don't because they won't vote for you anyway and non-alarmists will vote for another Republican candidate. [JunkScience.com, 6/3/11]

Heartland Institute's James Taylor: Christie Is "Carrying Water For Liberal Propaganda." From a June 1 op-ed on Forbes.com by James M. Taylor, senior fellow at the libertarian Heartland Institute:

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delighted conservatives last week when he pledged to withdraw his state from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) of Northeastern states. Conservative delight, however, quickly turned to frustration as Christie emphasized he was merely taking issue with the political and economic mechanisms of RGGI, but did not disagree with the notion that humans are causing a global warming problem that needs to be addressed.

By apparently carrying water for liberal propaganda regarding one of the most important issues in current political discourse, Christie has shot himself in the foot regarding a key component of his Republican political base. [Forbes.com, 6/1/11]

Hot Air Warns Against "Find[ing] Out The Hard Way" If Huntsman Will Support Government Intervention To Address Climate Change. From a May 17 Hot Air post by Ed Morrissey:

Jon Huntsman gave a relatively brief interview to Time, but it's likely to create longer term problems for his rumored presidential run in the GOP. Huntsman says he opposes cap-and-trade proposals because "this isn't the moment," but he buys the climate change argument because "90% of the scientists" say it's happening. If 90% of oncologists identified a carcinogen, Huntsman says, he'd believe them too.

[...]

At least Huntsman says he opposes cap-and-trade ... for now. When the economy recovers, will Huntsman decide to support government intervention in energy production and consumption in response to bad science? Do we want to find out the hard way? [HotAir.com, 5/17/11]

Chris Horner on Christie: "This Is Not A Move To Position Himself For Higher Office." In a blog post on the site of The American Spectator, Chris Horner of the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute responded to Christie's reported statement that his previous doubts about global warming were due to not having a "fully formed opinion" by writing:

Yes, yes, I know, running for president brings out the Pander Bear in all of them. But Christie's entire shtick is that he's the guy speaking truth to all of these entrenched powers, industries, political sacred cows et al.

So, particularly before we know what his 'fully formed opinion' is, I cannot interpret what is behind this. But if it is as seems most likely, we know it this is not a move to position himself for higher office. Yes, it would gain him some McCain-style (that is, conditional and temporary) media love -- in the form of proclaiming proof that global warming is real and most Americans are extremists and wrong! -- soon to turn to ever-more demanding fury. [Spectator.org, 5/16/11]

Doug Powers: "If Mitt Romney Is The GOP Nominee, The Big Winner Might Be Al Gore." In a June 4 post on MichelleMalkin.com, Doug Powers wrote:

Scooch over, Newt and Nancy, and make some room on the global warming love seat!

If Mitt Romney is the GOP nominee, the big winner might be Al Gore, because no matter who comes out on top in the general election, Gore could come out smelling like a carbon-neutral rose. [MichelleMalkin.com, 6/4/11]

Climate Depot's Morano: "The Image Of Christie As A Potential GOP Savior Has Officially Gone Up In Smoke." From an article by Kevin Mooney of NetRight Daily:

Marc Morano of Climate Depot and a former staffer to Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), a leading skeptic, has written Gov. Christie off as a potential GOP savior.

"Gov. Christie has proven clueless when it comes to man-made global warming. His straight-shooting image has been shattered by his recent calculated and really bad climate claims. He did not respond to multiple meeting offerings from top scientists in New Jersey, but meets with a collection of alarmists scientists. He is following in the misguided footsteps of George W. Bush on climate. Christie is attempting to pursue the discredited strategy of accepting the alleged science of anthropogenic AGW while rejecting so called solutions."

Morano continued, "Christie's absurd claim that more than 90% of scientists agree is the verbal equivalent of sitting on a love seat with Nancy Pelosi. The image of Christie as a potential GOP Savior has officially gone up in smoke with his revelations that he and Al Gore share the same level of scientific comprehension." [NetRight Daily, 5/31/11]

Climate Depot On Romney: "Another Big Govt Republican Sniffs The AGW [anthropogenic global warming] Glue." The following headlines were posted on Morano's website, ClimateDepot.com:

Climate Depot headlines

climate depot headlines

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