Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why I'm Sorta Glad Jon Huntsman Flip-Flopped on Climate Science

Republicans DebatePresidential candidate Jon Huntsman might be best known for tweeting his support for the science of evolution and climate change. But at a blogger event today at the polluter-funded Heritage Foundation, TPM reports Huntsman was flip-flopping his way back to the GOP presidential pack's consensus science denial:
Jon Huntsman attended a packed blogger sit down at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro attended, pressing the GOP presidential candidate about his position on climate change.

In August, Huntsman acknowledged the broad body of science pointing to climate change. Seated at an elite conservative think tank, however, Huntsman played a different tune, saying climate scientists “owe us more” information before we can decide if climate change is real.

“I think there’s probably more debate to be played out within the scientific community,” he said.
Obviously, it can't be considered a good thing when the leaders of a major political party are required to reject mainstream science. But then again, it wasn't exactly helping the scientific cause to have Huntsman be the only GOP candidate in the field to fully accept climate science ... while polling at 1%. And it was crazy to see reporters overlooking Huntsman's extremist plan to raise taxes on seniors, veterans & the poor to fund huge tax cuts for the 1%, calling him "moderate" solely based on his support for science.

What IS heartening is that the Republican field's climate science denial may actually be turning some voters into climate science believers. A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed the public’s awareness of climate threats up in recent months. Meanwhile, majorities of Republican voters continue to say the world’s temperature is going up, and that it’s partly or mostly due to human activities. And a new Pew poll shows the GOP primary race hurting the party among independents, with 29% taking a dimmer view of the party, compared to just 10% with a more favorable view (the unmoved 61% is probably a testament to just how few voters are paying attention yet).

So do I wish Huntsman had stuck to climate reality? Sure. But Huntsman's abandonment of the truth says a lot more about his own desperation to get in lockstep with an out-of-touch GOP field than it does about climate science.
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