Is Jeb Bush trying to alienate the Republican-conservative base even more than he already has? His comments about climate change and carbon dioxide emission cuts sure make it look that way.
Speaking last week at a New Hampshire event, Bush said, “The climate is changing” and expressed his concerns about it.
Though he lamented the “hollowing out of our industrial core” and the “hollowing out of our ability to compete in an increasingly competitive world,” he at the same time said that we should “be cognizant of the fact that we have this climate change issue and we need to work with the rest of the world to negotiate a way to reduce carbon emissions.”
This is not what we need from a Republican presidential candidate. In fact, it’s not what we need from any presidential candidate.
Simply put, carbon dioxide is not a pollutant — though the Supreme Court has ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency can regulate it as such — in any definition outside of some lawyerly ploy. To suddenly label it as one, says Robert C. Balling Jr., a former Arizona State University climatologist who is now a geography professor, “is a disservice to a gas that has played an enormous role in the development and sustainability of all life on this wonderful Earth.”
“Mother Earth,” says Balling, “has clearly ruled that CO2 is not a pollutant.”
Maybe Bush is trying to separate himself from the rest of the GOP pack by conceding that CO2 is a pollutant. In fact, he’s already taken in some praise from billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer’s quarters.
If so, he’s likely making a mistake. Americans have seen the global warming scare fizzle out before them. Gallup’s most recent environmental survey found that “global warming or climate change” ranks dead last among Americans’ environmental concerns, with only 32% worrying about it a “great deal,” down from 34% in 2014.
Despite the never-ending hype from the media, celebrities and politicians (and celebrity politicians), “Americans’ worry about it is no higher now than when Gallup first asked about it in 1989.”
What Americans should worry about is getting a president who will surrender to the pounding from those who believe in man-made climate change and those who have a need for everyone else to buy into it. We need a White House that will stand up to the bullying, not join it.
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