GOP presidential candidate Tim Pawlenty (R-MN) stopped by the Miami Herald during his “press-palooza” in Florida this week to offer his thoughts on immigration, gay marriage, and the debt ceiling. When it came to global warming, the once-strong proponent of cap-and-trade legislation reiterated that his hard reversal on the policy came from his belief that the science behind climate change is “based on unreliable conclusions.” When asked if he even believed there was “man-made climate change,” Pawlenty informed the Herald — and the climate researcher they checked with — that most, if not all, climate change occurs “because of natural causes”:
Pawlenty: “It’s something we have to look to the science on. The weight of the evidence is that most of it, maybe all of it, is because of natural causes. But to the extent there is some element of human behavior causing some of it — that’s what the scientific debate is about. That’s why we’ve seen all this back and forth between some of those prominent scientists in the world arguing about that very point.”
Q: There is a strong case for man-made climate change, according to a University of Miami climate researcher I’ve spoken to. You don’t agree with him?
Pawlenty: “There’s lots of layers to it. But at least as to any potential man-made contribution to it, it’s fair to say the science is in dispute. There’s a lot of people who say the majority of the scientists think this way. And there’s a minority that way. And you count the number of scientists versus the quality of scientists and the like. But I think it’s fair to say that, as to whether and how much — if any — is attributable to human behavior, there’s dispute and controversy over it….. Cap and trade I thought is a ham-fisted, expensive, job-rui[n]ng economy-stifling approach.”
Incidentally, Pawlenty was once the “driving force” behind the so-called “ham-fisted” cap-and-trade policy when he was Minnesota’s governor. Back-peddling fast from his former position, Pawlenty has chucked actual science out of the window. Unlike the ideologically-driven delusions on whichhe now relies, actual facts do indeed point to human activity as a cause of climate change.