Memphis, History & Politics

Thursday, June 30, 2011

First Anti-Environment Presidential Nominee

For the first time ever, the Republican Party appears all but certain to nominate a candidate hostile to the environment. The field has made a complete break with past Republican presidential candidates in uniformly running against environmental protection policies. What makes this especially amazing is that it is not a reflection of any general change in attitude among Republican voters. As a group, they continue to support strong environmental protection. Nevertheless, four of the candidates or likely candidates, Pawlenty, Roney, Gingrich and Huntsman, have recently changed their positions. Gingrich, in particular, has made such a switch that the pro-environment positions he held and even published in a book, he has completely disavowed. he has called for the elimination of the EPA.
The driving force appears to be a sudden change in the views of republican voters about climate change. Although neither scientific data nor the opinion of the world's top scientists have changed, 96% believe that global warming is real and is caused, in part, by human activity, a large number of self-identified Republicans have chosen in the change their belief on the subject. That number is driven almost entirely by self-identified members of the Tea Party. 70% of whom do not even believe the data that global warming exists, let alone that it is caused by human activity.


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