Republican views on global warming are quite varied within the party. At the moderate level, there is recognition of the significance of global warming and the importance of action. The party is divided on how significant human activity has impacted the onslaught of climate change. At its most extreme, certain party members do not recognize that humans have played any role in global warming, stating that the earth warming is the natural progression of the planet. Still others deny that there is any climate change at all.
Balancing Economics And Conservation
The party’s platform decrees a commitment to conservation. The Republican Party, under Theodore Roosevelt, was the pioneer of conservation. Roosevelt played a critical role in preserving natural resources through the establishment of national parks and forests. According to the party platform, it is the obligation of people to be responsible for the natural beauty and resources available in the country. However, people are believed to be the most valuable of those resources, and as such, their health, safety, and well-being are of utmost importance, and take priority over the environment.
Ideal policies regarding the environment should aim to balance economic development and private property rights with long-term conservation goals. Private property rights are often linked to the environmental agenda because environmental stewardship is best advanced by the people who own it, as this often inspires them to want to protect their land. The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment safeguards private property rights and provides adequate compensation whenever private property is needed for compelling public purposes.
In short, economic prosperity and environmental protection are believed to be equally important goals, and it is important for both to advance together. Environmental regulations should be backed by science, and the role of the government in regards to environmental standards should be to provide market-based incentives to develop technologies necessary to meeting those standards.
In 2004, Republican President George W. Bush’s Clear Skies proposal to reduce power plant emissions was supported by the party. Clear Skies aimed to reduce 70% of hazardous gas emissions, such as sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and mercury. The Clear Skies plan was based on market-based policies and a proven cap-and-trade system, and its purpose was to help states meet new, more stringent standards to protect the health of the public while providing regulatory certainty and enabling power plants to install the latest state-of-the-art pollution control technology.
The GOP Candidates’ Views on Global Warming
The GOP Candidates views on global warming reflect variation within the party concerning this issue. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Rick Perry are perhaps the most extreme. While Trump has not yet taken a formal position, he has used the social media platform Twitter to comment on the issue in years past. Often these comments reflect denial of climate change, especially when the weather is cold.
Jim Gilmore, speaking to WMUR, said, “I would like it to be shown that it’s man-made, and if it is, then at that point I think that we have to address how we deal with it.” Bobby Jindal is sure that human activity is impacting the climate, but would “leave it to the scientists to decide how much, what that means, what are the consequences.” Arguing that the Obama administration policies have hurt the environment and the economy, he has also said Louisiana won’t comply with the administration’s Clean Power Plan aims to curb carbon emissions from power plants.
In a bit more pessimistic tone, Carly Fiorina has agreed that global warming is real, but doubts the effectiveness of the United States to single-handedly do anything about it. In an interview with Yahoo News, she said, “Every one of the scientists that tell us that climate change is real and being caused by man-made activity also tells us that a single nation acting alone can make no difference at all.”
Although he hasn’t commented on his position on climate change since the announcement of his campaign to run for presidency, former New York Governor George Pataki has believed that climate change has been scientifically proven since the 1990’s, and has supported reductions in greenhouse gases since 1998. He co-chaired an independent commission on climate change that released a report recommending a market-friendly cap-and-trade system aiming to reduce emissions from 1990-2050 by 60-80%. Lindsey Graham also acknowledges climate change is an issue, and said after a Council on Foreign Relations event that, “When it comes to climate change being real, people of my party are all over the board. There was several resolutions. I said that it’s real, that man has contributed to it in a substantial way.”
Ted Cruz on Global Warming
Cruz denied the existence of climate change in August at an event sponsored by the Koch brothers, billionaire industrialists who made much of their money from fossil fuels. Cruz said, “If you look to the satellite data in the last 18 years there has been zero recorded warming. Now the global warming alarmists, that’s a problem for their theories. Their computer models show massive warming. The satellite says it ain’t happening.” Cruz—along with Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and a quarter of senators—was one of several elected officials to sign The No Climate Tax pledge, supported by the Koch brothers, which opposes “any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.”
Rick Perry on Global Warming
In 2010, Perry released a book called “Fed Up!” in which he called global warming a “contrived, phony mess.” He said at a Christian Science Monitor breakfast that no action should be taken against global warming because “I don’t believe we have the settled science, by any sense of the imagination.” He has also accused scientists of manipulating data to win research funding.
Rick Santorum on Global Warming
Rick Santorum’s ideals are along the same vein. In June he was quoted as saying to Fox News, that “Any time you hear a scientist say the science is settled, that’s political science, not real science, because no scientists in their right mind would say ever the science is settled.” Mike Huckabee agrees. He told NBC in June, “Whether it’s man-made or not, I know that when I was in college I was being taught that if we didn’t act very quickly, that we were going to entering a global freezing… Now we’re told that we’re all burning up. Science is not as settled on that as it is on some things.”
Marco Rubio on Global Warming
Marco Rubio is also uncertain of the effects of global warming. He told ABC in May, “Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to manmade activity. I do not agree with that.”
Rand Paul on Global Warming
Rand Paul has a mixed voting record on climate change, voting for an amendment in January which said climate change is real and acknowledges human contribution to it. In March, he voted against a bill to cut carbon emissions. Paul’s home state is Kentucky, which is the third-largest coal producing state in the country. Ohio governor John Kasich believes there is a problem with climate change and has taken steps to care for Lake Erie and reduce emissions by 30%. However, it is important to him to not destroy people’s jobs. Ohio also relies largely on coal-burning power plants. He is a proponent of clean coal.
Jeb Bush on Global Warming
Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush acknowledges global warming but has not commented on potential causes. He believes the United States needs to adapt, and that countries with increased carbon emissions should scale back; not the U.S. however, because of the increase in natural gas production from fracking. Bush has been cited as saying, “The climate is changing… [but] I don’t think the science is clear on what percentage is man-made and… what percentage is natural. It’s convoluted. And for the people to say the science is decided on this is just really arrogant.”
Ben Carson on Global Warming
Ben Carson volunteered his position on climate change in Des Moines, Iowa back in May. According to the Des Moines Register, he told a group of Republicans, “The temperature’s either going up or down at any point in time, so it really is not a big deal. What is a big deal is that the environment is under our control. We do have a responsibility to pass it on to those behind us in at least as good a condition as we found it, hopefully an improved condition.”
Governor Chris Christie agrees. At a Republican dinner in Keene, New Hampshire, he said, “I think global warming is real. I don’t think that’s deniable. And I do think human activity contributes to it. The degree to which it contributes to it is what we need to have a discussion about.” Christie is calling for a “global solution,” as opposed to unilateral cuts by the United States, because he doesn’t believe that the programs intended to limit carbon emissions like cap and trade have been effective.
- Republican Party on Environment – On The Issues
- A Widening Gap: Republican and Democratic Views on Climate Change – Environment: Science and Policy for Sustainable Development
- Where the GOP candidates stand on global warming – Boston Globe
- Where Presidential Candidates Stand On Climate Change – NPR
- Where the 2016 Republican candidates stand on climate change – CBS News
- Republican Views On Global Warming
- Democratic Views On Global Warming
- Republican Views on Energy
- Republican Views on the Environment
- Democratic Views on Energy
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- Republican Views on Jobs
- What Is A Republican? Republican Definition
- Ted Cruz On The Issues
- Prediction: Mitt Romney Runs Again in 2016