Climate Absent from Debates, But not from Voter’s Minds
February 9, 2016
Above, a Texas flood survivor, who has obviously been watching my video interviews with Dr. Carl Mears (see below) and others, confronts Ted Cruz about climate change.
Voter: “About the satellite data, the scientist that put out that data said you’re misquoting it and misusing it.”
Cruz: “I understand there are scientists with political agendas.”
(he said, while shaking hands in a ropeline campaigning in the New Hampshire primary…)
Like a slowly tightening noose, public concern about climate change is closing in on GOP candidates who have backed themselves into an untenable corner on the critical issue, in what may be yet another record hot year.
MANCHESTER, N.H. — When Dan Kipnis stood up and asked Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) about his plan to address climate change, he thought he might face some angry audience members who didn’t like his question. He was shocked to instead find people clapping for him.
“I thought I’d get some boos or something like that,” the 65-year-old retired fishing boat captain from Miami Beach told The Huffington Post after Rubio’s Sunday town hall in Londonderry. “But you know, these people up here in New Hampshire, they’re pretty enlightened.”
This event wasn’t an isolated incident. Questions about climate change frequently come up at GOP town halls, even though it’s an issue that the candidates rarely talk about unprompted and one that almost never comes up during debates.
Kipnis said he was also able to ask former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) a climate change question at a New Hampshire town hall, and he received a similar reception.
“I basically got a standing ovation,” he said.
Bush also received a climate change question during his Saturday town hall in Bedford, New Hampshire. This one was from Cindy Lerner, mayor of Pinecrest, Florida. She and 14 other mayors — a bipartisan group — recently wrote to Rubio and Bush and asked to meet with them about climate change.
“What we’re seeing in Florida and around the country is a very strong, green economy with renewable energy and energy efficiency. And we’d like to see leadership from our next president on this,” Lerner said to applause.
“Look, the climate is changing. We have billions of people that live on the planet. We clearly have an impact. To deny it doesn’t make sense,” Bush replied to more applause, adding that he’d like to meet with the mayors when he’s back in Florida.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has also repeatedly received questions on the topic.
Republican presidential candidates Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush should be getting an education in climate change soon.
The two GOP candidates agreed last week to meet with a group of 15 South Florida mayors concerned about climate change’s impact on their state and on the country as a whole. The mayors had sent letters to Rubio and Bush in late January, urging the candidates to “acknowledge the reality and urgency of climate change” and asking them to take meetings with them to discuss climate change. One of the mayors — Cindy Lerner of Pinecrest, Florida — journeyed to New Hampshire last week, and questioned both candidates about the letters during town hall events.
“I know that they know the science we are relying on,” Lerner told ThinkProgress of the two candidates, both of whom have political histories in Florida. Bush served as governor of the state from 1999 to 2007, and Rubio is a U.S. senator from Florida. Florida’s university system is heavily involved in climate science, so these two candidates should have a good understanding of the issue, Lerner said.
“To have especially Marco, who is in such denial, ignore the very academic institutions that he has supported, funded, and worked with for more than a decade is really ridiculous, quite frankly,” she said.
Below, my interview with Dr. Mears, whose work Cruz pretends to cite.
Here, Dr. Mears states why he believes surface temperature data are more precise than his own satellite data, which Cruz pretends to cite:
And here, the 8 minute examination of satellite temperature myths that has blown up a major denialist talking point.
I’ll be revisiting the topic for the March video, to examine in depth the surface temperature record, which deniers complain about so often. Stay tuned.