Tag Archives: Republican Party

Moving slowly and avoiding whiplash: Jon Huntsman and Climate Edition

A few months back, Jon Huntsman caught some flak from conservatives for refusing to succumb to the pressure to reject science in order to pander to Republican primary voters. He was cheered as the lone voice of sanity in a vast ocean of denial by many, myself included.

Yesterday, it was reported that Huntsman had apparently thrown his lot in with Romney, Newt Gingrich, and the rest of the GOP field who have reversed themselves on the issue lately. Huntsman’s ostensible “flip flop” came during an address to the anti-regulatory, industry front group Heritage Foundation.

Many have been quick to attack Huntsman for this seeming pivot, and I confess that my reaction was quite negative as well, even though Huntsman’s chances seem as dismal as ever.

But according to Politico, Huntsman is denying any change in position, and has reaffirmed his support of the scientific consensus:

“Let me be very clear on this: there is no change,” he told reporters after his speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition. “I put my faith and trust in science. So you have 99 of 100 climate scientists who have come out and talked about climate change in certain terms, what is responsible for it. I tend to say this is a discussion that should not be in the political lane but should be in the scientific lane.”

“Is there a one percent that has a disagreement? There’s a one percent that has a disagreement,” he added. “Will those discussions continue, as they always do in the scientific community, to clear up those areas of ambiguity? I suspect so. But, as for me, I’m on the side of science on this one.”

I suppose that’s one benefit of infrequent blogging- I procrastinated my way out of jumping the gun. Anyway, as James Fallows said, it will be interesting to see what Huntsman says the next time climate comes up.

“GOP plans attacks on the EPA and climate scientists”

For those who couldn’t see where all this was heading, read this LA Times article.

Dreams of a “post-partisan”  compromise clean energy “breakthrough” under a Republican-led House are just that- dreams.

UPDATE: Here’s James Fallows on the prospects of clean energy investment in a “divided” (i.e. GOP-led House) US government:

When a party is willing to hamstring the country’s overall prospects, as “collateral damage” in its effort to weaken the other party, the results are bad for everybody. To choose one example, about which I have more to say in an upcoming magazine article: Everybody knows that “green tech” / “clean tech” businesses of many descriptions are going to be a future source of jobs, wealth, influence, and growth. The Chinese government, as we’ve read so often, is putting a lot of money behind them — and will keep doing so over the next decade. The U.S. government has started making such investments in the past couple of years — but these will surely become hostage to “divided government,” since stopping them will be a way of “stopping Obama.” And what will really be stopped is America’s future share of such jobs, wealth, influence, and growth, since you can’t develop these projects through short-term, stop-start spending. Sigh. Rather, Grrrrrr.