Mitt Romney: Climate change is real, but addressing it would be wrong


80 Responses to “Mitt Romney: Climate change is real, but addressing it would be wrong”

  1. nixiebunny says:

    In the big scheme of things, it’s not a problem for the Earth if the climate changes, as it has done many times in the last four billion years. It just affects us humans, as we tend to build houses near the shorelines. So Romney’s position is admirable for allowing him to see the big picture.

    • Stefan Jones says:

       Wow, what an incredible piece of sophistry.

    • SoItBegins says:

      Your attempt to take the long view is admirable, but I’d prefer a solution where us humans come out relatively unscathed.

    • Guillermo says:

      it affects almost all life on earth and for us it causes many more and worst problems than just not being able to build houses near the shorelines

    • nixiebunny says:

       Three sarcasm-blind Boingers and counting…

      • JeffersonJ says:

        Sadly, the sarcasm in your post was overlooked because it is a vastly more coherent argument on the subject than we typically hear from the American right.

        • nixiebunny says:

          True. The only sarcastic thing I wrote is that Romney is able to see the big picture. The rest is unadulterated truth.

          • Angus_Mesmer says:

             After that “Communist in the White House” number, it’s hard to tell what it sarcasm and what is a deranged politician’s view. Most people’s meters are on the fritz.

          • Gatto says:

            That seems a very narrow view. We are not just making things bad for people: we are reducing the flexibility of the biosphere. It *is* possible for our species to permanently reduce the complexity and richness of life on Earth, and we may well be on the way to doing so.  Take a look around the solar system and see how actually fragile and special our planet is.

      • Gerald Mander says:

         I’m not sure that it’s the rest of the band that’s out of step here.

    • RedShirt77 says:

       Yeah. Like George Carlin once said.  Don’t worry about saving the planet,  It  will be fine, Its humans that are going away.  THe earth will shake us off like the common cold.

      • Martijn says:

        Even us humans probably won’t disappear (other than that everybody dies eventually), but the wars and upheaval in the mean time are going to be incredibly costly.

        Of course the people profiting from that will be a couple of warmongering companies with their fingers deep in the GOP.

        • RedShirt77 says:

           Survival of the fittest.

          • Gerald Mander says:

            Wouldn’t you like to think that the species that invented altruism might also apply it? Or do you think that the other strands in the ecological web that are collapsing as a result of our lack of foresight somehow don’t matter?

          • wysinwyg says:

             We didn’t invent altruism.  That would be the wasps.

          • RedShirt77 says:

             >Gerald ManderOne would hope, but the reality we have gotten this far not by survival of the fittest individual but by survival of the fittest clan, and with negotiated peace between clans to form states.  The 1% are essentially a clan these days, and they are pretty damn fit.  They will survive global warming and therefore don’t seem to give a shit about the rest of us.  I am afraid Negotiations have been at a stand still.  A few more summers like this one will change that though.

      • Antinous / Moderator says:

        And the fact that we’ll send half the species on the planet to an early grave?

    • Ipo says:

       Here, have some food …

    • Yeah, and since we’ll all be dead in 100 years, why not have a nuclear war?

    • BillStewart2012 says:

      The Republican party machine opposes teaching evolution because opposing it brings in some specific voting blocks and teaches the public to distrust science.  But they oppose teaching about climate change because their corporate sponsors don’t want any legislation that will affect their businesses, and the party takes that much more seriously.

  2. jmzero says:

    There’s parts of what he said that I actually agree with.  Naturally I’d go further; I think it makes a lot of sense for government to do stimulus spending for new, clean energy production and technologies – it helps the problem (possibly advancing technology far enough to approach a real solution, but at very least helps), creates good jobs, fosters solid industries for the future, and generally just seems like a good idea.  Sell it as “like the space race, but for energy” or something (America leading the world, something, something, something), and I think most Americans would get behind it.

    Anyways, I like it a lot better than the old position – and it’s probably as far left on this as he could have really gone.  Obviously it could be better, but this is good, good news I think.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

       This could go hand and hand with maintaining and improving infrastructure, as a modern jobs program and stimulus.  If only…

    • Brainspore says:

      Sell it as “like the space race, but for energy”

      I like that idea, but there were actually quite a few Americans who were outraged by the amount we spent on the first space race, too.

