This week in climate change, reporting from my new modified digs as I recuperate from ankle and rotator cuff surgeries, the GOP field grew a little thinner post Iowa caucus with the withdrawal of Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Rand Paul, and Sen. Rick Santorum from the race. (Click the ex candidates’ names to read their best in climate change quotes.)
In other news from the remaining nine Republican candidates, Dr. Ben Carson defended his position on climate change at a town hall meeting.
“I don’t subscribe to the politicization of the environment, because that’s what leads to things like the Clean Power Plan,” Carson said. “The EPA has said that if we implement every aspect of the Clean Power Plan, it will lower the temperature of the Earth by 0.05 degrees Fahrenheit that’s the benefit. The cost is billions of dollars and millions of jobs. That doesn’t make any sense, because that is ideologically driven.”
Surging Texas Sen. Ted Cruz was confronted by a victim of the Texas floods, who told the senator, “climate change is not a political football. It’s a personal nightmare.” She went on to challenge Cruz’s arguments that satellite data do not support evidence of warming.
“I understand there are scientists with political agendas,” Cruz said in his defense. “They don’t get to own the data and evidence.”
Former Florida governor Jeb Bush told New Hampshire voters that “global warming is real, the climate is changing… and man has had some impact on that.”
“I’m not a denier,” Bush said to applause. “I think conservatives lose ground when we don’t embrace technology and science. Why wouldn’t we want to embrace the things that enhance our lives?”
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said, “I’m a candidate in this race who has said I believe climate change is real and I believe human activity contributes to it. So now, what do we do is the question.”
Christie explained the approach they took in New Jersey. “We [broadened] the way we develop our electricity with an eye toward making sure that we protect our environment. So 53 percent of New Jersey’s electricity comes from nuclear power. Nuclear power doesn’t add to climate change at all. We’ve operated those nuclear reactors in the most densely populated state in America safely for four decades.”
“Listen everybody, Three Mile Island was a long time ago and the technology is much better and you need to get over it,” he added.
Christie went on to describe New Jersey’s investments in solar power and natural gas, promising to give states options as president.