The last three weeks, while many of us took pause for the holidays, the presidential candidates continued to talk about climate change.
In late December, Ohio Gov. John Kasich spoke to the Council on Foreign Relations, where he said he believes human beings contribute to climate change.
“The degree to which? I’m not sure,” he said. “And neither is anyone else quite sure.”
“Just imposing willy-nilly goals and rules that may not even be able to be achieved while displacing people in the workplace is not my idea of how you would handle this issue. I’m a believer in renewables, but I believe in the whole series of energy resources, and I think they need to be exploited,” the governor explained.
After the holidays, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump blasted President Barack Obama for the carbon footprint he leaves by traveling in Air Force One.
“He talks about the carbon footprint, and yet he will fly a very old Air Force One, an old Boeing 747, with the old engines spewing stuff. So he’s got a problem with the carbon footprint.”
“You can’t use hairspray, because hairspray is going to affect the ozone,” Trump continued. “They don’t want me use to use hairspray, they want me to use the pump… I want to use hairspray. They say don’t use hairspray, it’s bad for the ozone.”
For the record, the use of CFCs as an aerosol propellant in household products like hairspray and deodorant was successfully phased out under the Montreal Protocol.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a self-professed climate change skeptic, said as president he would withdraw the United States from a landmark international agreement on climate change, agreed to by 195 nations in Paris earlier this month.
“These are ideologues, they don’t focus on the facts, they won’t address the facts, and what they’re interested [in] instead is more and more government power,” Cruz told a crowd in Tennessee. Cruz questions the science of climate change and chaired a recent Senate hearing on the matter. He disputes that any warming has occurred over the last 18 years.
“[The] facts are, to use Al Gore’s phrase, an inconvenient truth,” Cruz said. “So they set them aside and continue to propose jacking up the cost of millions of Americans’ day to day living. Jacking up your car bill, jacking up your electric bill, jacking up the cost of people who are struggling.”
Also in mid-December, the pack of Republican candidates seeking a bid for the White House grew smaller with the withdrawal of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki from the race. Both candidates called for free enterprise solutions to climate change.
With 24 days until the Iowa caucus, #ClimateEye will keep on the hunt for more climate talk. If you happen to hear a candidate mention the issue, please email our editor at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or #dare2ask the question personally: can free enterprise solve climate change?