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Election 2012

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How would Herman Cain solve climate change?

Pizza magnate and Republican presidential contender Herman Cain has unveiled his plan for combating illegal immigration: a 20-foot-tall, barbed-wire-studded, electrified Great Wall of U.S., and also a moat with alligators. Man, with that kind of go-getter attitude, imagine what he could achieve! Here are our predictions for how Herman Cain would tackle climate change if he believed in it, given that his approach to solving thorny political problems is apparently to throw alligators at them. Genetically engineered sharks that kill carbon by BITING IT TO DEATH. Pit with spikes for emissions to fall into. Steel cage match between a hurricane …

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Rick Santorum froths at the mouth about climate change

No way Rick Santorum is going the Mitt Romney route. Everybody knows that believing in global warming is for liberals, rational people, scientists, and other don't-want-to-win-the-GOP-nomination types. That's why Santorum told Rush Limbaugh (who yesterday announced that Romney had killed his chances by admitting that he understood how science works) that climate change is a vast liberal conspiracy. Let's break down his statement: I believe the earth gets warmer, and I also believe the earth gets cooler, Translation: Tide goes in, tide goes out. and I think history points out that it does that and that the idea that man …

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Green — who, me? Top 10 brownwashing Republicans

Greenwashing is out, brownwashing is in. These days, GOP politicians are scrambling to distance themselves from past environment-friendly statements, initiatives, and votes. (Thanks to Grist reader Gary Wockner for naming this trend.) Check out the top 10 offenders. And watch for a lot more Republicans to join the club as we head toward the 2012 election.    Photo: lukexmartin10.  Scott Brown U.S. senator from Massachusetts Before: "Reducing carbon dioxide emission in Massachusetts has long been a priority of mine,'' he said in 2008 when, as a member of the state Senate, he voted in favor of his state joining the Regional …

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Mitt Romney loves climate science, hates winning

Oh, Mitt Romney. You have such electable hair. So why do you want to waste it by doing things like believing in global warming? That's not how people become the Republican presidential nominee. Yes, Mitt is apparently not participating in the traditional quadrennial GOP candidate 5K Fun Run Away From Anything That Sounds Mildly Liberal. On Friday, he reaffirmed his belief that a) the climate is changing and b) humans are responsible. He used to be a fan of cap-and-trade to address the problem, and once put a lot of money into instituting a cap-and-trade plan for the Northeastern states, …

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Mitt Romney: Reducing global-warming pollution is 'important'

Cross-posted from ThinkProgress. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told voters in New Hampshire that the pollution causing global warming needs to be reduced. Breaking with Tea Party Republicans who explicitly deny the overwhelming science, Romney said that "it's important for us to reduce our emissions" that cause climate change: I don't speak for the scientific community, of course, but I believe the world's getting warmer. I can't prove that, but I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer. And number two, I believe that humans contribute to that. I don't know how much our contribution …

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry, climate crank, considering presidential run

Rick Perry, conservative darling.Photo: Gage SkidmoreA weak field of GOP presidential candidates is weakening the resolve of politicians who've been insisting they don't want to run. After saying for months that he had no interest in getting into the race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry changed his tune on Friday and told reporters, "I'm going to think about it." While he thinks about whether to run, let us think about his record. In his recent book Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington, Perry writes that global warming is "all one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under …

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Tim Pawlenty is not interested in winning Iowa

Here’s a great way to start your campaign in Iowa: Tell them you want to phase out ethanol subsidies. Classic Tim Pawlenty! Does he even want to be president? Grist is no fan of corn ethanol, mind you -- if you have a spare moment you should get Tom or Dave started, it’s super entertaining. Pawlenty was a fan, though, when he was the governor of Minnesota. But now that he’s running for president, he has the freedom to throw ethanol under the bus, because instead of trying to get people to vote for him for governor of a Midwestern …

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Flashback: In 2003, Romney attacked coal jobs that ‘kill people’

Cross-posted from Climate Progress. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, like his fellow GOP contenders, supports unlimited coal and oil production and opposes cap-and-trade markets to limit greenhouse pollution. Romney calls cap-and-trade a "radical feel-good" policy that would have "devastating results for people across the planet." Last month, he told Fox News that the nation needed to "start drilling for oil" and to "use our coal resources" because "you have to have oil and gas to power America's economy." But according to his standards, Romney himself used to be a "radical" environmentalist who supported clean energy policy and opposed a pollution-backed …

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Critical List: Reid, enviro groups talk air quality; DDT in Africa

Harry Reid met with Big Environment last night to strategize a defense of the Clean Air Act. Politico says a key point of debate was whether enviros should go after errant, but potentially vulnerable Dems on green issues during the next election cycle. Senators rejected a bill that would have sped up oil drilling, then patted themselves on the back for being awesome about the environment. Meanwhile, 53 new shallow-water drilling permits have been issued under post-spill laws. Flooding in the Mississippi basin: bad for humans who live there, good for humans who like to eat crawfish and shrimp. Expected …

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Is climate sanity the kiss of death for Republican presidential candidates?

Beware the kiss of death.Even after backing away from his previous support for cap-and-trade programs, Jon Huntsman is getting slammed by the right wing. His treasonous crime? Daring to suggest that climate scientists might be right. Not that they are right, mind you, and not that we should do anything in response to their warnings, but just that there are enough climate scientists saying the same thing that it might be worth listening. And even that sentiment, expressed in an interview with Time, was understated: This [climate change] is an issue that ought to be answered by the scientific community; …