"The gold medal for climate flip-flopping goes to Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who now calls cap-and-trade a “disaster” three years after endorsing it"
Anti-science ideologues have increasingly made opposition to bipartisan action on global warming a litmus test for Republicans seeking national office (see “Honey, I shrunk the GOP, Part 1: Conservatives vow to purge all members who support clean energy or science-based policy” and “Part 3: RNC Chair Steele withdraws support for Rep. Kirk over his vote on climate and clean energy bill“). Apparently this litmus test doesn’t just include embracing ideological positions on policy, but also on science.
The best example of that is Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R-MN), who is widely seen as a top-tier candidate for the 2012 presidential nomination. Pawlenty already earned a “Full Flop” from PolitiFact because of his complete reversal of position on cap and trade policy “” from strong support to strong opponent. As Think Progress reports, he completed the reversal of his stance on global warming yesterday on Meet the Press:
When asked by NBC’s David Gregory if climate change is real, the former champion of strong climate action questioned “how much of it is man-made,” charging climate scientists with “data manipulation and controversy.” He then said a cap-and-trade system of market-based limits on global warming pollution would be a “disaster“:
The climate is obviously changing, David. The more interesting question is how much of it is man-made and how much is as a result of natural causes and patterns. Of course, we have seen data manipulation and controversy, or at least debate within the scientific community. . . . And the way you address it is we should all be in favor of reducing pollution. We need to do it in ways that don’t burden the economy. Cap and trade, I think, would be a disaster in that regard.
Pawlenty’s charge of “data manipulation” is based on the libelous claims of fossil-fueled conspiracy theorists. Like Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Pawlenty was one of the nation’s chief Republican champions of cap and trade until recently, but now is mimicking Sarah Palin instead.
In 2007, Pawlenty supported a cap-and-trade system to reduce Minnesota’s global warming pollution by 80 percent by the year 2050. “Maybe we can lead them,” Pawlenty then said about Congress passing cap and trade, “or even shame them into action. It’ll become de facto national policy.”
GREGORY: Is climate change real?
PAWLENTY: The climate is obviously changing, David. The more interesting question is how much of it is man-made and how much is as a result of natural causes and patterns. Of course, we have seen data manipulation and controversy, or at least debate within the scientific community.
GREGORY: Three years ago you said anyone who questions it is not right.
PAWLENTY: There is no question the climate is changing. The more interesting question is how much of that is man-made versus natural causes. And the way you address it is we should all be in favor of reducing pollution. We need to do it in ways that don’t burden the economy. Cap and trade, I think, would be a disaster in that regard. The real breakthrough here is transformative technologies, moving forward with nuclear, moving forward with the technologies that will give us batteries to move forward with fuel cell technology or hybrid technology for battery-powered cars. We also need to have an appreciation for clean coal.
JR: How far has Pawlenty fallen from bipartisan supporter of climate action to right-wing ideologue? Click here to listen to radio ad that he made with Gov. Janet Napolitano (D-AZ), two years ago, for Environmental Defense (!) urging Congress to take immediate action on global warming.