Cross-posted from Climate Progress.
Speaking to a group of Republican political donors last week, Ohio’s conservative governor, John Kasich (R), called for action on climate change, saying he was “all for” developing clean energy.
At a time when climate change denial has become a de facto national platform for the Republican party, Kasich’s comments are a notable break from GOP rhetoric. The Columbus Dispatch reported on his statement to fellow Republicans:
“This isn’t popular to always say, but I believe there is a problem with climates, climate change in the atmosphere,” Kasich told a Ross County Republican function on Thursday. “I believe it. I don’t know how much there is, but I also know the good Lord wants us to be good stewards of his creation. And so, at the end of the day, if we can find these breakthroughs to help us have a cleaner environment, I’m all for it.”
Kasich’s comments came during a talk about his “all-of-the-above” energy plan. However, that plan, which does support efficiency, wind, and solar, still relies heavily on fossil fuels — particularly coal and shale gas.
Meanwhile, scientists warn that we are hitting tipping points that could soon force unstoppable global warming. Given this reality, squaring aggressive support for fossil fuels with the need to address climate change is virtually impossible.
The fact that Kasich’s comments are “news” shows how dramatically Republicans have turned around on climate change. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, once said that “now is the time to take action toward climate protection” and called for a “no regrets” approach to dealing with the problem.
Today, Romney says “we don’t know” whether humans are causing climate change — even though 97 percent of climate scientists actively publishing in the field say human influence is the primary driver of a warming planet.