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Fletcher in the News

Prof. Moomaw on the 'Presidential Politics of Ignoring Climate Change'


The Presidential Politics of Ignoring Climate Change

If you visit the Mitt Romney for president web site, it lists his positions on a range of issues: taxes, trade, healthcare and foreign policy to name a few. You won’t find a single mention of climate change.

That’s a big shift from four years ago.  …

…“In a time of real economic distress, who is paying attention to global climate change? And especially if the costs of solving the reality of global climate change are so high they’re going to come directly in conflict with the economy, with jobs, and who wants to face that reality?”

But the Republican presidential candidates are more than just ignoring the issue, they’re running away from it. Take the case of Newt Gingrich. He appeared in a commercial in 2008 sitting on a couch next to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The two politicians introduce themselves, then Pelosi says, “We don’t always see eye to eye, do we Newt?” …

…William Moomaw with The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University said the Republican candidates are distancing themselves from the issue for ideological reasons. “They believe that addressing climate change will require government action, or even worse, intergovernmental action.”

Moomaw said to understand just how far the Republican Party has shifted on environmental issues, consider the case of the incandescent light bulb. President George W. Bush signed a law in 2007 that requires new bulbs to be 30 percent more efficient. Moomaw said many Republicans now see that law as a source of government intrusion.

Listen to the complete interview (more)