      • Uncle Geo says:

        Then I’m sure they never used or benefitted from the spinoff tech that fired the economy of the 70s and 80s. Heck they probably never drank Tang either.

        • Brainspore says:

          We all benefit from an educated populace too, but that doesn’t stop some people from bitching about having to pay for public schools. (“Just look at those smug teachers with their fancy-pantsy living wage and dental plans! It’s SOCIALISM.”)

    • Uncle Geo says:

      What Romney and the GOP say and what they do are two different things (as usual). This new angle makes for fine public talking points but as BillStewart says “their corporate sponsors don’t want any legislation” and there won’t be. 

      So just what is it that’s encouraging about what Romney said? Research funding? Does anyone seriously believe the GOP’d approve any significant govbucks going to any energy industry other than oil, coal and natural fracking? They beefed all over about Solyndra which was not a failed technology but a victim of falling energy prices.FYI, Science Debate is in large part run by Minnesota’s Shawn Otto who has written one of the best books on the current miserable relationship between science and politics, Fool Me Twice:

  3. MB44 says:

    I admire the Romney/Ryan campaign for keeping any shred of truth out of any of their messaging so far. It has, by far, been the most consistent that they have been on any issue.

     Complete Commitment To Complete Bullshit
             Romney 2012

  4. timquinn says:

    This would be the “moderate Republican” stand on climate change.

  5. Doobie says:

    what is really bizarre is that during his time as governor he proposed applying a higher tax to vehicles that had higher emissions and lower MPG in order to encourage people to buy less polluting, more efficient vehicles.  This proposal was shot down by the left-leaning state legislature.

  6. Navin_Johnson says:

    So I oppose steps like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system that would handicap the American economy and drive manufacturing jobs away

    Bain Closes U.S. Plant, Forces Workers to Train Chinese Replacements

  7. Ryan Lenethen says:

    As much as I think that whole party is a bunch of crazies, Mitt does have a point regarding China. This is the same rational regarding koyoto.

    We do not live in a vaccume, and without the big developing countries participation, all you do is restrict yourself economically, for likely marginal gains (if any).

    On the other side of the coin, that is how all the developed nations became economic powerhouses using cheap energy. It’s not exactly fair to say “well we’re all rich now, but see that it had evviromental impacts, so sorry too bad, you arn’t allowed to do that now”

    As much as it is an enviromental problem, it is more of an international political problem. Currenly deadlock, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon.

    I don’t see anything more than symbolic ever happing in this regard anytime in the near future.

    • Navin_Johnson says:

      You’re right that it’s not fair, which is why a lot of those poorer developing nations would like aid from the rich ones when it comes to sustainable energy.  Of course, those rich countries either don’t want to pay, or are fighting about how to pay.  I remember that the U.S. shot down a proposed international financial transaction tax.  Having said that, despite running on dirty energy, China is spending billions *a month* on clean energy, which dwarfs U.S. and European investment.  When people start wanting massive amounts of clean energy products, they’ll be ready, the U.S. not so much.

      • Knowles2 says:

        Romney is selling himself as a brilliant politician that will create million of jobs, then he should also know that buying technology of your rival can be an extremely costly business transaction an cost even more to leap ahead of them again. 

    • Martijn says:

      If everybody keeps waiting for the other to take the first step, we’ll never get anywhere. At the moment, the US really is the biggest problem with respect to CO2 emissions. The average Chinese doesn’t have nearly as many cars as the average American.

      But when they do, well, let’s hope we’ve got much cleaner cars by then.

    • happyindc says:

      Romney has staked out a do-nothing position. The only thing he supports is more study, which just means more delay. I agree that he’s right about China and other nations. But if we don’t take a leadership position than very little will be done.  At what point do we act? When the polar cap melts? 

      • Knowles2 says:

        The Republicans can be so contradictory in nature, 
        Condoleezza Rice  said that America should lead from the front and yet on this issue the Republican seem happy to let the US  stand still and do nothing or even worst than nothing an reverse what ever movement forward that has been made by Obama. 

    • The US does plenty of unilateral things. Even in wars when they invite partners along it is only so they can claim to be part of an international coalition.

