Thursday, October 29, 2015

Republicans on climate change and energy at the CNBC debate

CNBC asked only one candidate a question about climate change in last night's prime time debate.  Climate Eye on YouTube has the clip in Christie asked sole climate question at prime time GOP debate.

I'm going to be a good environmentalist and recycle what I wrote about Christie's response last time in Republicans vs. Democrats on climate change at the debates so far.
Here is a meme I posted at Michigan Liberal last year.

My comment at the time was "I think we're hitting stage three, with a few people transitioning to stage four.  So, how long before we get to stage five?"  Rubio has moved to stage four, while Christie is starting to move to stage five.  That's an improvement of sorts, but not much.  At least they recognize that climate change is real, but they [don't] prioritize it very highly.
With this answer, Christie has definitely moved to state five, except that his response is in the present tense, not the past tense.  At least he's recognizing climate change as a problem and renewable energy as a solution and doing so in a way that's consistent with his party's ideology.  I can live with a position like that.

While the main event had only one question about climate change, the early debate had three responses to the topic.  Follow over the jump for clips of George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, and Rick Santorum addressing the issue.

George Pataki reiterated both Christie's acceptance of climate change and the kind of solutions in Pataki touts science, innovation.

Harry Enten commented on this response in FiveThirtyEight's liveblog of the debate.
George Pataki is saying he believes manmade global climate change is real. That shouldn’t come as a huge surprise. According to Gallup, more moderate Republicans (49 percent), like Pataki, believe that effects of pollution from human activity are responsible for the Earth warming than from natural changes (47 percent). The vast majority (70 percent) of conservative Republicans, on the other hand, think it’s natural changes in the environment.
Pataki is as moderate as they come in the GOP field.  According to this graphic from FiveThirtyEight, he's the Republican candidate closest to the center this year and last, even more to the left than Huntsman in 2012.  Of course, that meant he was doomed from the start.

However, it's not just candidates on the left end of the field, like Pataki and Christie, the second most moderate person in the field, who have recognized the reality of human-caused climate change.  Lindsey Graham, sits squarely in the center of the pack ideologically, acknowledged it in Graham is emphatic on climate in GOP debate.

No solutions, but at least he says he's looking for them.

On the other hand, Rick Santorum dodged the question in Santorum links jobs, global warming.

I'm not impressed with his solution, but at least he didn't outright deny the problem.  That's progress, however minor.

As for how I graded the responses, I gave Christie a B+, Pataki a B, Graham a C+, and Santorum a D.  I reserved the A for Bernie Sanders and awarded an A- to both Clinton and O'Malley.  As for the F, it went to Rubio for his answer at the second debate.  He's still not proposing solutions.  Unfortunately, it didn't hurt him, as FiveThirtyEight and other media outlets think he won the debate.  Sigh.

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