Skip to content Skip to site navigation

Climate Policy


Newt’s win in South Carolina bodes well for climate

Photo by RJ.

How to explain the Gingrich resurgence in South Carolina? He harnessed anger and showed strength.

In an editorial, The New York Times calls his appeal to anger “the lowest form of campaigning.”

I disagree. I think the lowest form of campaigning -- the deadliest poison coursing through the American body politic -- is cynicism.


Giant companies get real about climate adaptation

Who’s got billions of dollars and isn't going to wait for the GOP to arrive in the 21st century before they drop a significant portion of it on preparing for our climate-changed future? These guys, according to Marc Gunther at GreenBiz:


Old dog, Newt tricks: Gingrich’s views on climate, EPA, and ‘green conservatism’

Newt Gingrich has been all over the map on climate change. Instead of trying to pinpoint all his many stances from over the years (who even has that many pins?), I'll just highlight a few key moments.

In 2008, when the cool kids were at least feigning concern for climate change, Gingrich appeared with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in a TV ad for Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection. “[O]ur country must take action to address climate change,” Gingrich solemnly proclaimed.


Why we need to relocate animals threatened by climate change

There's tons of evidence in the fossil record that as earth's climate has changed in the past, species have moved around in order to avoid dying out. Before there were humans on this planet, disrupting migration pathways with our cities, roads and expanses of concrete, animals could simply move north or south to keep up with a warming or cooling climate. In fact, this is probably the reason that many past climate changes did not coincide with mass extinctions.


Critical List: Canadian minister hates tar-sands opposition; airlines charge for free carbon permits

Canada's natural resources minister is not happy that all of you with your "radical ideological agenda" think Canada's turning into a creepy petrostate. Japan is releasing those three whaling activists who boarded a Japanese whaling vessel. Carbon emissions are delaying the next ice age. Even though they're getting E.U. carbon permits for free initially, airlines are already charging passengers for the "extra" cost. Oil companies are paying penalties for not blending cellulosic ethanol into their products -- even though cellulosic ethanol isn’t commercially available yet. (This is sort of absurd but it’s hard to drum up sympathy for oil companies …


These Republicans believe in climate change. And they vote

Watching this excellent short film by James West about that rare-but-not-as-rare-as-you-think species, the Republican who believes the science of climate change, I was reminded that there was a time in U.S. politics when science was not a partisan issue. Of course, that was back when we argued about other even more unreasonable things, like whether the color of your skin disqualified you from being a person, so it's not like I'm saying there is a now-past golden age I'd prefer we revert to. Anyway, the lesson here is clear: The partisan-ness of climate change is in part self-reinforcing. Republican Climate …


Fossil fuels receive 250 different kinds of subsidies

Even though renewables get federal subsidies for research and development, they’re still at a disadvantage when competing with fossil fuels, because fossil fuels receive even more subsidies. We basically all knew that already, but few of us realized it was quite this bad. Turns out fossil fuels get 250 different kinds of subsidies, and they’re getting more all the time. According to research by GigaOm's Adam Lesser, buried in a 351 page report from the International Energy Agency is the fact that fossil fuels currently receive subsidies via "at least 250 mechanisms." And unlike federal subsidies for renewables, which are …


Santorum vs. Romney: The climate is screwed either way

Romney and SantorumRomney & Santorum, both bad news for the environment.Photos: WEBN TV's Political Pulse & IowaPolitics.comRick Santorum, who surged at the last minute to give Mitt Romney a real run for his money in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, is less green than his rival, and decidedly nuttier when it comes to climate change. But let's not split hairs here. Both men will staunchly defend fossil fuels, and neither is likely to do much of anything to fight global warming.

Mitt Romney has expressed qualified concern about climate change over the years, and then vacillated about how much of it is human-caused and whether we should try to do anything about it.

No wobbling of that sort from Santorum -- he's an out-and-out denier. "There is no such thing as global warming," he told a smiling Glenn Beck on Fox News in June 2011. That same month, he told Rush Limbaugh that climate change is a liberal conspiracy: "It's just an excuse for more government control of your life and I've never been for any scheme or even accepted the junk science behind the whole narrative."


Confused with a chance of flip-flop: Mitt Romney’s views on climate and energy

Mitt RomneyMitt Romney.Photo: Gage SkidmoreWhere does Mitt Romney stand on climate change and energy issues? Brace yourself: He doesn't have that flip-flopper reputation for nothing.


Romney used to be one of the more sane Republicans when it comes to climate change. He would play up uncertainty and use weasel words, but he still acknowledged global warming as a problem.

In his 2010 book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness, Romney wrote:

I believe that climate change is occurring -- the reduction in the size of global ice caps is hard to ignore. I also believe that human activity is a contributing factor. I am uncertain how much of the warming, however, is attributable to factors out of our control.


Rick Perry advocates solution to climate problem he doesn’t believe in

Of all the GOP candidates, Rick Perry has been perhaps the most fervently dismissive of the reality of human-caused climate change. So why does his energy plan include a provision for "clean coal" technology, which is used to capture carbon dioxide and pump it underground? Confusion in Perry's assessment of the climate and energy nexus extends to his energy plan, which says that "we must continue to invest in clean coal technology through research and development tax incentives." If, as Perry has claimed, climate change is a baseless hoax, it makes no sense that he should advocate for a technology …