Climate Capo Whackfest

By Keith Kloor | June 4, 2011 9:11 am

So Mitt Romney is the latest high profile Republican to believe that global warming is real.

With apologies to Buffalo Springfield,

There’s something happening here.
What it is ain’t exactly clear.

Indeed. As New York Magazine notes:

Denying that human activity is making the Earth warmer, despite the opinion of people who spend their lives studying these things, was thought to be a precondition of being a serious, viable Republican presidential candidate. But earlier today, Mitt Romney proclaimed at a town hall in New Hampshire that “the world is getting warmer, and I believe that humans have contributed to that.” He added, “It’s important for us to reduce our emissions of pollutants and greenhouse gases that may be significant contributors.”

Even though the news broke late on a Friday, it didn’t take long for the climate capo on on the Right to pounce. These days, Marc Morano has turned Climate Depot into a veritable whackfest against his fellow Republicans. It’s been quite a sight.

But with Jon Huntsman, Chris Christie and now Mitt Romney all refusing to drink the GOP Kool-Aid on climate science, Morano is looking less like an enforcer and more like a paper tiger.

UPDATE: Andy Revkin observes:

Marc Morano @climatedepot tries to punish moderate Republicans for daring to mention a human factor in climate change, and reveals his knowing disregard of science in doing so. To attack Romney’s description of the issue below is ridiculous, given that those who would concur include some of Morano’s favorite scientists (Roger Pielke Sr. and Pat MIchaels, for instance).

  • lucia

    Last night at dinner, the family was discussing potential candidates in the 2012 election. I’m glad to see Romney saying climate change is real.

  • bigcitylib

    And Sarah Palin is looking more an more like the GOP nominee.  Obama might as well rent his victory hall now.

  • Pascvaks

    Sounds like he was talking to regular people of average intelligence.  You really have to watch those polyticians, they be tricky.  On the other hand, there be psyentists out to remake the world in the image of Carlos Marx too, and they be trickier.  Vote your pocket book America, there be evil times ahead.  Oh yes, and if you want to reduce the National output of CO2, limit all polyticians to two terms.

  • DeNihilist

    so the earth is warming, on average, for the last 200 or so years. Fact

    The last fiftyish or so can only be attributed to CO2

    CO2 has an input to this rise in temp

    If the temp, on average, goes beyond 2*C higher it will be catastrophic

    In my view no. Also in my view, for the average temp to get beyond 2*C is gonna take an awful long time, as all sides agree that natural variability still can easily swamp the heat gain induced from CO2.

    Where Mr Romney gets it right, is that POLLUTION and energy are things that have to be attended to ASAP.

  • Howard


    How does opposition to Cap & Trade (a policy GOP opposes and the main substantive subject of the National Journal article) translate into “GOP Kool-Aid on climate science”?

    You appear to make the same mistake Ronald Brownstein of the Nat’l Journal makes by concluding that opposition to a specific financial trading scheme policy equals denial of climate science.

    I am glad that some of the Repug leaders are showing some climate nuance, but I don’t see any support in that nuance for Cap & Trade.  Using your superficial preconceived regurgitation logic system, Romney et al are just changing the GOP Kool-Aid Climate Denial flavor from Grape to the politically correct Acai Berry.

    It looks like you are the one swallowing the new and improved sustainable antioxidant nutriceutical all natural Kool-Aid, which is not surprising since the gullible Guyana gulpers were big city libs as well ;^)

    Glad to see that you have finally recognized how impotent Moreno really is.

  • Jeff Norris

    Morano is a fool if he thinks Climate Change Science is a viable political issue.  Politically it is a no win all lose.  Climate Change Policy on the other hand is very much a win win because of the current economic situation here and abroad.  By not arguing the science you avoid having to confront people in lab coats with the alphabet attached to their names; the evolution equivalency; links to Big Oil; and accusations that you hate children and unborn puppies. Politically what is the down side of saying that humans might play apart in Climate Change?

  • Brandon Shollenberger

    Has there been any effort to find out what various Republican politicians think about global warming?  I’ve seen a lot of vague remarks about “Republicans,” and some specific references to individuals, but I haven’t been able to find any sort of systematic analysis.  I’d be interested to see what each Republican senator says about global warming rather than just a handful.

    I haven’t seen any indication individual Republican politicians (aside from a few obvious examples) reject global warming.  Because of that, Romney’s position here doesn’t surprise me.

  • kdk33


    ’nuff said.

  • dorlomin

    Europe has had two dominant conservative female leaders over the past 3 decades, Maggie (milk snatcher) Thatcher and Angela Merkle. Both of whom actual worked in science before entering politics. Both of whom have sought to promote concern about global warming.
    Its not a right wing issue, its an American culture wars issue. Your welcome to it.

  • TimG

    #9 Thatcher did not realize what a monster CAGW would turn into. Her primary motivation at the time was to break the UK dependence on coal and the coal miners union by promoting nuclear.

    Germans have long since abandoned any hope of a sensible conversation on climate so using Merkel as a example means nothing. She has to act because she wants to be re-elected. Who knows what she really thinks.  

  • dorlomin

    “Thatcher did not realize what a monster CAGW would turn into. Her primary motivation at the time was to break the UK dependence on coal and the coal miners union by promoting nuclear.”
    Embarrassingly bad history.
    But you say it with such authority, well done….. The miners union was already broken by 1988 and the mass pit closure already underway and the privitisaiton of coal coming close. It was also nothing to do with nuclear, UK gas was cheap and coal expensive.
    Maggie seen oil as the big thing for the UK economy so where does that fit in with your conspiracy theory?

  • dorlomin

    And nuclear? Your having a laugh.

  • TimG


    In bringing this about, Mrs Thatcher played an important part. It is not widely appreciated, however, that there was a dramatic twist to her story. In 2003, towards the end of her last book, Statecraft, in a passage headed “Hot Air and Global Warming”, she issued what amounts to an almost complete recantation of her earlier views.

    She voiced precisely the fundamental doubts about the warming scare that have since become familiar to us. Pouring scorn on the “doomsters”, she questioned the main scientific assumptions used to drive the scare.

  • dorlomin

    Where is the evidence for your crackpot conspiracy theory about global warming and the unions? Well your type need no evidence.
    And funny reading of Thatchers book, she actually says that in her opinion the issue had been hijacked and was being over hyped.
    Not quite what the creationists Booker is saying she said.


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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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