Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, the two current frontrunners for the 2012 Republican candidacy, can’t seem to wrap their heads around climate science, or whether or not they should push it in their campaigns. It’s true that many U.S. citizens do not claim to “believe” in global warming, but when does it become unacceptable to be dishonest in order to win votes? Obviously U.S. politics are not where we should look for the right answer to this question.
Whether or not people want to “believe” in global warming, it is real. It is a fact. Even though scientists agree that more information is needed to predict future outcomes and specifics about exact weather changes, experts are in agreement that the earth is heating and changing, and that humans are the major cause of that change.
If either Romney or Gingrich somehow wins the presidency in 2012, we are in big trouble. According to Gingrich’s website, he “does not believe there is a settled scientific conclusion about whether industrial development has dramatically contributed to a warming of the atmosphere.” He does not believe we should even begin to cap carbon emissions, even though human CO2 emissions are a major cause of the temperature shift.
Mitt Romney has been flip-flopping on the issue of climate change, but most recently claimed that “we don’t know what’s causing climate change.” Romney has no desire to limit carbon emissions in the United States. A statement on his website reads: “The United States is blessed with a cornucopia of carbon-based energy resources. Developing them has been a pathway to prosperity for the nation in the past and offers similar promise for the future.”
Who knows if these two actually believe what they’re saying, or if they’re just trying to appeal to their desired audience? I suppose it makes sense if votes are their main concern: around half of Americans do not support evidence of global warming.
And here is why: the GOP’s directed audience includes many religious fanatics that do not think their God would let the world be destroyed, and such a fate is many times too heavy to wrap their heads around. “What kind of life would it be if we were living in fear all the time?” they may say. “I deserve to be happy and comfortable with all this money I’m earning!”
Gingrich and Romney both claim that taxing carbon emissions and “cap and trade” programs will cut too many jobs and perhaps undermine the U.S. as the top energy-producing giant. I’m sure many Americans blindly follow and praise this type of thinking, so this becomes another reason people do not acknowledge scientific evidence for climate change.
Thankfully many businesses are beginning to acknowledge that they could operate more efficiently and eco-friendly, and the EPA and other environmental organizations are making significant changes. I would recommend, however, that we elect someone in 2012 who supports science, and understands the definitions of “evidence” and “fact.”
If you still find this post and global warming incredibly depressing, here are some cartoons: