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Friday, July 01, 2011

Republican Presidential Candidates on Global Climate Change

According to this source, Republican Presidential candidates Mitt Romney and John Huntsman believe that the climate is changing globally, and that humans are influencing that. The same source indicates that candidates Tim Pawlenty, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum do not believe either of these statements. I do not know the position, if one has been taken, of Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain, and any other Republican candidates for President. (During the 2008 campaign, Sarah Palin argued that there is no Global Climate Change, even though the Republican platform acknowledged it.)

It's easy to find one thing Bachmann has said (see video), namely, that Carbon Dioxide is a naturally-occurring gas that plants benefit from, with the implication that we don't need to worry about it. Bachmann either didn't know, or chose not to tell, the whole story. Water is also a naturally occurring substance that we have to have to sustain life. But that doesn't mean that we can't get too much of it. Just try breathing water! Carbon Dioxide is a natural gas, and one that plants need for photosynthesis, but it is also a greenhouse gas -- one that is transparent to light coming in from the sun, but not so transparent to heat radiated from the earth.

In the same speech, Bachmann missed the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere by a factor of about 100-fold, which means that her dismissal of the addition of Carbon Dioxide due to human activity was also off by about 100 times.

It is unfortunate that anyone seeking high office is either misinformed, or resorts to deception.  Mrs. Bachmann, however, doesn't seem to have changed her views on this subject.

Global Climate Change is by no means the only important issue in the upcoming election, but it is an important one, and at least some of the Republican candidates seem to be either uninformed about it, or engaging in deliberate deception. It is also true that positions on the matter may change, or develop over time.

Thanks for reading.


Fred said...

In their book, Mistakes Were Made But Not By Me, Tavris and Aronson explain this type of behavior. (I have a copy if you want to borrow it.) They explain how once we make a decision we are very unlikely to change our position. The question becomes is it ego or deception? Reminds me of the tobacco companies who were unwilling to admit that smoking causes cancer.

Anonymous said...

thanks for the input. This might affect my vote.

Martin LaBar said...

Thanks, Fred. Politicians, and the rest of us, do that sort of thing.

Well, that's part of the equation, superrustyfly.

Weekend Fisher said...

I grew up knowing one thing for a fact: that anyone who was a Republican was wrong -- in an urgently dangerous way. I was told that the reason they did not agree with the Democrats was because the Republicans were ignorant and closed-minded, probably a product of bad education or bad upbringing, or a warped culture. There was no question that they were wrong; the only question was whether they were evil, dishonest, or stupid.

I just can't believe that any more.

At what point does treating "the enemy" in a Christlike way come into play? At what point does it come into play that we might give someone the benefit of the doubt about their honesty, integrity, intelligence, and morals? At what point does Christian charity ask us to at least hear what the other person is saying about their own reasons?

I feel like kind of an outsider in most political debates. I am war-weary from the scorched-earth rhetoric that is so common. I just want to rebuild.

Doesn't anyone else feel that way?

Take care & God bless
Anne / WF

Martin LaBar said...

I don't believe that, of Republicans or Democrats. I don't believe either of them are right about everything, either.

As to the scorched earth tactics, yes, I'm sick of them. For one thing, I shudder to think of the TV ads coming (some already here) related to next year's elections.

God help us all. Thanks, Weekend Fisher.