  8. LennStar says:

    The Problem is, that it is propably too late already. We are going along the worst estimates if you look at the latest numbers.  It seems that only quite radical measures can keep the temperature under the “magical” +2Celsius which would mean self-increasing feedback.
    That happens when you say “No, that is not possible” for a generation now.

  9. Alan Olsen says:

    If this was a football game, the Republicans would be penalized for Delay of Game.

  10. buildspirit says:

    The more people generate their own power, water and food, the less this will be an issue. Plus with the price of them at the moment, the very real and tangible benefit is there to do so.

    It takes the power or focus from people who like to talk a lot about it and do nothing, and puts it in your hands. With the rising price of most fuel, it only makes sense to look for alternatives on that side of the coin also; best estimate is this will be a natural progression away from it being an issue. Provided people take the power into their own hands sooner.

    • RedShirt77 says:

       Umm, no.  If every person on earth lived on enough land to produce their own food, we would have to cut down every forest and probably populate half of mars.  Micro power generation has some bennifits, but food production is better done en mas.

      • Knowles2 says:

        Agree food is best done en mass, but if people got even a small garden, growing food can be stored for a while, such as berries, onions, herbs and there others does make sense and help you lower your own living costs a bit, it also relaxing, an it a good way teach kids about where food come from.

         Having a few chickens for eggs can be cost efficient,  a friend of my got two an they produce between 6 and 12 eggs a week an they do not cost much at all to maintain. Beyond that large scale farms are best, especially for stuff like cereals,  and even growing food in green houses. 

      • wysinwyg says:

         I think  it’s exactly the opposite.  There’s…what…hundreds of thousands of acres currently wasted on suburban lawns and golf courses?  Plenty of land for food.  Growing your own food: plausible.

        “generating” your own water?  Umm, that is not how water works.  Digging a well is difficult and very labor-intensive; rivers and lakes are great but you need to live near them and you need to purify the water somehow.  Water is pretty much always going to be a community deal, not an individual thing.  Catching rainwater or condensation might work in some climates but certainly not all.

        Micropower…think you’re overestimating how easy and useful micropower would be.  You’re not going to run a fridge off a hand-built turbine whereas a commercial turbine is not something you can build and service yourself.  Even for indoor lighting you’ll presumably need energy storage.  Good luck building your own batteries from scratch.  Your best bet is lead-acid batteries, which are incredibly heavy, chock full of toxic chemicals, and have a very low energy density to boot.

  11. Teller says:

    I like jmzero’s concept of “the space race, but for energy.” I think a cleaner environment is an achievable goal locally and outward. To me, this type of approach is realistic, compared to thinking our 300-million person country alone can stop climate change for a 7-billion person world that won’t, or can’t, participate.

  12. Audio7 says:

    With Willard this climate issue stance too shall change.

  13. liquidstar says:

    I’m not sure what “climate change” is supposed to mean, but global warming is certainly well under way.

    • I use the phrase “climate change” because I think it does a much better job of conveying what’s going on. The Earth, as a whole, is warming, but that doesn’t necessarily describe what’s happening at a local level. Change is a better and more accurate way to help people understand the the impacts that affect them, compared to “warming” which implies that the only result is an increase in temperature. 

    • RedShirt77 says:

       We had to stop saying that because stupid people got confused every time there was a cold day or a lot of snow.

      Really we should call in Climactic Warming.  So as to say what it is, WARMING, but to be clear that is isn’t evenly distributed across time and geography..

  14. foobar says:

    They’ve passed through Denial into Anger. I look forward to the Bargaining stage, where Mittens attempts to outsource the environment to China.

    • jandrese says:

      Why not?  We already outsource a lot of our pollution to China.

      When people complain about how regulation is sending jobs overseas, this is what they’re talking about.  They aren’t allowed to poison the air/land/water in their home country and doing it cleanly would be more expensive, so they go to a place where they can pollute all they want with just a quick easy bribe to the local officials.

  15. Navin_Johnson says:

    Ha, A Romney campaign ad popped up in the advertisement area.

  16. Otter says:

    Also in the Romney Plan: “Unemployment is real but addressing it would be wrong.” “Gun violence is real but addressing it would be wrong.” “My running mate’s prevarications are real, but addressing them would be wrong.”

