Jon HuntsmanPhoto: Gage SkidmoreCross-posted from ThinkProgress Green.

At an oil-sponsored event at the Heritage Foundation, presidential candidate Jon Huntsman reversed his prior defense of climate science. Huntsman, who famously mocked his fellow candidates for questioning global warming in August, was asked by NewsBusters blogger Lachlan Markey if humans contribute to climate change. Huntsman said that the “scientific community owes us more”:

I don’t know, I’m not a scientist, nor am I a physicist, but I would defer to science … The scientific community owes us more in terms of a better description or explanation about what might lie beneath all of this. But there’s not information right now to formulate policies in terms of addressing it overall, primarily because it’s a global issue.

When TalkingPointsMemo reporter Evan McMorris-Santoro asked if Huntsman had changed his postion, he replied that there is “debate” in the scientific community, including “questions” raised “by a university in Scotland”:

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I’m not a physicist, I’m not a scientist. I tend to defer to those who do it for a living. I’d be prepared to take it out of the political milieu and put it into the scientific milieu. There are questions about the validity of the science — evidence by one university over in Scotland recently.

Perhaps Huntsman is referring the the University of East Anglia in eastern England, whose servers were hacked and scientists smeared by climate deniers in 2009. After Rick Perry cited the Climategate conspiracy theory to question global warming in August, Huntsman eviscerated Perry. When Republicans question human-made global warming, “I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science, and, therefore, in a losing position,” Huntsman said on ABC’s This Week in August. It appears Huntsman now prefers this “losing position.”

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