Mitt Romney says global warming is real and caused by humans, breaking with most members of the Republican Party. "I believe the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that," Romney told a New Hampshire town hall, according to Reuters' Ros Krasny. "It's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors." But Romney did take the opportunity to zing electric cars, a favorite target of conservatives because their engines don't make that sexy vroom sound, saying, "I love solar and wind (power) but they don't drive cars. And we're not all going to drive Chevy Volts."
Romney isn't the only 2012 contender to say climate change is a real problem--rival Jon Huntsman stands on that little island with him. But the rest of the Republican lineup is pretty climate change skeptic. A rundown of where the candidates stand on the issue:
Jon Huntsman: Real.
"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."
Newt Gingrich: Once believed it was real, now says it's not real.
Now, if you were a left wing intellectual, climate change is the newest excuse to take control of lives and you want a new bureaucracy to run our lives on behalf of the newest thing. But remember, in the mid-1970's there was a cover of Newsweek and Time that says we're in the age of a brand new glacial period and they had a cover of the Earth covered in ice. This is the 1970's. Now many of those scientists are still alive and they were absolutely convinced. I mean, if Al Gore were able to in the 1970's we would build huge furnaces to warm the planet against this inevitable coming Ice Age.
Rick Santorum: Not real.
Santorum has consistently denied global warming has anything to do with human activity--he's even announcing he's running for president in a Pennsylvania coal field. In 2008, he wrote an op-ed for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "'Coal' is not a dirty word if we are realistic about saving the Earth."
[A]ccording to a recent ABC News poll, only 33 percent of Americans believe man-made global warming is the world's most serious environment crisis. This finding comes after years of global-warming propaganda...
The media hype has had an impact--environmentalism is in. Most of us skeptics are perfectly fine with the going-green movement's practical side. I recycle.... As for solutions like carbon taxes, cap-and-trade legislation and other government efforts to control our energy consumption, however, I think most Americans don't believe Al Gore and the hysterics (good rock band name) have made the case.
Tim Pawlenty: Not real. Sorry he used to say it was real.
Pawlenty apologized at the first Republican debate for supporting cap-and-trade to control greenhouse gases, calling that position one of his "clunkers." At the debate, he explained, "What I concluded subsequently is it is really a bad idea. It is ham-fisted. It is going to be harmful to the economy."
Herman Cain: Not real.
"We have a path to energy independence in this country and it just baffles me as to why the leadership of either party in Congress or the White House doesn't pursue it... We simply need to remove the regulatory barriers and stop overreacting to the concerns of the environmentalists."
Michele Bachmann: Not real.
During debate over a cap-and-trade bill in 2009, Bachmann said greenhouse gasses were not harmful:
People talk about cap and tax and they aren’t sure exactly what we're talking about. Let's get back to step one. What is the problem? Why do we have to have this tax in the first place?
It’s about carbon dioxide.
Well, what is carbon dioxide? Let’s just go to a fundamental question.
Carbon dioxide, Mister Speaker, is a natural byproduct of nature. Carbon dioxide is natural. It occurs in Earth. It is a part of the regular lifecycle of Earth. In fact, life on planet Earth can’t even exist without carbon dioxide. So necessary is it to human life, to animal life, to plant life, to the oceans, to the vegetation that’s on the Earth, to the, to the fowl that--that flies in the air, we need to have carbon dioxide as part of the fundamental lifecycle of Earth.
As a matter of fact, carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful!