Mitt Romney says one of the biggest challenges facing the country is climate change and that global solutions are needed to combat it.He said this in a speech last night to an investment management conference in Salt Lake City. He made the same point in a speech in California on Monday.
He's a Republican with presidential ambitions, so I don't know what the hell's gotten into him.
Romney's done a flip-flop-flip on this issue:
For Romney, this is his second about-face on climate change. In his 2010 book, No Apology, he called human activity a "contributing factor" to melting ice caps. And in the run-up to the 2012 Republican primaries, Romney backed a reduction in emissions to curb anthropogenic global warming. "I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer," he told the Manchester Union-Leader in 2011. "And...I believe that humans contribute to that. I don't know how much our contribution is to that, because I know there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past, but I believe that we contribute to that. 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."No, it doesn't matter that Senate Republicans just voted to acknowledge the reality of climate change, because, as I said last night, they aren't acknowledging that climate change is any more than a natural variation, and they're not acknowledging that it's a problem (and some are portraying an acknowledgment of climate change as a recognition of the fact that the weather changes).
But as the 2012 campaign evolved, Romney reversed course. He said that he opposed curbing carbon dioxide emissions. He declared, "We don't know what's causing climate change on this planet." Instead, he pledged to increase coal production and ramp up oil exploration. At the Republican convention in Tampa, he turned climate change into a punch line. "I'm not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet," he remarked during his nomination speech....
Sorry, but Romney simply can't get the 2016 Republican nomination if he's saying that climate change is a problem that needs to be dealt with. Add this to his dreadful numbers in a new Washington Post/ABC poll -- the supposedly electable moderate trails Hillary Clinton by 15 points (though Clinton also has double-digit leads over Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Chris Christie, and Mike Huckabee) -- and Romney is toast for 2016.
Okay, maybe not -- maybe the poll numbers will change, and (much more important) maybe he'll flip-flop again on the climate. (Would you put that past him?) He'll have to, because this is going to be a litmus test in the 2016 primaries. And he's failing it.