Mitt Romney's Climate Change Flip Flops Accelerating At Alarming Rate
2014 was the planet's hottest year since our species learned how to transcribe temperatures onto paper. While much of the globe wilted like Rick Perry under stage lights (hey-o!), our Congress ho-hummed as Republicans continued to dismiss "science" as mere propaganda from nefarious, agenda-driven "scientists" all over the globe. And there's someone who's not happy about this at all.
During his 2012 presidential bid, Romney was dismissive about Democratic efforts to combat the effects of climate change, and he pushed for an expanded commitment to fossil fuels. But in a speech in California on Monday, Romney, who is considering a third run for president in 2016, signaled a shift on the issue. According to the Palm Springs Desert Sun, the former Massachusetts governor "said that while he hopes the skeptics about global climate change are right, he believes it's real and a major problem," and he lamented that Washington had done "almost nothing" to stop it.
Consummate Washington Outsider Mitt Romney can't stand DC's inaction on climate change. He opines that it looks like America's Congress is stupid enough to follow the advice of Romney/Ryan's 2012 platform and oppose any piece of legislation that might reduce carbon emissions. Mitt wonders who in their right mind would listen to someone so purposefully ignorant of dangerous climate trends that have been apparent for years to any literate observer with a functioning cerebrum. Mitt 2015 -- still with new Mitt smell (Earl Grey + Flex-All) -- in effect questions why someone would actually bring the following blather to a presidential campaign:
"We don't know what's causing climate change on this planet." Instead, [Romney] pledged to increase coal production and ramp up oil exploration. At the Republican convention in Tampa, he turned climate change into a punch line. "I'm not in this race to slow the rise of the oceans or to heal the planet," he remarked during his nomination speech—a jab at President Obama's 2008 campaign promise that his victory would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
Terrific zing, Mitt 2012. Just terrific. But Mitt 2015 clearly thinks you're a dangerous science-denying sociopath, though we get it, none of you are scientists, including Mitt 2012's homo erectus, 2011 Primary Mitt.
“Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is,” Romney told a crowd in New Hampshire Wednesday, according to Reuters. “I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans.”
“What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to,” Romney said.
Again, I'm not a scientist. You're not a scientist. None of our elected Republican officials are scientists. Except when there's Ebola involved, then they all become scientists. 2011 Primary Mitt evolved quickly, racing against time to get to the dead-end denier phase like his GOP cohorts. And he succeeded in wiping away this memory of Mitt 2011-v.1. Try to keep up:
"I believe based on what I read that the world is getting warmer," he told the Manchester Union-Leader in 2011. "And…I believe that humans contribute to that. I don't know how much our contribution is to that, because I know there have been periods of greater heat and warmth in the past, but I believe that we contribute to that. So I think it's important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may well be significant contributors to the climate change and the global warming that you're seeing."
See that? Mitt 2011-v.1 read the reports and looked at data. That's it, folks. You don't have to be a scientist. When Bain Capital's Modus Media was helping computer companies outsource microchip manufacturing to Asia, do you think Romney actually knew how to manufacture a microchip? Hell No. He merely analyzed the data, looked at forecasts and earning reports and knew he could get rich off the success of this company shipping jobs overseas. While it's indeed impossible to be an expert in every field, the majority of us have been bestowed the gifts of critical thinking, literacy, and certain analytical tools that don't require the maintenance of expert knowledge in a certain field (or any field) in order to stay informed.
So in light of Mitt 2015's change of circuitry, is it possible he represents a new day, a day where conservatives leave the cold, dark, musty abyss of contrived obtuseness, and walk into the light of man made climate change acceptance?
Ummmm that might be considerably difficult since not only do Republicans deny global warming is a thing, they won't even acknowledge their own positions on climate change that were just noted in a televised speech seen by millions.
The official website for House Republicans has posted on YouTube a doctored version of President Obama’s State of the Union address which cuts out comments where the President was critical of Republican rhetoric on climate change, ThinkProgress has learned.
Just one time. Just once I would just like a GOP leader to come out and say, “Look, we’re not idiots. Obviously climate change is real and man made. I just don’t give a shit. Combatting it would cost me and my contributors money and that's all I care about. Go fly a kite, assholes."
That would be refreshing. But instead we just get fat fingers in hairy ears and more pretending that there's actually a debate to be had on whether the planet is scalding and whether virtually every body of water is getting totally fucked.
The obvious underlying problem is the pathology of many conservatives. An off-shoot of believing selfishness is a virtue is the belief that apologizing or admission of a mistake is a sign of weakness, when in reality it just means you're an adult. And acknowledging climate change is caused by burning fossil fuels and an insatiable thirst for energy means we're all at fault. It doesn't matter if it's Me, You, Mitt, Ann, Tagg, Matt, Ben, Craig, Tito, Jermaine or Sneezy -- we all have oil on our hands. We are all responsible.
So if Mitt 2015 wants to carry the solar-powered LCD torch for change, I'm all for it, but I'm skeptical Mittens chooses to do anything out of motivation other than pure self-interest. So what's his angle?
While Egg might be encouraging Mitt to run for president again in 2016 (and yes, we're all grateful for that), his chances are pretty slim. So Mitt’s newfound concern for the climate is obvious. As he looks to harness his most overstated qualification to be president -- "saving" the 1994 Winter Olympics with a ton of public money -- he’ll want to recapture that mojo. He’s clearly angling to be the savior for the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, and vault himself into contention for the 2020 GOP nomination. To do this, he'll need Pyeongchang to maintain an already tenuous grip on snowfall that's being altered by climate change.
So cheers to Mitt 2015, may you advocate strongly for action on climate change until you take that first step into New Hampshire later this year.