The EFM Feature
Global Warming?  Really?

I’ve had several readers email and say, in a rather despairing tone, “Why did Mitt say that people are contributing to global warming?  Doesn’t he know that he’s advancing a lefty hoax?”  I’ll be the first to admit that his comments caught my eye as well.  And I’ll go further: I wish he hadn’t said it.

But, in the end, it won’t matter.

Before I say why it won’t matter, let me put my own global warming cards on the table.  Consider me in the Michael Crichton camp.  Read his brilliant lecture at Cal Tech and consider this clarifying statement:

I want to pause here and talk about this notion of consensus, and the rise of what has been called consensus science. I regard consensus science as an extremely pernicious development that ought to be stopped cold in its tracks. Historically, the claim of consensus has been the first refuge of scoundrels; it is a way to avoid debate by claiming that the matter is already settled. Whenever you hear the consensus of scientists agrees on something or other, reach for your wallet, because you’re being had.

Let’s be clear: the work of science has nothing whatever to do with consensus. Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world.

In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus. There is no such thing as consensus science. If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus. Period.

Read it again.  And again.  Memorize it.  Crichton goes on to essentially argue that when it comes to phenomenally complex systems (like global climate), predictions are fraught with uncertainty and hypotheses are difficult to test.  Could humans be causing global warming?  Maybe.  Is the globe actually warming?  Maybe.  Can we do anything about it? I have no idea.  Should we enact sweeping economic and cultural reforms to address a crisis that may or may not exist and that we may or may not be able to influence when those same reforms won’t also be enacted by China, India, or virtually any other emerging economy?

Of course not.  And that’s why Mitt’s comments are functionally meaningless.

Does anyone in their right mind believe that Mitt Romney will risk our economic growth and our recovery from a recession for half-baked cap and trade schemes?  Does anyone think he’d follow Obama administration practices in essentially shutting off our ability to develop new domestic oil reserves?  Our nation’s recovery from recession is Mitt’s priority, not following a lefty environmental agenda.

Consider me slightly to the right of my friend Hugh Hewitt’s position on this issue (and Mitt’s).  I’m simply not willing to say with certainty that the globe is warming in any meaningful way (I don’t count short-term, tiny fluctuations one way or the other as “meaningful” nor do I trust our ability to track the temperatures accurately) or that humans have caused or contributed to that warming.  I think there are reasonable — even strong — arguments to the contrary, but no one on the Republican side is going to enact the left’s environmental agenda.  Elect Mitt and that agenda dies.  Heck, it’s already dying even with Obama in office.

If pressed, I’d agree with Steven Hayward that Mitt’s statement offered “aid and comfort to a dying agenda.”  But I’d say that aid and comfort was so small as to be irrelevant.  President Mitt Romney will exploit America’s energy reserves and will not be a tool of the environmentalist left.  When Mitt is the nominee, the environmentalist left will oppose him with all the money and rhetoric and organizing tools at their disposal.  Doubt me?  Read Think Progress’s attack on Mitt’s environmental policy.

In short, Mitt will put our economy first.  And that’s the right call.


Comments and Discussion

Evangelicals for Mitt provides comments as a way to engage in a public and respectiful discussion about articles and issues. Any comment may be removed by the editors for violating common decency or tempting flames.

17 Responses to Mitt and “Global Warming”

  1. Noelle says:

    I am inclined to believe that man’s affect on the climate is minimal. I’m no scientist, so I don’t really know either. Where I do agree with Romney on this issue (as can be read in his book No Apology), is that we could spend all the money we have, and make practically no difference. I like his “no regrets” policy in dealing with so-called climate change. Don’t do anything that would put us at a disadvantage, and only pursue policies that contribute to our goal of energy security. I think as stewards of this planet it is our responsibility to treat it well and use its resources wisely.

  2. Nate says:

    Great response David. Count me as another not happy Governor Romney made this statement. He easily could have expressed skepticism in regards to the science in light of the most recent climate study manipulated results scandal, but he chose to pander or triangulate a bit more to the independents. It is unsettling to see and frustrating when you know it is statements like this that continue to hack off much of the base.
    I do agree that he is “giving aid and comfort to a dying agenda” and that he has Zero intention of putting more handcuffs on our economy by buying into the “Cap and Trade” scam.
    He is coming off so well in the recent interviews he has been doing and I look forward to the debates. It will be clear, he is the man for this time. No knock on the other candidates. They simply don’t have the skill set he does and those particular skills are what we need most.

  3. Joe Lyman says:

    What an exceptional quote by Crichton. This is the kind of clarity that the left fears most: putting emphasis on the actual issue (junk science). Thank you for posting it.
    As for Mitt, I think it’s obvious where his priorities lie. With him, we know what we’re going to get when it comes to economic policy. We know what we’re going to get when it comes to our national debt, unemployment, and a variety of other top-tier issues. This nonsense about global warming is a non-issue, grasped at and paraded by the left to distract from the enormous potential in a candidate that scares them stiff.
    The choice is very, very clear when it comes to Mitt vs. Obama, and this fluff will be as you said: completely irrelevant

  4. Liz says:

    Wow. This is one responsive site. OK now, how about the support of ethanol subsidies? That’s another troublesome stance.

  5. Matt says:

    David, thanks for posting this. I have always wondered how so many people could get whipped up into such a frenzy by the idea that unless we do something now, the earth will melt like a crayon on the dash of a hot car in Arizona. The planet is so big. We are so small. How does something so small even begin to have an influence on something as grand as the planet? I truly hope you are right about it being about the economy in the end…..and I hope Mitt doesn’t answer any more questions about global warming.

