Pawlenty: "Science" Proves Climate Change Is "Caused By Natural Causes"

June 29, 2011 10:44 am ET — Julia Krieger

Tim Pawlenty used to take stock in serious science. As governor of Minnesota, he supported a cap-and-trade energy policy. But as reality becomes a less viable basis for holding a position in the Republican Party, Pawlenty gave in to pressure and switched to a firm denial of the existence anthropogenic global warming, a flip-flop that's caused him some trouble in his run for president.

"If you look under the hood, you'll see that I, like everybody else potentially running, looked at it, flirted with it and then decided it was a bad idea," Pawlenty has explained.

Pawlenty's problems continued yesterday morning when Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy presented him with the conservative Club for Growth's recent criticism of his cap-and-trade record. Pawlenty bristled, saying, "I denounced it, Steve. I looked at it as almost every major candidate in the race did. I'm not the only one, I'm just the one who gets asked about it."

After such penitence for his admitted 'clunker,' one would expect Pawlenty to come up with a better account for his great awakening. Instead, he dropped this gem: "The reality of it is, the science indicates most of it, if not all of it is caused by natural causes."

BRIAN KILMEADE (co-host): You believe that there is no such thing as global warming, you think that's trumped up by people out there that want to get on the green agenda?

PAWLENTY: Well, I'm old enough to remember, Brian, that when people were predicting there was going to be the next ice age. So there is climate change. There's always been climate change, but until recently, people were worried as much about global cooling. So there is climate change, but the reality of it is, the science indicates most of it, if not all of it is caused by natural causes. And as to the potential human contribution to that, there's a great scientific dispute about that very issue.


Of course, "science indicates" the exact opposite. As Republicans continue to dance around the issue, there is broad scientific consensus that human activity has a serious impact on climate change. It can't be dismissed with flippant references to the coming of another ice age, as Pawlenty suggests.