Home Energy and Environment Why I’m Sorta Glad Jon Huntsman Flip-Flopped on Climate Science

Why I’m Sorta Glad Jon Huntsman Flip-Flopped on Climate Science


Republicans DebatePresidential candidate Jon Huntsman might be best known for tweeting his support for the science of evolution and climate change. But at a blogger event today at the polluter-funded Heritage Foundation, TPM reports Huntsman was flip-flopping his way back to the GOP presidential pack’s consensus science denial:

Jon Huntsman attended a packed blogger sit down at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday. TPM’s Evan McMorris-Santoro attended, pressing the GOP presidential candidate about his position on climate change.

In August, Huntsman acknowledged the broad body of science pointing to climate change. Seated at an elite conservative think tank, however, Huntsman played a different tune, saying climate scientists “owe us more” information before we can decide if climate change is real.

“I think there’s probably more debate to be played out within the scientific community,” he said.

Obviously, it can’t be considered a good thing when the leaders of a major political party are required to reject mainstream science. But then again, it wasn’t exactly helping the scientific cause to have Huntsman be the only GOP candidate in the field to fully accept climate science … while polling at 1%. And it was crazy to see reporters overlooking Huntsman’s extremist plan to raise taxes on seniors, veterans & the poor to fund huge tax cuts for the 1%, calling him “moderate” solely based on his support for science.

What IS heartening is that the Republican field’s climate science denial may actually be turning some voters into climate science believers. A Reuters/Ipsos poll showed the public’s awareness of climate threats up in recent months. Meanwhile, majorities of Republican voters continue to say the world’s temperature is going up, and that it’s partly or mostly due to human activities. And a new Pew poll shows the GOP primary race hurting the party among independents, with 29% taking a dimmer view of the party, compared to just 10% with a more favorable view (the unmoved 61% is probably a testament to just how few voters are paying attention yet).

So do I wish Huntsman had stuck to climate reality? Sure. But his abandonment of the truth says a lot more about his own desperation to get in lockstep with an out-of-touch GOP field than it does about climate science.

  • and depressing. Republicans have become the outright know-nothing party, reveling in their ignorance and despising science, empirical evidence, fact, etc. Did I mention appalling?

  • Venu

    “I say because of that, you know, I’m not a physicist, I’m not a scientist. I tend to defer to those who do it for a living and say I’d be prepared to take it out of the political milieu and put it in the scientific milieu. But because there is — there are questions about the validity of the science, evidenced by one university over in Scotland recently, I think the onus is on the scientific community to provide more in the way of information — to help clarify the situation, that’s all. But do I defer to science and those who happen to do this for a living on this issue? Yeah I do, as I do on issues like cancer, for example. So as someone who was part of building a cancer institute years ago, if you had 90 or 99 percent of oncologists who gave you a course of treatment on breast cancer, colon or prostrate cancer, you’d pretty much say the scientific community has spoken, let’s generally respect what they have to say about it. If there’s some interruption or disconnect in terms of what other scientists have to say, well then let the debate play out in the scientific community. I think that’s where we are. There’s probably more debate left to play out.”

    Now we can have a discussion on why Huntsman would advocate doing nothing about Climate Change if he believes it exists, but it seems that he was just referring to the fact that there seemed to be doubt on Climate Change, but he (Huntsman) personally didn’t believe that doubt.