GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, the Mormon former governor of Massachusetts who led the nation in government-based health reform, is already no favorite with the Tea Party-wing of the Republican electorate. He has now cemented that unpopularity by saying in public what he said in his book last year: that he stands behind the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists who believe that the planet is warming and that that’s a bad thing and that humans are no small part of the problem– not that he’s going to do anything about it, policy-wise.
Still, Romney may be the only Republican 2012 presidential candidate and is definitely one of a dwindling number of Republican lawmakers in Washington and around the country who will either admit to believing in man-made global warming or at least admit to once believing in man-made global warming.
His rivals Newt Gingrich and John Huntsman believed in it, once upon a time.
There’s little place for the Romneys of the right in today’s Republican party. For perspective, it’s worth re-looking at the ThinkProgress rundown of the “climate zombie” Congress elected to make laws for the country last November:
Well over half (55 percent) of the incoming Republican caucus are [climate-change deniers]. Thirty-five of the 46 (76 percent) Republicans in the U.S. Senate next year publicly question the science of global warming. Of the 240 Republicans elected to the House of Representatives, 125 (52 percent) publicly question the science.
Of the freshmen Republicans 36 of 85 in the House and 11 of 13 in the Senate have publicly questioned the science. There are no freshmen Republicans, in the House or Senate, who publicly accept the scientific consensus that greenhouse pollution is an immediate threat.
Nearly all the rest of the Republicans in the 112th Caucus either signed the “No Climate Tax” pledge from the climate-denier Koch Industries front group Americans For Prosperity, the “No Cap-And-Tax” Tea Party pledge, or co-sponsored a resolution to overturn the EPA’s scientific finding that greenhouse pollution threatens the American public’s health and welfare.
Top national thermal-earth-geo-climate scientists John Abraham, Michael Mann, Michael Oppenheimer and Peter Gleick have led in the fight against anti-climate change science politics. They have written op-eds and letters to Congress that are bold and clear on the matter. An excerpt from Politico:
Th[e] science-free approach serves only the interests of oil and coal producers and other big polluters who don’t want Congress — or the American people — to know what decades of scientific research have revealed about current climate trends and the growing future risks we face.
Science is the Achilles heel for those who try to perpetuate the myth that climate change is not occurring, or that the massive build-up of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere is not the main reason the climate is changing. There is no serious disagreement in the scientific community that global temperatures are increasing, sea levels are rising, the oceans are becoming more acidic and that fossil fuel combustion is the primary cause.
In addition, the rapid shrinking of Arctic sea ice and the pattern of extreme weather and climate — including widespread drought, extraordinarily intense rainstorms, heat waves and wildfires — reflect more than just natural climate variability.
That piece came in March ahead of congressional hearings on climate change, where scientists were asked to testify for the one side and conservative pundits were asked to testify for the other.
The Romney campaign is doomed.