    Come on. This is the party that perfected cognitive dissonance. They can do this all day.

  17. andygates says:

    You say space race, I say Manhattan Project, but yes: dumping a hill of money, experts and resource into epic future tech until the job is done should be a human priority.  The Dash for Fusion! And for the “because China” folks, licence the damn things: save the world AND make a hill of money. 

  18. Pedantic Douchebag says:

    We humans have had a good run. Let’s see how the bees or octopuses do.

  19. willu says:

    Um, this may be a stupid question, but where are the questions and answers?  I went to the link in the article (the link ending in debate12) and got a page with “recent news” up the top and a declaration that they’re a non-profit lower down.  There are no questions and answers on that page.

    The top news item looks relevant, but if you follow the trail it takes you back to the same place, strongly implying that I should see something there that I’m not.  I can’t find the questions and answers anywhere.  Has it been taken down because of traffic?  Is it on another page, and in that case is there a direct link?  Is it geo-blocked (I’m in Aus)?

  20. Purplecat says:

    Good to see that the standard procedure is still in place-

    From Yes, Prime Minister (1986)

    Bernard: What if the Prime Minister insists we help them?
    Sir Humphrey: Then we follow the four-stage strategy.
    Bernard: What’s that?
    Sir Richard: Standard Foreign Office response in a time of crisis.
    Sir Richar: In stage one we say nothing is going to happen.
    Sir Humphrey: Stage two, we say something may be about to happen, but we should do nothing about it.
    Sir Richard: In stage three, we say that maybe we should do something about it, but there’s nothing we *can* do.
    Sir Humphrey: Stage four, we say maybe there was something we could have done, but it’s too late now.

    • Shashwath T.R. says:

      Stage 2 unlocked!

    • wysinwyg says:

      Interestingly, when one argues with climate change deniers one can go through all four stages in about 20 minutes.  They go from “It’s all a scam!” to “It’s not our fault!” to “Fuel prices!” without a pause as if they were mutually consistent arguments.

  21. David Riley says:

    This just in – Romney adopts stupid position and fudges facts. Shocker!

  22. Aaron H says:

    Is Mitt’s middle name actually “TLDR”?

    Now I know how people feel when they read stuff I write. :(

  23. According to Romney, Obama did the wrong thing by “trying to pick winners and losers.”  His response?

    “As president, I will focus government resources on research programs that advance the development of knowledge, and on technologies with widespread application and potential to serve as the foundation for private sector innovation and commercialization.”

    Shorter version:  “I’ll only pick winners.”  What a dumbass.

  24. Mantissa128 says:

    1) Deny climate change is happening.
    2) Okay, climate change is happening, but humans aren’t causing it.
    3) Alright, humans are causing climate change but it’s too expensive to do anything about it.
    4) Okay, the effects of climate change are more expensive to deal with than just addressing it, but we can’t raise taxes.
    5) Why didn’t the Democrats do something about this sooner?

  25. Lemoutan says:

    … the primary effect of unilateral action by the U.S. … will be to shift industrial activity overseas to nations … less environmentally friendly. That result may make environmentalists feel better

    Good grief. Underneath all the reasoning, he seems to believe that what drives environmentalists is some kind of anti-Americanism. Why the hell would environmentalists feel better that it was those durn furreners messin’ up the world? He still doesn’t get it, and is just saying what he thinks people want to hear.

    • wysinwyg says:

       He’s telling conservatives what they do want to hear.  He doesn’t care what environmentalists think because they weren’t voting for him anyway.  Conservative rhetoric has been insinuating for decades that environmentalism is a socialist plot to bring down the USA, so this is part of a long-standing propaganda tradition.

      Incidentally, I think they call it “environmentalism” instead of “conservationism” because the latter sounds like something conservatives could actually get behind.

  26. Baldhead says:

    He’d rather fail to try than try and fail.

  27. Damian Barajas says:

    I’d just like to say Maggie that Romney didn’t actually say that he believed in climate change. Not while he can conceivably back peddle out of every statement depending on who calls him on it.

    Human activity “Contributes”
    “Policymakers should consider the risk of negative consequences”

    I sounds like he is trying to fool people into thinking he does believe in global warming.

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