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Top 5 Craziest Things GOP Contenders Said on Climate in 2011

By Joe Romm on December 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm

"Top 5 Craziest Things GOP Contenders Said on Climate in 2011"

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http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b231/mumbly_joe/cementshoes1.gifSure, the extremist wing of the GOP has been saying crazy things about climate for a while (see Rep. Shimkus: “Man will not destroy this Earth. This Earth will not be destroyed by a flood”).

But the anti-science wing is now in charge (see John Boehner says on ABC: “The idea that carbon dioxide is a carcinogen that is harmful to our environment is almost comical”).  And it has been able to make climate craziness a litmus test for the Presidency.

Just 3 years ago, the GOP nominee was a climate hawk who campaigned on a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas — and folks like Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney supported climate science and climate action.

Now, even the most semi-rational contenders for the GOP nomination have to tie themselves to the anti-rational Tea Party mantra of deny, deny, delay, delay that will ultimately sink their party and the entire nation, literally and figuratively.

Here, then, are the top 5 craziest things GOP contenders said on climate this year.

NOTE:  I’m grading on a curve.  So if an anti-science person says something anti-science, well, that’s not so crazy.  They have to say something — or a bunch of things — really crazy to make the list.

5. Rick Perry: “Well, I do agree that there is — the science is — is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at — at — at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet, to me, is just — is nonsense. I mean, it — I mean — and I tell somebody, I said, just because you have a group of scientists that have stood up and said here is the fact, Galileo got outvoted for a spell.

4. Michele Bachmann:

  • Manmade climate change is “manufactured science.”
  • What we need to do is pass the mother of all repeal bills, but it’s the repeal bill that will get a job killing regulations. And I would begin with the EPA, because there is no other agency like the EPA. It should really be renamed the job-killing organization of America.”
  • Solyndra “Makes Watergate Look like Child’s Play”
  • The day that the president became president gasoline was $1.79 a gallon. Look at what it is today. Under President Bachmann, you will see gasoline come down below $2 a gallon again. That will happen.”

OK, technically that isn’t one crazy thing, but with Bachmann, it’s the cumulative impact that blows one away.

3. Newt Gingrich: “I’ve said publicly, sitting on the couch with Nancy Pelosi is the dumbest single thing I’ve done in the last few years. But if you notice, I’ve never favored cap and trade, and in fact, I actively testified against it. I was at the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee the same day Al Gore was there to testify for it, I testified against it and through American Solutions we fought it in the Senate and played a major role in defeating it.”

The Washington Post gave Newt a rare upside down Pinocchio for this slice of crazy since, in a February 2007 Interview on PBS’s “Frontline” Gingrich said: “I think if you have mandatory carbon caps combined with a trading system, much like we did with sulfur, and if you have a tax-incentive program for investing in the solutions, that there’s a package there that’s very, very good. And frankly, it’s something I would strongly support.”

2.  Jon Huntsman:  In many respect, Huntsman is the sanest one of the bunch, the one who made the denial of the other contenders front-page news with this tweet:

So it was especially head exploding when he was asked by a conservative blogger if humans contribute to global warming, and he replied:

“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 enough info right now to be able to formulate policies in terms of addressing it overall, primarily because it’s a global issue.”

Yes, he walked that back within 24 hours, but what else could we do but call him crazy for a day?

1.  Mitt Romney:  He is the second most rational GOP contender (remember, we’re grading on a steep curve here) and back in June said,  “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….  And so I think it’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you’re seeing.”

But in late October, after months of campaigning and countless debates with the other contenders, apparently Stockholm Syndrome set in and he said:

My view is that we don’t know what’s causing climate change on this planet. And the idea of spending trillions and trillions of dollars to try to reduce CO2 emissions is not the right course for us.

The man is now at 67% on Intrade to win the nomination, and everyone else is below 10%.  So his crazy counts more. Congrats, Mitt, you are saying just enough crazy things to win the GOP nomination.

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9 Responses to Top 5 Craziest Things GOP Contenders Said on Climate in 2011

  1. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    You have to always remember that the Right represents the shallow end of the human gene pool. They are afflicted, alas, by the Dunning-Kruger phenomenon, and are, thus, too dumb to appreciate just how thick they are, and imagine themselves geniuses. Societies run by this type, the type preferred by capitalism, are inherently self-destructive, as we can see.

