Republican presidential hopefuls reap rewards of climate denial in primary, but face risks in general election – ‘The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive’Posted by Jim at Monday, August 03, 2015
By Matt Viser
1 August 2015
WASHINGTON (Boston Globe) – Rick Santorum calls climate change “a beautifully concocted scheme.” Senator Ted Cruz contends that no climate change has been recorded in the last 15 years, bluntly declaring, “It hasn’t happened.”
Ben Carson, a renowned neurosurgeon, has said, “We may be warming. We may be cooling.” Former Florida governor Jeb Bush grants that climate change is real, but he is unwilling to say it is caused by humans.
Donald Trump, meanwhile, sees a conspiracy: “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing noncompetitive.”
Most of the 17 Republicans running for president are skeptical about climate change caused by humans, a stance that appears to line up with conservative voters who hold sway in the GOP primary contest.
But it jeopardizes their chances with the broader swath of voters who will determine the winner of the general election — and Democrats are ready to take advantage of that opportunity.
Hillary Rodham Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, is moving rapidly to exploit the Republican opposition by making climate change a central issue in her campaign. This week, she outlined a new proposal to install enough solar panels to power every home in the country. Clinton knocked Republican candidates who punt on the issue by claiming a lack of expertise.
“Those people on the other side, they will answer any question about climate change by saying, ‘I’m not a scientist,’ ” she said Sunday in Iowa. “Well, I’m not a scientist either. I’m just a grandmother with two eyes and a brain.” […]
The energy industry has so far donated $1.8 million in the 2016 races, with 82 percent of the money going to Republicans, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. […]
Nearly 58 percent of registered voters said they wanted a candidate who would take action to fight climate changes, and 38 percent said the position is very or extremely important, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll released in April.
In a poll of voters in the crucial swing states of Colorado, Iowa, and Virginia, nearly two-thirds of voters said that climate change is caused by human activity, according to the Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released on July 23. [more]