As the presidential primaries get closer, some of the GOP candidates’ views on the environment are still vague. Due to the increasing political importance of global warming and climate change, the candidates must express clear views on environmental issues in order to have a chance at winning the presidency. So what do we know so far?
Jeb Bush: While the former Florida governor has been split on the issue in the past, in 2011 the governor stated “I think global warming may be real.” However even with this statement, Jeb Bush is still skeptical to support environmental legislation and does not believe that climate change is caused by man. At least he has taken preliminary steps by recognizing the problem.
Chris Christie: Surprisingly, Chris Christie has been a strong supporter of climate change legislation. In 2011 Christie stated “When you have over 90 percent of the world’s scientists who have studied this stating that climate change is occurring and that humans play a contributing role it’s time to defer to the experts.” However with the 2016 election getting closer, Christie has become silent on the topic.
Ted Cruz: Despite his Harvard law degree and extensive education, Ted Cruz is a strong disbeliever and outright denier of global warming. Cruz stated that “Contrary to all the theories that they are expounding, there should have been warming over the last 15 years. It hasn’t happened.” Maybe he should check a recent fact sheet because the global average temperature is almost one degree Celsius higher than it was in the 1950s with a huge temperature rise in the last 15 years.
Rand Paul: The Kentucky senator’s position is close to complete denial on the matter. Just last year, Rand Paul said he is “not sure anybody exactly knows why” the climate is changing. He went on to call the science “not conclusive” and complain about “alarmist stuff.” Paul went on to state that children are being misled into believing that “pollution” has gotten “a lot worse,” when “It’s actually much better now.”
Scott Walker: Walker hasn’t gone into detail about his views on climate change, but his actions suggest he’ll follow the general republican opinion. Walker signed a “no climate tax” pledge promising not to support any legislation that would raise taxes to combat climate change. He has also been a speaker at the climate-denying Heartland Institute. Also, Walker is not fond of recycling: as Governor of Wisconsin, he proposed a dramatic 50 percent slash in recycling programs throughout the state this year.
As seen in this list almost none of the GOP candidates have strong plans to combat global warming or solid evidence to back up their views. Hopefully a candidate with reason on the matter will prevail in the primaries preventing any possible harm.
Cyrus Crevits, Intern
Check back to see what Democratic candidates think of climate change!