  6. Jim Tills says:

    Mitt has come out openly and forcefully against Cap & Trade (tax) on several occasions, so I did not understand his comment about persons contributing to global warming. I do not know if he misunderstood the question and its implications or whether he was thinking something along the lines of “…if one believes in global warming, then, yes, breathing out carbon dioxide could possibly be a minor cause of the miniscule change in temperature of the planet.” However, its clear to me that Mitt would never be an “Al Gore” type of advocate and instead would be diametrically opposed to the stupidity of global weather change that goes from fear of return of the ice age to fear of polar ice cap melting. Recent data about the melting ice cap has many persons alarmed but is inconsequential compared to cap and tax. Mitt understands this and has spoken against it forcefully. Dems and Republicans seeking the Republican nomination will jump on any faux pas comments, no matter how inconsequential they are. In the coming debate, hopefully it will come up and Mitt can put this minor issue to rest and show his true conservative values to everyone.

  7. Evelio Perez says:

    Gov. Romney has also surprised me with the earth warming comments but………..I sometimes wonder if this is not a cleverly planned tactic to distance himself from the remaining group of Republican nominees.
    Very good article David.
    Nate, I do agree that Romney is doing awesome in his appearances, so well that Dick Morris has called Romney’s public apperances as”Reaganesque”in stature and I just happen to agree…..he is ready!

  8. Liz says:

    Mr. Santorum came out with a clear and accurate opinion on global warming fraud. So, if that were the dominant issue…..but it’s not.

  9. Mike Sage says:

    Please read my explanation of Romney’s global warming stance, which is buried pretty deep in the article, “Confessions of a Tea Party Romniac” at AmericaNeedsMitt(dot)com (URL above) It does highlight the dangers of complex issues and explanations in an MTV soundbite world or 140-character tweets. Do check it out and let me know what you think, and if you like it, pass it along, thanks :)

  10. Stan says:

    Mitt probably learned from boy scouts that: We need to leave the campground better than when we got it. Don’t leave a bill for our children and grandchildren. Use what we need but clean up after ourselves. Now isn’t that practical.

  11. Liz says:

    Someone as intelligent and detailed as Mitt Romney should know better than to buy into global warming. I will read Mike Sage’s suggested explanation in hopes of reconciling the inconsistency.

  12. Stan says:

    Liz you can’t believe that Mitt Romney is going to stop drilling for oil or stop digging for coal do you? 75% of the nation believes that there is global warming. Even he said he wasn’t sure what all the facts are but if there is global warming than we are going to be the leader, the innovators, the entrepreneur of green technology and the jobs will stay here in the US. But Mitts just talking because you know and I know he isn’t going to stop off shore drilling and build nuclear power plants etc. Listen to his explanation about global warming and than decide not what some liberal democrat had spinned it.

  13. Lorin, Physicist says:

    When Mitt says “CO2 causes global warming” this can be a fact and also a meaningless statement by itself . For it to have significance, one must put numbers on the effect and list what other factors are involved. For example, clapping your hands causes some global warming, but it is of course insignificant. We don’t need a law to have people not clap their hands for fear of a global catastrophe. We hear the alarmist say that CO2 generation warms the earth, that CO2 warming causes water vapor increase in the atmospher (the multiplier effect), and the two of them blanket the earth (and they exaggerate the effect), thus causing significant global warming. What they fail to mention is that cosmic rays from the sun, most prevelant during low sunspot cycles, introduce ionized nucleation sites in the atmosphere and thus enhance the cloud formations. The clouds shield the earth from the sun, causing the earth to cool. At the present time, the sunspot effect is dominating the CO2 warming effect, and for the last ten years we thus have had global cooling. (typos corrected)

    • Laurie says:

      Lorin makes some interesting comments. She has her own theory. The vast majority of scientist who study climate agree that the earth is warming and at an alarming rate. The theories they have developed and tested via modeling past data ,point to human activity as a major factor. Consensus in science as in any field indicates the agreement of many. sigh. The extreme weather, floods, droughts, the changes in my local weather just in a few decades push me to have climate change at the top of my issues list.
      Hard to understand why anyone would choose to ignore what is happening, and call it “fluff”(by Joe Lyman) – it won’t be good for the economy, that is for sure. An earlier comment ended with “I think as stewards of this planet it is our responsibility to treat it well and use its resources wisely.”(by Noelle) – I agree and wish this great country would lead the world in that effort.

  14. Pingback: Mitt Romney on Global Warming: Troubling On the EPA | NetRight Daily

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  16. Opie says:

    People, remember in order to win this election, one has to be more of a moderate. No one is going to win by only winning the Republican vote – one has to win the Independent vote too, and many of the Independents are moderates who mostly went for Obama last Presidential election. I am a scientist who studies the earth using satellite images of the earth, and I have read over 700 articles on global warming and I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt the global warming has been going on since the earth emerged from the Little Ice age towards the middle of the 1800s. Global warning has NOTHING (or so little) to do with humans that we could spend ourselves into bankruptcy and still do nothing to change global warming (money is much better spent preparing for mitigation of natural weather events). Mitt’s move was very wise in that he moved many moderates who were sitting on the fence into his camp because they are concerned about the environment, and feel to vote Republican would be a vote against the environment (or their religion in some cases). Romney is clearly a MODERATE when it comes to global warming who will be concerned about the environment, but IS NOT going to allow a radical environmentalist agenda drive the US into the poor house. Mitt is taking votes from Obama and neutralizing an Obama issues to take more of the moderate vote, so just relax and know the Romney knows what he is doing and he is most certainly not an environmental nut case.

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