    • Rabid Doomsayer says:

      It might even have been you in another time that told me we need to work towards destroying capitalism.

      I can think of no better plan to destroy capitalism than the one put forward by the Republican Party.

      • Chris says:

        Destroy Capitalism? What on Earth for? Capitalism is the best system we have…Now if you are talking about Americas crony capitalist structure…Yes that should go. But saying all Capitalism is bad is asinine and ignorant.

  2. Mike says:

    This is a bit out of context but is very funny in or out of context. I’ll leave to you to find the blog where I found this speech by Congressman Rohrabacher on climate issues, given on December 8, 2011.

    “Many intelligent people believe that CO2 represents 10, 20, or even 30 percent of our atmosphere.”

    I wonder if he could name a few just so we see who he regards as intelligent.

  3. sailrick says:

    GOP congressman Rohrbacher suggests trees cause global warming

    Speaker of the House Boehner says CO2 emissions nothing to worry about because humans breathe CO2 in and out. Brilliant.

    Michelle Bachman says there have been no scientific studies showing CO2 is harmful.

    I guess she missed the ~10,000 (up to about 2006) published research papers that show that CO2 causes global warming.

    GOP Rep Fred Upton says there can be no global warming because God won’t allow it to happen.

    And of course Sen Inhofe says its all a big hoax.
    Sure Senator, the entire world scientific community is just trying to get more grant money.

    Rep Joe Barton (R-TX) describes Christopher Monckton “as being generally regarded as one of the most knowledgeable, if not the most knowledgeable, experts on the skeptic side.”

    That was how he introduced Monckton at a House committee hearing.

  4. Peter Mizla says:

    The modern republican party is something that sensible republicans of the past like Ike, and even Nixon would be appalled at.

    They represent capitalism gone ‘Amok’. They bring out the worst attributes of the free enterprise system – cronyism, dishonesty, rampant greed and materialism, nihilism, and a sort of plutocracy the Soviet Politburo would admire.

    These republicans one and all disregard the laws of Physics, which in the end will likely destroy capitalism as we know it. Sadly, however the destruction of an economic belief is not all that will go over a cliff.

  5. Mike Roddy says:

    It’s pretty obvious what happened. Either McConnell or someone from RNC got in touch with every candidate and said “You want to get oil money for your campaign? Well, get with the program, then”.

    End of story, and a truly pathetic chapter in American history. This makes Teapot Dome and Watergate look harmless.

  6. Ken Barrows says:

    Hasn’t Ron Paul said something crazy about climate change?

  7. EDpeak says:

    To Ken who asked about Ron Paul..he is all over the place (I can even find you a quote by Sarah Palin admitting urgency of global warming, back when it was convenient for her to get natural gas cash for her state..) and in some quote he says some GW is happening, and it appears “some” of it is human caused but “who knows?” how much, and of course the genius of the all-knowing always perfect ‘market’ is the solution, never government policies..but other times he’s much worse:

    http://vote-tx.org/politicianissue.aspx?state=tx&id=txpaulrone&issue=busenvironment

    quotes this:

    9 “[The Copenhagen treaty on climate change] can’t help the economy. It has to hurt the economy and it can’t possibly help the environment because they’re totally off track on that. It might turn out to be one of the biggest hoaxes of all history, this whole global warming terrorism that they’ve been using, but we’ll have to just wait and see, but it cannot be helpful. It’s going to hurt everybody.” – Ron Paul on the Alex Jones Show, Nov. 5, 2009

    Grist quotes this one too:

    “in an interview on Fox News on Nov. 4, 2009, Paul slid still further down the skeptic slope: “the greatest hoax I think that has been around for many, many years if not hundreds of years has been this hoax on the environment and global warming.” ”

    Ron Paul is a DANGEROUS person since he lures many people in with his anti-war stances but is among the most extremist advocates of “free” (read: corporate run) “market” economics with the destruction of government when government is there to serve the ordinary person. 100% pure corporate feudalism (with lip service to small businesses as usual) but we see now it’s worse: he’s also happy to flip and flop and use the most _demagogic_ appeals to lies and misinformation

    ..stooping just as low if not lower on the “hoax” and “terrorism” (his word) of actually admitting the science and trying to have public policy responses to the grave danger of climate change – climate destabilization