Tuesday, December 22, 2015

COP21 Naughty List: Republicans Presidential Contenders

Republicans vying for the presidential nomination have all opposed the COP21 climate accord. Republicans have a well earned reputation for denying the veracity of climate change and opposing anything with a "clean" prefix (energy air and water). The GOP did all it could to undermine the COP21 climate agreement.

Republicans advanced two motions to kill the clean power plan. However, President Obama swiftly pocket vetoed the motions. The Republican's anti-science climate stance would be comical if it did not come with such grave implications for US climate action.

"The American Republican party is the only major party that I can think of in the advanced world that effectively denies climate change," President Obama said. "It’s an outlier."

Because of the key role that President Obama played in securing a COP21 climate deal, he has been the target of Republican ridicule. In fairness the GOP has hated Obama since he was first elected president.

As reported by Politico, Republican presidential candidates derided the President's support for a positive outcome at COP21. During a town hall in Iowa, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said Obama “apparently thinks having an SUV in your driveway is more dangerous than a bunch of terrorists trying to blow up the world.”

Carly Fiorina, the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, called Obama and Democratic presidential contender Hilary Clinton delusional at a forum in South Carolina.

“Hillary Clinton and President Obama are both delusional when they say that our most pressing national security issues is climate change,” Fiorina said. “It is not. It is ISIS.”

On Twitter Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee chided Obama for his science driven climate knowledge:

“Obama is clueless. We need a commander-in-chief NOT a meteorologist-in-chief.”

Another Huckabee quote later that same day read:

“Not a joke: @POTUS thinks two-stroke engines & sunburns are a greater threat to  America than Islamic terrorism. #ParisClimateConference”

Not to be outdone New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie criticized the president for his support of COP21 at a New Hampshire business roundtable.

"I'm struck to watch the president today overseas, and he said that climate change is the imperative for our nation,” Christie said. “I have to tell you that when I think back on the Obama administration years from now, the one phrase that I think is going to stick with me the most to describe this administration, including this former secretary of state who now wants a promotion, is 'often wrong but never in doubt.'

In response to a question from Fox "News" host Greta Van Susteren, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said:

"What he is saying is that it's the greatest threat facing future generations and that I don't agree with," Rubio said. "I think the greatest threat facing future generations domestically is $19 trillion debt for which there is no answer in place. And a national security apparatus in this country that continues to deteriorate at a time when the world is growing more dangerous."

Donald Trump is the seemingly unhinged Republican contender who continues to lead the pack. He questioned the legitimacy of climate change on Breitbart News Daily radio Tuesday saying: "We do have weather that changes you have storms and you have tornadoes and you have hurricanes and you had them always.”

Bush may be the most mild-mannered of the GOP Candidates for president,  but even Bush tried to score points by belttling Obama's trip to COP21. As reported by the New York Times, Bush claimed that unlike almost every head of state he would not have gone to the Paris conference.

“I’m not sure I would have gone  the climate summit if I was president today,’’ Bush said.“So I’d be uncertain whether I would attend a meeting like that where it seems the movement is toward policies that will hurt our economy."

At a town-hall event Mr. Bush disputed the scientific evidence proving the role of human behavior in global warming. Bush Says he wants to protect the economy even though the devastating economic impacts from climate change have been widely documented. This includes the Risky Business Report produced by Republicans like Hank Paulson. Using the same broken logic Bush opposes the president’s Clean Power Plan even though there will be billions worth of economic benefits.

While Bush does not support mitigation efforts he does support the role of governments in helping communities to adapt to climate change.

“The climate has been changing forever, and it will always change and man will always contribute to it,” Mr. Christie said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” It’s not a crisis.”

 Speaking of the Paris climate agreement and Republican threats to undo it if they win the White House, secretary of state John Kerry said, "This has to happen...I believe this will continue because I just personally cannot believe that any person who doesn't understand the science and isn't prepared to do for the next generation what we did here today and follow through on it cannot and will not be elected president of the United States.

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